President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the increase of the salary of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to boost the personnel’s morale.
He assured the men and officers of the NPF that his administration would not relent in giving priority to the welfare and operational needs of the service with a view to restoring its supremacy in the country’s internal security.
The President spoke yesterday at the State House, Abuja with members of the Nigeria Police Service Commission and the leadership of the NPF who were on a “thank you” visit for his approval of the Rank Salary Structure Adjustment, which raises the salaries, allowances and pensions of policemen.
Buhari stated that the inability of the police to play their constitutional role as the frontline force in the prevention of crime led to the military’s involvement in civil duties such as maintaining law and order in the country.
In a statement issued on the meeting by his media aide, Garba Shehu, the President was quoted as saying that “from Taraba to Sokoto, to the South-South, Nigerians don’t feel secure until they see the military. I am pleased to make the increase in salary and allowances in the hope that it will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system.”
Buhari said that the more efficient the police are, the more confidence the government and the citizens would reposed on the force.
According to him, “the military should be reserved for higher tasks. The police should be able to cope well with the challenges of armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom and such crimes.
“In every town and village, there is the presence of the police. From all these places, they should be able to forward first class intelligence to you on which to act.
“There is a need to amplify the question of more men of the police, especially given the condition we are in – emergency in the North-East, pervasive insecurity and abduction for ransom and banditry in many parts of the country.
“I congratulate you on the success you recorded against criminals taxing people and stopping them from their farms. We are expecting more from you,” Buhari told the police.
A commissioner in the Nigeria Police Service Commission, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi (rtd), who represented the chairman, Musiliu Smith, told the President that the Rank Salary Structure Adjustment would enhance police welfare and boost their morale.
The inspector-general of police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, promised that the police would redouble their efforts at ensuring free, fair and credible elections in the country next year.
Police To Destroy 10,000 Illegal Arms Before 2019 Elections
Meanwhile, the Police High Command has announced plans to destroy the 10, 000 illegal firearms and prohibited weapons recovered from members of the public before the 2019 elections.
The recovered prohibited weapons included artillery, apparatus for the discharge of any explosives of gas diffusing projectile, rocket weapons, bombs and grenades.
Others are machine guns and machine-pistols, military rifles of the calibres 7.62 mm, 9mm, .300 inches, revolvers and pistols, whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols).
There are also pump-action guns of all categories and other firearms /lethal weapons fabricated to kil.
IGP Idris, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, said that the destruction of the arms would be carried out before the 2019 general elections.
Idris said: “The government and people expect much from us in ensuring security and safety as we go into the 2019 elections. The force will no longer tolerate laxity on the part of any commissioner of police who fails to be proactive in dealing with crisis and other violent crimes in their areas of jurisdiction.
“We have to do more in ensuring adequate security throughout the country from now on till the 2019 elections and beyond,” he said.
The IGP had constituted a committee for the destruction of 10,000 illegal firearms and prohibited weapons recovered from members of the public.
He said that the arms to be destroyed were recovered during the recent nationwide weapons mop-up operations by the police, following recurring violent attacks on innocent Nigerians by gunmen.
The committee to handle the exercise is headed by the deputy inspector-general of police (Operations), while the members are the United Nations (UN) organs, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Presidential Committee on Prohibition of Small Arms and Light Weapons and other critical stakeholders
We’re Ready For 2019 General Elections – IGP
Also yesterday, IGP Idris declared that the police are ready for the conduct of hitch-free 2019 general elections.
He told State House correspondents yesterday after members of the Nigeria Police Service Commission and the NPF met with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja that his men and officers had performed creditably well in recent elections which had prepared them for the general elections.
Idris said: “We are ready, we have gone round the country, we have conducted several bye-elections which obviously prepared us to face the main challenge next year.
“I am assuring all Nigerians that we are going to do our best in ensuring that we have a free and credible election next year.
“Obviously, we have the equipment but if we can get more, we will appreciate it,’’ he said.