By Kingsley Omonobi & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – THE Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, explained Wednesday, that deaths, retirement as well as dismissal of some police personnel standing above 900,000 yearly, was responsible for frequent and mass recruitment into the Force.
This was even as he said 308, 000 police workforce was grossly inadequate for the effective policing of the more than 180 million people in the country.
Idris, who particularly noted that his organization suffered manpower shortage due largely to loss of 9,028 officers and men yearly, insisted that the development was necessitating the Force to embark on frequent mass recruitment so as to cover up the number.
He spoke at a monthly meeting with Commissioners of Police, CPs and above on at the Force Headquarters, in Abuja,regretting that the development had adversely impacted on the manpower of the Nigeria Police Force.
The police chief, while regretting that the workforce of the organisation was far below expectation to police a country of over 180 million population, also said the workforce was inadequate for the United Nations standard of 400 persons.
Although he said the federal government had given the nod to the Force to , adding that the federal government had given the Force the nod to recruit 6,000 policemen into the rank and file, he regretted that the Force was still suffering manpower problem.
Also speaking on issue of deployment of policemen provide security to private citizens, the police boss, while regretting the development, hinted that he would look into it with a view to reviewing it as soon as possible.
“The issue of manpower is one problem the Nigeria Police Force is facing. There is a need for us to have a police that will work for the generality of Nigerians,” he said. He said that he had directed police commissioners and zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, to compile the number of policemen attached to individuals in the country.
He said the meeting was called to discuss the disturbing proliferation of illegal firearms in the country with a view to curbing the menace. He explained the reasons for the meeting thus: ”We are here to dialogue on the issue of curbing of illegal arms and ammunitions in various parts and police commands in this country.
I call for this meeting so that we can have a comprehensive and intensive program for our 36, states command and Abuja, to look into the issue of curbing illegal arms and ammunitions in this country.
“I believe it is very necessary especially now that we are going into a political period and for the experiences we have, in Benue State and some parts of this country where the establishment of illegal militias and arming of these militias which I believe is not in the interest of this country.
“Therefore I decided to call the state commissioners of police of the commands, we now place it on them the responsibilities to conduct campaign in their various commands to establish structures to tackle this issue of threats and curbing of illegal arms and ammunitions in this country.
“So the essence of assembling the commissioners of police this morning is to insist on them on the formation of these structures to enable us to check the abuse of illegal arms and ammunitions in various parts of this country.”
While tasking the Commissioners of Police to begin campaign in their various states for citizens to submit their illegally acquired firearms to the police authorities, the IGP advocated the construction of what he called ‘public amories’ in all states of federation where they seized arms would be kept.
“Of course, if you look at the firearms acts, one of the provisions of the firearm act is the provision of what is called public armory in each command where these illegal weapons that are gathered will be stored.
“I don’t think there is any command in this country where these public armory has been constructed.
These are the issues I believe we can discuss with our commissioners of police the construction of these public armories meant to store illegal arms and ammunitions from various citizens of this country, “he said.