President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday appraised the security arrangements for this year’s general election and reminded leadership of the Nigeria Police of high expectations from them in relation to the provision of requisite security ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The President spoke at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, as he inaugurated Critical Operational Assets procured by the Nigeria Police Force.
President Buhari, while commending the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, for advancing the Police Reform Agenda of his Administration and for the several initiatives he had brought to the Force reminded him of the expectations.
According to him: “You should, however, be reminded of my high expectations of your leadership, particularly, in relation to the provision of requisite security that will engender not just stable security space ahead of the General Elections, but guarantee the credibility of the exercise.
“In this task, I call on the Inspector General of Police and indeed, all law enforcement agencies that will be complementing the police in the election security process to note that the eyes of the nation and the global community will be on you all.”
President Buhari reiterated the centrality of an efficient and responsive police force in strengthening of democracy and the essence of the Police Reform and Re-equipping Agenda which his administration has vigorously pursued:
“We are running a democratic system which is guided by the rule of law and the Police worldwide is recognized as the most symbolic agency within the democratic governance and rule of law process.
“Therefore, any nation that is desirous of deepening her democratic credentials and advancing the course of rule of law must prioritize the efficiency of her police institution”.
He reiterated his pledge to bequeath a credible democratic culture to the nation, and expressed satisfaction with the brief by the IGP during the meeting of the Council of State on Friday, February 10.
His words: “My pledge is to bequeath to the nation a democratic culture in which the Police will not only be apolitical and impartial during the 2023 General Elections, but also one in which the process will be peaceful and secure and the outcome truly reflective of the free will of the citizens.”
He added that he was delighted that the acquisition of the assets he was inaugurating was in tandem with his aspiration.
The President also commended successive leaderships of the Nigeria Police as well as the commitment of the current Inspector General of Police and his Management Team towards the Police Reform of his administration evidenced by notable activities and projects carried out including the recent inauguration of an ultra- modern Police Headquarters and a well equipped Hospital in Yobe State.
He charged the Police, in line with their service oaths and statutory obligation to the nation, not to disappoint:
“I renew the assurances of my firm trust in your leadership and my unwavering support for the police. It is indeed, in demonstration of this that I recently approved the release of requisite funds to the Nigeria Police Force towards the continuation of the next phase in the annual recruitment exercise of ten thousand (10,000) Constables in line with extant Presidential approvals.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Inspector General of Police said the critical assets being inaugurated were procured from the Special Presidential Intervention Fund as part of a strategic plan towards stabilizing the security space before, during and after the 2023 General Elections and for the purpose of boosting the capacity of the Nigeria Police to manage civil disorder, in line with acceptable national legal framework and international law enforcement protocols.
He acknowledged the commitment of the President to the uplift of the Nigeria Police, declaring that “President Buhari’s continued support and association during the commissioning of her infrastructure and operational assets presents a clear statement to the premium that Mr. President places on the Nigeria Police and policing issues in the country.”
Also speaking, Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, informed President Buhari that the Ministry of Police Affairs had in recent years rolled out robust logistical support and effective policy environment to complement the efforts of the Nigeria Police Force.
According to him, the day’s event “was not an isolated initiative. It is part of the broad, well thought out and meticulously implemented policing strategy of the Inspector General of Police, which is built on his leadership vision that internal security can be stabilized on a sustainable basis only through a well-equipped, modernized, highly resourced and appropriately trained policing institution.”
Deji Elumoye in Abuja