The president announced FG’s intention to provide one helicopter per state command.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday urged officers of the Nigerian Police Force to be mindful of the rights of citizens while doing their job.
The President gave the charge while commissioning 275 patrol vans, seven helicopters, 17 Armoured Personnel Carriers, APC, and other equipment for the Police Force at a ceremony held at the Eagle Square in Abuja, to mark the end of the Nigerian Police Force Week, the first to be held in 37 years.
He advised police officers to have regards for human dignity and the sanctity of life in the course of their duties.
“I will also charge the Police that while doing their work to be mindful of the rights of ordinary citizens because that is very sensitive. While policing us you must know that the rights of the citizens of this country must be protected.
“In that regard respect, maximum discipline from officers and men of the Nigerian Police is required,’’ he said.
The president decried the poor maintenance of equipment by Nigerians and urged the police to ensure it maintains the equipment so as to get maximum results.
“In the issue of the equipment, one thing I will urge the Police to do is the issue of maintenance. As a nation we are not too good in maintaining what we have. Presently, that aspect is improving because my interaction with the armed forces they have set up a very formidable team that now maintain their equipments, the Police should do the same so that these equipment will last the time it is expected to last.
“Also we must emphasise the need to train. For you to remain functional in whatever you do, and especially in security services, training is very paramount. So you must train with the equipment so that our men and women in the Police Force will have confidence in themselves and they will continue to operate as gallant men and women.
“The Police must be well equipped and kitted to protect us while on land, while in water and also in the air,” he said.
Helicopter for each state in Nigeria
The President further announced that the Federal Government is committed to ensuring that each state command across the country has a helicopter.
“My commitment is that every state command must have helicopter. This is the commitment of government and that is why we set up a special fund because the idea that armed robber will take over a city and be operating for three hours and no challenge must be a thing of the past,” he said, adding that the government was determined to reposition the security sector for a more effective policing of the country.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to lend their full support to the police as the officers are noble men and women drawn from “our neighbourhood families and society; who have dedicated themselves to our protection and well being. In return all officers and men of the force must rise to the challenges that face us”.
The President condoled with the families of officers and men of the Police that lost their lives in the course of the security challenges faced by Nigeria. He assured that government will continue to remember their loved ones who had served the nation, as well as the family members.
While commissioning the equipment, the president said he expected that the equipment will “enhance Police capability in the prevention of crimes and deployment in emergency situations. They shall be instrument of justice and protection of all men and women of goodwill”.
In his welcome address, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, said the resuscitation of the Police Week signified that police was returning to the basics aimed at restoring public confidence in the police.
According to him, it also provides an opportunity for police authorities to reappraise their activities in the last one year; especially as they relate to the security challenge confronting the nation and crime fighting.
“The Police is returning to the basics and the traditional values and practices of the Force are being restored. Today, the Force leadership is giving practical meaning to its firm determination to restore the lost glory of the Force and re-enact those practices which bind the citizens to their police and elicit fond memories of the Force.
“The week provides veritable window to reappraise our achievements in an increasingly complex security and crime environment, while also identifying our peculiar challenges in the fight against crime”, Mr. Abubakar said.
He thanked President Jonathan for supporting his vision to transform the police and for rewarding “deserving officers who have displayed exceptional gallantry and professional excellence in the line of duty and those that have paid the supreme sacrifice while discharging their constitutional mandate.” Presidential awards were presented to 17 police officers at the event.
Also speaking, the Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade, thanked the President for supporting the police reform agenda especially the move to upgrade the Police Academy in Kano to a degree awarding institution.
As part of the ceremony, the President presented a presidential commendation awards to some officers and men who have distinguished themselves in the course of duty.
The police event caused a traffic snarl as most parts of the Abuja Central Area where the Eagle Square, venue of the event, is, was cordoned off.
Commuters complained of the difficulty in transporting themselves to their various destinations; and the loss of man power hours caused by the road blockage.
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