Tinubu: We Will Transform Police By Fixing Institutional Mentality Of Officers

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Monday night, said complete overhaul of institutional mentality and memory of police officers were fundamental in his administration’s ongoing bid to transform the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) into a modern, professional and accountable institution.

Tinubu explained that since coming on board last year, his government has initiated wide-ranging reforms to revitalise the nation’s police force. He declared every April 7 as ‘Police National Day’.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Police Awards and Commendations ceremony in Abuja, the president stressed the need to engage men and women of the force in training and capacity-building to equip them with the requisite expertise to carry out the arduous task of modern policing.

Tinubu, who was represented by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, listed part of the comprehensive reforms of his administration to rejuvenate the police force to include investment in training and capacity-building.

He said this would ensure that police officers were equipped with the knowledge, skills, values, and expertise required to tackle the complex challenges of modern policing, assuring them that the government would upgrade equipment and technology to enhance operational effectiveness and efficiency of the force.

“This includes acquiring fit-for-purpose equipment, weapons, ammunition, and armoured carriers to provide cover and protection for officers in combat situations.

“These endeavours will be supported by suitable measures to enhance the status of our officers and personnel both during their service and after retirement,” he further stated.

The president also explained why the federal government approved the first week of April as police week and the last day of the week as National Police Day.

“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, in our tradition of honouring the Police Force in the life of this great nation, we have approved the adoption of the first week of April as Police Week. Furthermore, the last day of the week, the 7th of April, is hereby declared National Police Day in Nigeria.

“Tonight, I must remind you that we don’t see you as just the shields of the nation. We don’t see you as robots. This is why we are here. We are here to humanise you,” he declared.

Delivering the president’s speech titled: “Courage Under Fire: A Bouquet for Our Police Force,” the vice-president said at a time in Nigeria’s history when the nation’s security architecture was being stretched beyond elastic limits, the citizens had been able to endure in the face of security threats as well as attacks on their lives and livelihoods due to the commitment of the police.

“Your exemplary valour doesn’t only represent the pinnacle of patriotism that binds us but also instils confidence that brighter days lie just beyond the horizon,” President Tinubu added.

According to him, this administration had been unequivocal about its resolve to transform the Nigeria Police Force into “a modern, professional, and accountable institution that mirrors the aspirations and values” of the nation.

He said, “Our idea of a modern police force goes beyond superficial changes like repainting office buildings and residences or simply procuring firearms. 

“True reform of our security doctrine and its architecture necessitates recognising the importance of administering justice and adhering to our ethical values to foster stability and order in the nation.

“The transformation we seek must transcend mere policy and infrastructure; it requires a fundamental overhaul of our institutional mentality and memory.”

In his goodwill message, the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, commended the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, for recognising the hard work, resilience and patriotism of the officers and men of the police force.

Expressing his delight and that of the National Assembly for celebrating the well-deserved officers of the force, the Senate President said the decision to celebrate the nation’s unsung heroes would pave the way for a new police force in the country. 

His words: “The leadership of the police understands the role of police force in a democratic dispensation. I commend the Inspector General of Police and I commend the police officers for the work of sacrifice and for maintaining peace and order in our communities.

“As we commend the good officers, let us weed out the bad ones among the police force,” Akpabio stated, adding that, ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Egbetokun applauded Tinubu for his support to the force, as well as his administration’s efforts in ensuring the nation’s security forces were up to their game.

To the recipients of the awards and commendations, the police IG assured them that their “dedication, courage and selflessness are truly inspiring,” adding that, their contributions to the force would be remembered for many years to come.

Speaking, also, Chairman of the Police Service Commission and former IG, MrSolomon Arase, advocated improved welfare package for men and women of the Nigeria Police Force, noting that enhanced wellbeing of the personnel would improve their overall performance in securing lives and property. 

He commended the Tinubu administration for the support so far given to the police force, even as he pledged the cooperation of the Police Service Commission for the transformation of the force.

Those who also delivered goodwill messages included the Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf; Minister of Police Affairs, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam; Chief of DefenceStaff, General Christopher Musa; and former IGP, Chief Sunday Ehindero.

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