President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday declared that it was regrettable that the police had failed in their constitutional role as the frontline force in the prevention of crime.
The failure, he said, led to military involvement in the maintenance of law and order throughout the country.
He made the declaration just as he pledged that his administration would continue to give attention to the welfare and operational needs of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
That, according to him, would be with a view to restoring police’s lost primacy in the internal security framework of the country.
Buhari, according to his media aide, Mr. Femi Adesina, spoke during an audience in State House, Abuja with members of the Nigeria Police Service Commission and the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force on a “Thank You” visit following his approval of Rank Salary Structure Adjustment, by which salary, allowances and pension of policemen will be increased.
The president said as a result of the deficiency of the police force, Nigerian did not feel secure any longer except the military was drafted in.
“From Taraba to Sokoto, to the South-South, people don’t feel secure until they see the military. I am pleased to make the increase in salary and allowances in the hope that it will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system.”
President Buhari observed that the more efficient the police was, the more confident the government and citizens would be.
According to him, “The military should be reserved for higher tasks. The police should be able to cope well with the challenges of armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom and such crimes. In every town and village, there is the presence of the police. From all these places, they should be able to forward first class intelligence to you on which to act.”
“There is a need to amplify the question of more men of the police, especially given the condition we are in – emergency in the North-East, pervasive insecurity and abduction for ransom and banditry in many parts of the country. I congratulate you on the success you recorded against criminals taxing people and stopping them from their farms. We are expecting more from you,” the President told the police.
Full-time Commissioner in the Nigeria Police Service Commission, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi (rtd), who represented the chairman, Musiliu Smith, had informed the President that the Rank Salary Structure Adjustment would enhance police welfare and morale.
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, also assured that the police would redouble efforts to ensure free, fair and credible elections throughout the country next year.