By Kingsley Nwezeh
Determined to avert any further civil unrest stemming from misconduct of police personnel, federal government yesterday inaugurated the Police Public Complaints Committee (PPCC).
The inauguration of the committee is coming as the new Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Usman Alkali Baba, said his appointment as the 21st Inspector-General of Police was a call to national duty and vowed to restore the primacy of the Nigerian Police in securing lives and property.
Inaugurating the committee in Abuja yesterday, Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Dingyadi, said the committee was designed as a permanent structure that would prevent civil unrest with its concomitant effects and disruptive tendencies by providing the populace with the opportunity to channel their grievances on the misconduct of police personnel to the appropriate quarters for necessary action.
“The Police Public Complaints Committee is created as a specialised institution to deal strictly with public complaints against police personnel.
“The overriding objective of the PPCC is to serve as an institution that has oversight on the activities of police personnel viz-a-viz their interaction with the public,” he said.
According to him “it is obvious that the current habit of the public lodging complaints against police personnel at police stations or at various police commands has not given the desired solutions to aggrieved Nigerians”.
The minister said the PPCC was designed to have a sub-committee to be known as a special investigation unit made up of professionals charged with the responsibility of in-depth analysis and thorough investigation of cases brought before it and proffer recommendations.
The membership of the committee is drawn from the Ministry of Police Affairs, Police Service Commission, Ministry of Justice, National Human Rights Commission, a Non-Governmental Organisation (CLEEN Foundation) and Nigerian Police Force.
Other members include Police Community Relations Committee, Department of State Services and the Police Inspectorate Department (Secretariat).
Meanwhile, speaking while receiving the insignia of office from his predecessor, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, the new Inspector-General of Police, Baba, said his appointment as IG was a call to national duty.
He said in view of the security challenges the nation was grappling with, he would be focused on restoring the primacy of the Nigerian Police in tackling insecurity.
“Being appointed to head the largest Police Force in Africa both in terms of personnel profile and operational jurisdiction is to me, more than a fulfillment of destiny. It is a call to national duty, particularly, at this critical time that our nation is experiencing increasingly complex and pervasive security threats occasioned by terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, secessionist agitation and sundry highly organized crimes.
“Much as the challenge of leading the Force to address these threats in the shortest possible time frame, restore security order, and return our beloved nation to the path of national unity may appear daunting, I am inspired by the fact that from my extensive years of service, I can confidently say that the Nigeria Police is endowed with some of the finest, courageous and patriotic officers who, undoubtedly, shall support me to advance the internal security vision of Mr. President”, he said.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for finding him worthy of his appointment and commended the former IG for the enviable legacy he left which he hoped to consolidate.