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•Begin sensitisation campaign
The Nigeria Police Force (NPF), has decried the minimal interest shown by people from South-west and South-east zones in the ongoing recruitment exercise for other ranks compared to their counterparts in the North.
However, as part of measures to tackle this, the police force, had begun a sensitisation campaign championed by the Police Service Commission (PSC).
In Lagos, at the sensitisation campaign, PSC Chairman, Musiliu Smith, said efforts should be made to encourage upright and responsible citizens to apply for recruitment in the police force.
Themed “One Day Sensitisation/Town Hall Meeting on Police Recruitment Exercise”, the event was held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja.
According to him, if the educated and upright young ones were motivated to join and remain in the police, the country would definitely be on the way to having the right number of men and women needed for efficient police force.
Smith noted at the meeting that the police and policing were indispensable to a peaceful and growing country, determined to change the narrative on the issue of her internal security.
“We must continuously raise the alarm if we notice that some criminal elements in our community are applying to join the police with the recommendation of some community leaders. We must, therefore, all come together as a community to ensure that only the best are recruited into the Nigerian Police.
“The PSC has adopted an approach to improving police, citizens relationships through community engagement forums such as this one, where issues that affects citizens are addressed and endeavour to keep the conversations going.
“The purpose of providing security and safety is defeated if the police as a security organisation is contaminated with persons, who are criminally-minded owing to the poor caliber of those applying for recruitment.
“No one knows better the character of its citizens than members of the community. Therefore, citizens are encouraged to kindly urge people of good character to join the force. Those applying for intake should take the process seriously by preparing very well for the examination to give them the best possible chance of success,” he said.
He, however, added that citizens should endeavour to encourage serving police officers by reporting and commending professionalism and acts of valor to relevant authorities as much as they regularly report misconducts by bad eggs.
He also alleged that some of the officers were not interested in improving themselves educationally, when they eventually join the force.
In his remarks, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the town hall meeting was very important, and that, “What we have observed over the years is that the number of people joining the service has been dribbling and we wonder why that is happening”.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Mrs Folashade Jaji, Secretary to the Lagos State Government, said it has been observed over the years that the number of people joining the police and armed forces had reduced.
His words: “We wonder why that is happening, and we believe we should encourage the youth to join the Nigerian police and other armed forces. We may not appreciate the importance of encouraging them to join the police and other armed forces in the future. When we are all retired, will there still be people in the police force that we can still go to for help?
“We found out that Lagos State indigenes are under-represented and we urge the appropriate persons to work towards this. It means we will not have people to run to in the future. I encourage them to join the police and other force.
“Maybe our youths are not encouraged by the behaviour of our police hence they are not joining. There is also need to take care of the police welfare and needs.
“In some places, where you see the police, you admire them and want to join, because the right thing has been done in taking care of them. I am also to tell the commissioners to also do the needful so that the police force can act responsibly.”
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, who was also represented by a retired AIG, Olusola Subair, said, “We all need to know that we can only attain prosperity in an ambience of security. To the police, we need to do a lot of homework that will make people to be attracted to the job.
“The police officer must know that a little effort can go a long way to change the way you are perceived by the public. There has to be an effort to change the motive.”
Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2, AIG Bode Adeleke, in his remarks, said there is need to encourage the youths to join the police force.
Chairman, Orile Agege Local Government, Hon Johnson Sunday Babatunde, on his part, said, “All the stakeholders should go back home to tell our people to bring in their youths into the force.
“Also, we should bear it in mind that police are integral parts of our lives, so they should portray the force as the friend of the community, either in their dressing, attitude and action.”