By Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja
The Federal Government has opened discussion with Chad and Niger authorities on the date Boko Haram refuges residing in the two countries would return to Nigeria.
This comes as the government deployed 3000 policemen and 2,000 civil defence personnel in towns and villages reclaimed from the Boko Haram sect in Borno and Yobo states.
“We have made some deployments of police and civil defence; 3,000 policemen and 2,000 civil defence men are in towns and communities in the North East”, a source at the presidency and Ministry of Defence.
He lamented that the deployment of security personnel followed what he called some negative developments in the freed areas.
According to him, it was discovered that Boko Haram members were returning to communities liberated by the military, explaining that the government had to act swiftly to check the ugly development.
“We have met with Chad and Niger on the return of refugees that reside there,” the source said.
Meanwhile, major reforms are underway for police and other paramilitary agencies to help refocus and reenergise the parastatals, Daily Sun gathered. The reforms, currently being worked out by a government committee centre mainly on the mode of appointment and selection of new Inspector General of Police, Comptroller General of Immigration and Prisons.
According to sources, when the new reforms are concluded, no police, immigration or prisons services officers would be considered for the position of IGP or Comptroller General if he or her has less than a year and six months left to retire from service.
“The new recommendation is that a new IG or Comptroller General of Immigration or Prisons must have up to 18 months before his or her retirement,” one of the sources disclosed.
“The reason for this reform is to ensure that somebody who is being appointed would have enough time to carry out policies and impact on the agency he is heading.
“It is not good that somebody who has less than a year is appointed to the position of IG or Comptroller and thenyou hear the person is pulling out or retiring. His impact would not be felt by his Organisation.”
The source disclosed that a high powered committee set up by the leadership of the Ministry of Interior is working on the new arrangement.
“A committee was set up to work out other details and the committee is doing its job”, he said.
As part of the reform , another source revealed that a bill that that will seek the operation of police academy under a law will be sent to the National Assembly in the next few weeks.
He explained that the move was informed by the realization that there is no law backing the operation of police academy at the moment.
“Government wants to legalize the operation of police academy. As at today Police Academy is not operating under any law . And that is shameful”, he said.
He said the reforming of the Police, Immigration and Prisons would place emphasis on training of staff and provision of facilities that would help the staff to discharge their duties.
He said “We will have to develop career pattern in our ministry. We have to train Prisons and Immigration staff . There are some staff who have spent 15 to 25 years without undergoing any training. That is absurd.”
On the issue of herdsmen and what the federal government is doing to end the controversies that have trailed their activities in different parts of the country, the source said the government will soon hold a town-hall meeting on the matter.
According to him, he said that everything effort must be made to ensure that herdsmen do not bear arms and do not engage in fatal confrontation with other Nigerians.