President Muhammadu Buhari has accused the Nigerian police develop measures to address threats to the nation’s internal security, as they may have a negative impact on the peaceful conduct of the 2023 elections.
Buhari took office on Monday when he declared open a three-day retreat for senior police officers in Owerri, the capital of Imo state.
The theme of the conference was “The Imperative of a Nigerian Police Strategic Plan for Peaceful Elections”.
The president, who reiterated his commitment to democratic values and strong democratic institutions, also urged the police to remain apolitical, steadfast and loyal to the nation’s political values.
According to him, no nation advances its democracy and achieves its socioeconomic growth and development without an effective police system.
Buhari said his administration had prioritized critical reforms in the Nigerian Police Force to effectively overhaul the internal security mandate and democratic governance.
He said he agreed with the Nigerian Trust Fund Bill to provide a legal framework for an enhanced funding regime for the force.
The president added that he has passed the Nigerian Police Force Academy Bill to give legal recognition to the institution to achieve its futuristic workforce development programs.
“I also passed a new and adequate salary and welfare regimen that aligns police pay with critical functions of the state, while also passing and releasing a fund to recruit 10,000 police officers annually to address the vast workforce gap. work in force.
“Furthermore, I approved the adoption of the community police model as the country’s internal security strategy.
“As part of the force reengineering program, the federal government is currently working with some development partners to strengthen the police reform agenda.
“My desire is to restore the primacy of the police force in building public trust and professionalism.
“My vision is also to bequeath to the nation a police force that is not only modernized but well-funded, properly equipped, and appropriately refocused to effectively police our democracy and ensure a stable internal security order under targeted technological leadership. by citizens. -driven by the rule of law guided by intelligence-based surveillance,”.
Mr. Buhari praised the professionalism exhibited by the police’s internal operating standards as reflected in the elections in Edo, Anambra and Osun states.
Therefore, he charged the Inspector General of Police to uphold his leadership standards to ensure a level playing field and a safe public space for citizens to freely exercise their right to vote.
He said that the election result should accurately reflect the people’s choices.
In his welcoming remarks, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo expressed satisfaction that the state has become the preferred destination and host for such a security event.
“I have no doubt that hosting these events will help reassure residents and visitors alike that the Imo State is safe again for business and tourism.
“I think the presence of the top ranks of the police and other security forces in the state will help strengthen our security as a people,” he said.
Uzodimma praised the cordial relationship between his administration and security agencies, as well as the containment of insecurity in the state.
He promised to remain a champion of free, fair and credible elections, but advised against violence or heating up politics.
The governor urged the conference to find lasting solutions to the threats that electoral losers pose to the country’s peace.
Nigerian police officers
He suggested that the conference’s strategic plans should include a recommendation that all candidates in the election take an oath to denounce violence.
“They also need to commit and sign a commitment that all disputes over election results can only be challenged through legal proceedings and that the parties to the disputes must be bound by the process,” he suggested.
He noted that the post-election violence contributed to a major threat to the nation’s democracy.
He called on the government and the private sector to support the police, noting that the protection of life and property must be everyone’s concern.
“Help them with the operations, communications, logistics and technologies necessary for greater police efficiency,” he appealed.
He reiterated his unconditional support for the security agencies to make their work easier, safer and more efficient in the state.
Also speaking, the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba, commended Mr. Buhari for his support and approval of all his requests to ensure the safety of life and property in the country.
Mr. Baba noted that the retreat would allow participants to discuss issues related to the role of the police and the internal security process to ensure peaceful, safe, free, fair and credible general elections in 2023.
In his remarks, the Chief of Defense Staff, Lucky Irabor, pledged to provide further support to the Nigerian Police to address the country’s internal security, especially during the 2023 general election.
Also speaking, Police Affairs Minister Mohammed Dingyadi urged Nigerian Police leaders to see the persistent call for the creation of a police state as a persuasive wish for federated units to enjoy stronger policing.
Dignitaries attending the opening event included Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni, service chiefs, anti-corruption agency heads, INEC officials, retired DIG, AIG, IG, as well as traditional rulers, among others.