President Bola Tinubu says the welfare of security personnel in the country will continue to be his administration’s priority.
This is just as the acting Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun vowed to combat violent crimes under his administration.
Both men stated this on Monday at the opening ceremony of the 4th edition of the senior police officers conference and retreat held in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Tinubu, who was represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Senator Ibrahim Gaidem, said his administration will push through significant reforms in the police in order to make the Force better positioned to perform its mandate.
The President, however, said there must be behavioural and attitudinal change in police officers.
“The welfare of all security personnel shall continue to be our priority.
“As you deliberate and exchange ideas, I encourage you to put the wellbeing of this nation as your priority by safeguarding our democracy. It is your responsibility to manage internal security and protect the rights of all citizens,” the President added.
On his part, IGP Egbetokun in his welcome address and how his administration will tackle the insecurity challenge in the country, said “Police Force under my watch is poised to confront head on the menace of violent crimes in our country, restore calm to troubled areas and engender an atmosphere of peace, safety and security which will promote national economic growth and prosperity.”
He also buttressed his assurance by the establishment of the Special Intervention Squad (SIS), a standby team of specially trained officers which he explained will rapidly intervene in major incidents.
Explaining further on the roles of the SIS team, the police said “The Squad will be deployed in each command to deal with the state’s salient security challenges.
“Concrete steps have already been taken to facilitate the smooth take-off of the SIS in Ten (10) pilot states, already identified based on the recent violent crime assessment carried out in all the Thirty-six (36) states of the federation and the FCT, while the other Twenty seven (27) states will immediately follow.
“I wish to express gratitude to Mr. President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR for his kind approval for the specialised training (starting next month) of the initial team of instructors for the SIS. Thank you, Mr President.
He also revealed that reform will take care of the old habits of the officers. “The Force recognises that good attitudinal and professional conduct of our officers are central to attaining the ideals we have chosen to embrace as the lead agency in Nigeria’s internal security.
“The Nigeria Police Force is conscious of the fact that in our duty to secure society and restore peace and public order, are our indispensable partners. The Force is determined to further refine the perception of our officers to the essential concepts of human rights, the rule of law, and citizen-focused policing.
“Consequently, a specially packaged reorientation programme for officers has commenced. Furthermore, it has been directed that a renewed emphasis should be placed on psychological and attitudinal training for all new recruits at police training schools and colleges.
On his method of tackling border crimes, he said “Recognising the international and cross-border nature of major crimes and the need for more collaboration with our partners, I have vigorously engaged international partners to create synergy in combating major crimes.”