Police cut govs’ security details from 150 to 62
THE Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has taken steps to tackle the challenge of inadequate personnel in policing the country by drastically reducing the number of men and officers deployed to each of the state governors from 150 to 62.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, who disclosed this in Lagos at the weekend, said the police force needed to quickly beef up its 305,000 personnel, a number he said was insufficient to police the country, especially in the face of current security challenges.
Also affected by the new policy are undeserving private individuals who go about with police escorts as such privilege, except when absolutely necessary, has been withdrawn. But the police boss explained that a few frontline religious leaders could still enjoy limited escorts because of the crowds they control as well as the danger of exposing them to potential harm.
Explaining the rationale for the reduction of personnel posted to state governors, Arase said if the trend was allowed to continue, the police force would be left with less than 150,000 men excluding ‘professional service’ officers – lawyers, doctors, engineers among others – who are not active in conventional policing.
According to the IGP, the decision is propelled by the fact that the available number of police personnel in the country is grossly insufficient to secure more than 160 million Nigerians. He explained that the shortfall necessitated the recently announced plan by the Federal Government to recruit 10,000 policemen.
Arase, however, hinted that the recruitment would be taken care of in the 2016 budget because the cost was not originally factored into the current (2015) budget.
The IGP’s stance on the matter, according to security experts, was triggered by the highhandedness of state governors some of who allegedly control more than 150 policemen before Arase assumed office. In fact, a South South governor is reportedly ‘taking care’ of about 170 policemen provided for him by the Federal Government.
Arase also hinted of plans by the police to encourage community policing and use of locals to protect oil pipelines across the country, saying that official policing might not be able to stop pipeline vandalism due to the location of the assets.