â€¢Â Â Â Ambode canvasses for state police
By Chiemelie EzeobiÂ
The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu yesterday in Lagos stirred the hornet nest at a public lecture organised by the police on security, when he openly accused President Muhammed Buhari of killing the efficiency of the police during the military era while he was head of state in 1984.
The public lecture was themed â€œproviding strategic solutions to emergent security challenges, the essentials of synergy among security agencies and the civil populace.â€
Oba Akiolu alleged that the problem of the present day police began with Buhari when he seized all the vehicles under the then Inspector General of Police,Â SundayÂ Adewusi.
He said Buhari had harboured suspicions that the IGP wanted to take over government then, which prompted him to act the way he did.
Whilst wishing the president a speedy recovery, Akiolu however urged him to reverse all that he had done in the past now that he is back as a democratic leader.Â
He said: â€œThe military in this country killed the efficiency of the Nigeria Police. The only thing saving us right now is that only a serving policeman can become an IGP, if not, a retired army officer would have become an IG.
â€ We all need to support the police as the issue of security is not only a problem of the police.”
Commending the efforts of the present IGP, Ibrahim Idris in looking after the welfare of his men, he urged him to be open-minded and always tell his officers the truth and not what they wanted to hear.
On the issue of insecurity, especially on highways, he called on the federal government and the IGP to establish 10 police stations within one kilometer on the highways to aid speedy response.
Earlier in his speech, the IG said he was entreating the FG for special courts to facilitate speedy trial of suspected kidnappers currently in their custody nationwide.Â
He also stressed the need to bring policing closer to the people, especially as regard tackling the issue of kidnapping and sundry crimes and bring suspects to justice.Â
He said: “We are working towards getting special courts to try kidnapping cases and if you remember while I was addressing my officers and men at the Police College, I told them that we are building more area commands to bring us closer to the people.
“We are building more Police Mobile Squadron units in various parts of the country to take care of violent crimes and we believe with the support of the National Assembly for passing the Police Trust Fund bill,Â Â the police will be well positioned to tackle whatever challenges we are going to have any time in the country.Â Â
“Like I suggested at various fora, what we need to address in this issue of kidnapping is to have a change in legislation, probably creating a special court for kidnapping.
“Another thing is limiting the period of trial of suspects. It should be shortened so that within one or two months the accused persons are sentenced because I believe with those changes, things would take their normal shape.Â
“As I speak now, we have over 1000 kidnappers in police stations nationwide. So, if we can have this innovation attached to the issue of kidnapping, I believe it will come to an end very soon.â€
Also on the arrest of the notorious billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudi Onwuamadike alias Evans, he said he would soon be charged to court.Â
He said: â€œI am sure you all followed the jubilation that followed the arrest of the billionaire kidnapped, Chukwudi Onuamadike alias Evans in Lagos recently.
â€œEfforts are daily made to arrest otherÂ Â suspected kidnappers and bandits in various parts of the country.â€Â
The Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, represented by his deputy, Idiat Adebule said: “In recent times, Nigerians have been faced with security challenges on multiple fronts which I believe are not insurmountable if we adopt the right strategies and also strengthen the synergy between security agencies and members of the public, especially on intelligence sharing.Â
“Developing effective solution to emerging security challenges must therefore take into consideration the deployment, through appropriate technology and strengthening the bond with the people through community policing.Â
“Although the issue of state police has not gained the desired consensus, I believe strongly that it is the panacea for effective policing that is community based.
“It is a common knowledge that the numerical strength of the Nigeria police as at today falls short of the minimum requirement relative to our population.Â
“For instance, Lagos State, with a population of over 22 million has less than 30,000 officers and men.