Okon Bassey in Uyo
The Inspector General of Police (IG), Solomon Arase, wednesday directed an update of all armories in various police formation across the country to ensure all ammunition are in good condition and shape.
The IG who gave the directive in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, during a tour of the state Police Command, said the instruction became imperative as any police officer who goes out with expired ammunition was at danger when confronted with criminal gang.
Arase had received a report from Sgt. Nicholas Enguru of the state police command that he was once given a gun with 30 rounds from the armory but to his greatest dismay, the gun could not fire because it had expired.
Reacting, the police boss said: “If I am an accountant and I am careless, I will lose money but if you are a police officer, if you are careless with your men you lose lives and that is the difference.
“If you are having 30 rounds of ammunition and you cork it and it does not fire and you are facing criminals, it means you are going to be killed
“We are going to take care of that. The entire armorer should check their ammunition to see that they are not expired so that they would not jeopardize the lives of our officers while on duty. This is a national thing. I am directing all armorers in all the commands to update their armory.”
The IGP equally tasked all Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) across the country to get connected to their immediate community to ensure adequate security.
“I am an advocate of community partnership in internal security management. All the DPOs should in every three months, have meeting with stakeholders,” he said.
On police welfare, the IG said at least 50,000 officers and men of the Nigerian Police have been promoted in the last one year to various ranks.
He explained that the promotion exercise was part of the measures to check corruption, build confidence and increase productivity of officers and men.
Arase, who granted automatic promotion to two police officers during the visit, said he has remained allergic to corruption, and that measures are being put in place to motivate policemen not to be corrupt.
“In this regard, the first 400 houses built for officers and men are ready and they will be allocated by balloting while 330 scholarships were given to children of serving and late policemen who died in the course of their duties,” he stressed.
According to him, 700 vehicles have been deployed for the safer highway project to replace roadblocks on the nation’s highways which he said has proven not to be an effective crime fighting strategy.
He said the police authorities were not encouraging the development of barracks as officers and men are being encouraged to live alongside with the civilians to improve their social mentality.
Welcoming the IG, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Murtala Mani, lauded him for laying the structures that have remained the backbone of operations and intelligence in the state, saying they have made the operational direction of the command a lot easier.
“Leveraging on your leadership principles, operational vision and mission, we have striven to ensure that there is constant element of human face, respect for the dignity and rights of persons as well as strict adherence to your avowed stand in anti-corruption in all our undertakings,” he stated.