By Christopher Oji
The Nigeria Police Force has begun retraining its officers and men to face new challenges. Daily Sun learnt that the force is perturbed by the negative perception of its agents by members of the public. It regreted that the average Nigerian sees the police force as an enemy and does not seem to believe the slogan “the police is your friend.”
The police establishment is also concerned that most policemen and women have attitudinal issues that do not augur well for its reputation and operations. Against this backdrop, the force has started retraining its officers and men to be abreast with international best practices in policing.
Recently, the police held a three-day, special training at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, for policemen from Zone II command, comprising Ogun and Lagos states commands.
The facilitator of the training, Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Kayode Aderanti, said the exercise was to re-orientate the participants to be in tune with modern techniques of policing, especially intelligence-led policing, ethics and professional conduct and improved police-public relationships.
In his opening speech, former President Olusegun Obasanjo commended the police authorities for focusing on training and retraining.
He said: “This is the only way the police will meet with the challenges of policing. We are now living in a world ruled by Internet technology. Therefore, without training, policing the world will be a difficult task.”
Obasanjo further noted that “the bi-annual special training and capacity development seminar for police officers, is a welcome development. There is no substitute for training; security operatives should be in tune with the best practices, which their contemporaries in other parts of the globe are used to.”
Obasanjo, who turned 80 recently, restated that all human institutions need constant appraisal, regeneration, introspection and training and, therefore, challenged the police to be up-to-date with what obtains in other lands.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, who commended Aderanti for organising the exercise, said what he did was in line with one of the focal points of the NPF, which was training and retraining.
He observed that the force needed to be a step ahead of criminals, and that could only be achieved through training and retraining in order to improve the efficiency and performance of the force.
Aderanti noted that the objective of the training was to build capacity for the police as well as to ensure professionalism among them.
“This is a special training and capacity-development seminar. It is no longer news that the world today is fast changing. And anyone who does not adapt accordingly will be outdated fast and, consequently, become irrelevant.
“The advent of technology and globalisation and their resultant effects on crime have made it necessary for security agencies to be on top in order to succeed at mitigating the ever-changing face of crime.
“Obsolete techniques will not work in dealing with contemporary issues. We, as a security agency, need to be at least a step ahead of criminals. This can only be achieved through requisite training and retraining.
“In line with the drive of the IGP, Ibrahim Idris, for democratic policing and international best practices, I took it upon myself to kick-start the process, which has culminated in the actualisation of this training.
“I must thank most profoundly former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, for creating time to grace the opening ceremony of this event and for his words of wisdom. I thank also former IGP, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, for his presence and invaluable words of advice.
“I express my undying loyalty and appreciation to IGP Idris, for supporting this worthy initiative and for finding time to be here in person. I profoundly thank Dr. Charles Omole of Prodel Global Services for coming all the way from the UK to lecture officers of the Nigeria Police Force.”
The UK, in the course of the three-day training, focused on intelligence-led policing, ethics and professional conduct in policing and improving police-public relationships.
Speaking on the importance of improving police-public relationships, Omale noted that: “This is one of the most strategic topics in this training programme. It is one that we as a force must begin to tackle and improve upon so that we can build a bridge between the NPF and the general public by communicating clearly and openly with the Nigerian people.
“This training will also strengthen the police in the use of social media and modern technology to better engage the public.”
A total of 120 policemen participated at the event. The participants included 51 chief superintendents of police and assistant superintendents of police, 25 inspectors as well as 44 rank and file. They expressed gratitude to the IGP and AIG, for the wealth of experience gained during the training.
One of the participants, Chinedu Iwuozo, the officer in charge of Marine Police, said: “It was a period of stock-taking, to appreciate our values and to help us perform better. Already, the police are used to constant training and re-training. We have weekly and monthly lectures and even the commissioner of police and the assistant inspector-general of police lectures.”