Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that Nigeria is in urgent need of a police force that is not only representative of the people but admired by all.
He stressed that everywhere in the world, a police force is a representative of the people and the government such that there is a need to give it an ethos that will be admired by all.
Speaking Monday at the State House, Abuja, while receiving on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari the Annual Report of the Police Service Commission (PSC) from the Acting Chairman, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi (rtd) who led a delegation of the Commission’s Management Team, the Vice President said
the Police Force is in many ways, the first line of civil authority and in any country, it is a representative of the people.
“For many reasons, people regard the performance of the police as the performance of the government, the force must be diligent in how it carries out its function.”
While commending the commission for their clarity of vision, hard work and having the difficult task of managing a huge police force with several challenges, Osinbajo emphasized that the ethos of the police force is something that must be taken seriously.
Referring to some parts of the report, the Vice President noted the issue of the internal investigation of the police when things go wrong.
According to him: “I think that it is very crucial because we mustn’t give the impression to the Nigerian public that the police will get away with anything and that whatever happens, there is no accountability”.
In addition, he pointed out the matter of legal services provided within the police force and stated that there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be robust legal services for the police, not just to prevent random claims that people make, but also to be ready to compensate when there are legitimate cases against the police that the courts find.
He observed that “it just adds to the confidence that people have in our police force and our government that we are responsible and accountable when we are wrong and we make payments where it is necessary.”
Earlier in her remarks, the Acting Chairman of the Commission noted that “it is a well-known fact that one of the bastions of your administration is upholding the rule of law.
“As members of the Management team of the Commission, we have no other alternative than to guard this mandate jealously as expressed by the framers of the Constitution.
“Thus, the Commission has been consistent in ensuring that disciplinary sanctions are meted out to erring police officers, making sure officers are promoted as at when due taking into consideration available vacancies and seniority, ensuring that proper and fit persons are recruited into the Nigeria Police Force.”
Other members of the Management team of the Commission at the report presentation include Hon. Lawal Bawa AIG (Rtd), CON, MNI – Commissioner II; Hon. Hajiya Hadiza N. Muhammad – Commissioner III, Hon. Austin A. Braimoh – Commissioner IV and others.