By Bassey Inyang in CalabarÂ and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris , has said the Nigeria Police Force will not hesitate to dismiss and prosecute any officer arrested for extorting members of the public henceforth.
He also warned that any policeman found culpable following last Tuesday’s clash between men of the Nigerian policeÂ and the Nigerian Navy in Calabar would be sanctioned and commissioned an investigation on the problem.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti yesterday, Idris, who was represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of SouthwestÂ Zone, Mr. Foluso Adebanjo, ratedÂ Ekiti State as having the lowest crime rate in Nigeria, hinging this on the high level of professionalism existing among his men in the State.
This isÂ asÂ the Police Community Relations Committee(PCRC)Â and other stakeholders frowned on the incessant transfer of the Commissioners of Police out of Ekiti police command, saying the scenarioÂ always led to theÂ regrouping of criminals to unleash terror on the citizens.
He was addressing stakeholders in security sector , where police officers in the command, led byÂ the CP, Alhaji Abdullahi Chafe, PCRC members, Important Personalities, Hausa community and transporters, wereÂ present.
Idris saluted the courage of his men in tackling criminalities, urging them to be dedicated to duties and expectÂ commensurate rewards from government and members of the public .
â€œThe crime rate in Ekiti is very low, in fact, the lowest in the country. The police anywhere in the world canâ€™tÂ do it alone without the cooperation and consent of the people. You need to work with critical stakeholders to achieve a crime-free society.
â€œThe Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris isÂ committed to the task of givingÂ our men incentives. Before now, Inspectors used to spend over 14 yearsÂ before becoming superintend of police, but such has been corrected andÂ other rank and file positions.
â€œApart from promotion, we are working on the housing scheme for our men to be able to own a house after retirement”. We are also improving on the medicals , so that our men who sustained injuries in the course
of performing their tasks canÂ get the best treatment and many other incentives .
â€œLet us do this job conscientiously. Donâ€™t be labeledÂ corrupt officers , this is not good for the image of the force locally and globally. Do this job very well and you will not regret it because you are doing Godâ€™s job and your reward shall surely comeâ€, he said.
Harping on the police to ensure protection of human rights, Idris added that theÂ proposal for theÂ recruitmentÂ of 30,000 policemen annually would automatically take care of the shortfall in the personnel in some states, including Ekiti.
â€œAs we speak now, 10,000 people are undergoing training and the proposal is that 30,000 will be trained yearly for the next ten years. So, we have a work plan and we must not allow few criminals to destroy the beautiful name and respect Nigeria commandsÂ globallyâ€.
The CP said the command will continue to form a solid synergy with other sister agencies to make Ekiti a no-go-area for criminals, saying the command has opened a platform where they get voracious information from the public.
The PCRC Chairman in Ekiti, Mr. Adetunji Omodara and the Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW), Com Clement Adekola, queriedÂ the rationale behindÂ incessant transfer of CPs out of Ekiti, urging the IG to stop the scenario in the interest of stability in security network.
Idris also warned policemen against engaging in any reprisal attack as a result of their clash last Tuesday with men of the Nigerian Navy.
Two policemen were officially confirmed dead, and three others injured as a result of the violent clash that also resulted in the burning of Akim Divisional Police Headquarters in Calabar.
Unofficial reports has it that the clash occurred following a misunderstanding between a policeman and a Naval rating close to the traffic light at IBB Way by the UJ. Esuene Stadium.
The misunderstanding had degenerated into the use of guns and bullets by the security agencies during the clash which lasted for hours.
The police chief who addressed officers and men of the Nigerian police at what remains of the Akim Divisional Headquarters said they had always had cordial working relationship with the Navy and other security agencies in the country.
Represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police for the South-South, Mr. Emman Inyang, the IG said it was unfortunate that the incident, though minor, escalated to a violent level.
â€œAn independent inquiry would be set up to look into the matter. There should be no reprisal attack of any kind. What happened has happened and it was unfortunate. Every culprit would be brought to book. Do not always take the law in your hands in any situation. Any one culpable in this incident would be dealt with appropriately according to the law. The police would continue to relate well with other security agencies to safeguard the society,â€ he said.
Also addressing the policemen, Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Victory in Calabar, Commodore Sidi Jubril expressed his condolence to the police over the incident.
â€œIt is a very sad situation. I have always worked with the police commissioner to ensure peace in the state. We have agreed on both sides that this issue will be looked into critically. There would be thorough investigations. Ours has even started at the headquarters. Whoever is culpable would be brought out and sanctioned accordingly. Let our tempers not get the better of us. We will continue to work closely together, “Jubril said.Â