BY IGHO OYOYO, Abuja
A former Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, has called on the federal government to recruit more policemen into the Nigerian Police Force, in order to put an end to the challenges of insecurity that has eaten deep into the fabric of Nigeria.
Idris said that the reason insecurity was thriving in the country, was because the Nigeria Police Force is currently overstretched and the welfare of policemen needed to be looked into.
The former IGP, who made this known while addressing journalists in Abuja, explained that the numerical strength of the police force, compared to the nation’s population, shows it’s obviously overstretched, hence the problem of insecurity persists.
“The issue is that the police is overstretched, they are operating at a very low level compared to the population of this country. Within a period of time, if we can increase the population of the police to tackle the insecurity challenges, that will assist a lot.
“Also, the government should tackle adequately the requirements of the police, in terms of welfare and other basic needs. If they handle that adequately, this country would be adequately policed,” Idris said.
The former Police boss noted that although the federal government has done a lot to improve the welfare of the policemen, it still needed to do more so that Nigerian Police can be compared to Police Force in other developed countries.
“A lot still needs to be done to improve the strength of the police, for them to be able to adequately tackle the crime in the country,” he said.
Idris, who opposed the idea of state policing and other regional security outfits, said they will only create more problems of tackling the existing insecurity issues, saying it would be better to address the issue of the inadequacy of the police compared to number of personnel.
“This issue of regional security is also dampening the moral of serving policemen and I think that government should also tackle it urgently.
“It is not just establishing a unit, but you have to train and equip them to tatackle these criminal situations and they have to undergo training and once you do not do that, it is going to be a very difficult situation,” he said.
He further condemned in strong terms, the incessant attacks on police formations, as well as the operatives of the force, describing the attacks as very serious crime that is capable of demoralising the officers from effective discharge of their duties.
“Until we look into the causes of these attacks on policemen, the morale of police officers would continue to be dampened. The current IGP also needs to study the attack on policemen, because that thing is very dangerous, it dampens the morale of serving police officers and it affects even their inputs,” Idris added.