Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the police to step up their roles in the prevention of crime, so as not to involve the military in the maintenance of law and order in the country.
The president also gave Nigerians the assurance that his administration will continue to give priority attention to the welfare and operational needs of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) so as to restore its lost primacy in the internal security framework of the country.
President Buhari, who made the commitment during a chat with members of the Nigeria Police Service Commission (PSC) and the leadership of the NPF, who paid him a thank-you visit at the State House, Abuja, Monday, regretted that the inability of the police in their constitutional role as the frontline force in the prevention of crime, had led to the military’s involvement in the maintenance of law and order throughout the country.
The president had approved Rank Salary Structure Adjustment, by which the salary, allowances and pension of policemen will be increased.
According to the president, “From Taraba to Sokoto, to the South-south, people don’t feel secure until they see the military. I am pleased to make the increase in salary and allowances in the hope that it will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system.”
President Buhari observed that the more efficient the police is, the more confident the government and citizens will be.
He said: “The military should be reserved for higher tasks. The police should be able to cope well with the challenges of armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom and such crimes. In every town and village, there is the presence of the police. From all these places, they should be able to forward first class intelligence to you on which to act.
“There is a need to amplify the question of more men of the police, especially given the condition we are in – emergency in the North-east, pervasive insecurity and abduction for ransom and banditry in many parts of the country. I congratulate you on the success you recorded against criminals taxing people and stopping them from their farms. We are expecting more from you.”
A full-time Commissioner in the Nigeria Police Service Commission, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi (rtd), who represented the chairman, Musiliu Smith, had informed the president that the Rank Salary Structure Adjustment would enhance police welfare and morale.
The Inspector General of Police (IG) Ibrahim Idris also assured the president that the police would redouble their efforts to ensure free, fair and credible elections throughout the country next year.