The institutions being used to train Nigerian police officers are decayed and cannot produce the best police officers the country needs to get better, an official has said.
The Commandant, Police Staff College, Joseph Mbu, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos on Sunday.
To begin addressing the decay, Mr. Mbu, an Assistant Inspector General of Police, urged the Federal Government to set up a special committee to visit police formations in the country.
“There is decay; there is neglect; what we have on ground is not conducive for the reform programme we all yearn for,” the controversial police boss said. “Many projects in the training institutions have been abandoned.”
He stressed that the nation must invest more in the police force so as to get the best service from it and effect the change crucial for a better Nigeria.
“Nigerians want an improved police force in line with the change mantra, but the institutions that train the personnel are in a state of utter decay,” he said.
He held that management and personnel of the police were doing a lot, and that officers on strategic courses in the college would feel more encouraged, for instance, if they were fed by the force.
“That gesture would give them the time to fully concentrate without distractions.
“The police profile is rising, but there is no need for course participants here to feed themselves; government should feed them to make them feel cared for and that will in turn ginger them to make more sacrifices for the nation.”
On the officers recently trained on strategic leadership and command by the college, he said that they must be courageous and lead their teams like lions.
“I have often told the officers that a team of lions led by a sheep will behave like a sheep, while a team of sheep led by a lion will behave like a lion”, he said.
He challenged officers to be hardworking and exemplary, saying he had always emphasised an “iron handling of the personnel” as the best strategy toward maximum output.
Mr. Mbu cautioned trainees, usually of the commissionership cadre, against greed and lust for material things, and insisted that they must stand up for truth and tell leaders the implications of crude tactics they may want to pursue.
“You could be posted as a police commissioner to a state where the governor, as chief security officer, may want to lord it over you, but you must assert the fact that you will be responsible for controlling any trouble whenever it starts,” said the police chief whose tenure as Rivers’ Police Commissioner witnessed a lot of violence and confrontation between him and the then governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
“So, you must insist on doing only what is right and say no when asked to do the wrong thing.
“You should not disrespect the governor, but you must insist that respect must be mutual.
“It is also important to know that your name, status and integrity will be in the mud immediately you start compromising your roles just to get some reward; it takes nothing less than 27 years to become a police commissioner, so do not play with your dignity.”
He advised police officers to assess their personnel based on hard work instead of asking for “any returns”, and promised that the force would stoutly defend any officer who made genuine mistakes in the course of his duties.
Mr. Mbu also advised them against abusing their powers, stressing that all obligations must be within regulation.