Some Lagos residents have urged the acting Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mohammed Adamu, to take more steps to change the face of the force in the country.
They spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday on the heels of Mr Adamu’s first steps to reposition the force.
Mr Adamu had, on Monday, ordered the immediate decentralization of operations of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit. Before the development, operations of SARS were centralised at the Force Headquarters.
He said with the new arrangement, commissioners of police in the 36 states and the FCT would assume full command and control of all SARS in their commands.
The police boss said, henceforth, the SARS unit in the force headquarters would be under the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID).
He also announced, among other things, the disbandment of the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) and Special Tactical Squad (STS) and other quasi-investigation and operation units of the force.
Babayemi Adeyemi, an artisan, said Mr Adamu should do more by setting up an independent task force to checkmate abuse of power by police officers and police brutality against civilians.
”The acting IGP should also look into the welfare of police officers so that they would not engage in bribery and corruption,” Mr Adeyemi said.
Zainab Sonde, a Lagos trader, said Mr Adamu must work on the image of the police in the eyes of the public.
She said that the saying, “Police is your friend” was a sharp contrast to how people are treated by the Nigeria police which did not make ordinary citizens see them as friends.
According to her, people spend too much money to bail people out of police cells.
She appealed to Mr Adamu to look into such issues to ensure bail is truly free as the slogan of the police force says.
Mrs Sonde also urged the acting IGP to ensure good security in the forthcoming elections as it was in 2015, and ensure that police officers are not partisan in carrying out their duties.
Oluwakayode Isaac, a storekeeper, said Mr Adamu should ensure policemen are well equipped and trained to combat crimes in the country.
Mr Isaac said steps must be put in place to check the activities of dubious officers who collect bribe and tarnish the image of the police, and those caught must be brought to book.
Amusa Sheriffdeen, a cleric, urged Mr Adamu to reinforce the directive of his predecessor, who ordered police checkpoints to be decreased to avoid extortion of the citizens.
He said the new police chief should also build on the security success made in the 2015 general election and other elections conducted under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Alex Adenuga, who works with a paramilitary organisation in Lagos, urged Mr Adamu to instill discipline in the personnel of the force so that they would be respected.
He also said that they should be charged on how to handle information given to them carefully so that the people would see them as friends.
A student, Abisola Sodeeq, said that the police should be made to really understand their roles as some of them seem to do things that were not expected of them.
‘In Lagos for instance, you see some policemen work hand in hand with motor park touts instead of arresting them, which is not supposed to be so,’’ she said.
Miss Sodeeq urged the new police chief to give a directive that will put a stop to such acts and if possible, use some people as examples.
NAN reports that the acting IGP had said on Monday that the capacity of personnel of the force would be enhanced towards situating its operations within the practice of intelligence-led policing.
He said that at the end of the reform, a protocol that would document its outcome would be developed.
The police boss had also charged the officers to remain dedicated to their duties by exhibiting the highest level of leadership and character. (NAN)