Former Police Inspector General Solomon Arase claims that more than 200,000 police officers have been linked to political elites, a trend he called “policing elites against security spaces.”
He spoke to the former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, at the second edition of the National Dialogue Series of the Political Leadership and Training Institute (POLA), held in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State.
In Nigeria, we have about 400,000 police employees and 200,000 of those officers are with the political leaders. What we’re doing in this nation is that we’re policing the elites, we’re not policing security spaces, and we have to look into this issue,’ Arase added.
Arase related the police’s problems to a lack of political will to enact reports on many changes that have been carried out in the past.
Since 1999, he said, Nigeria has had at least four police reforms from past leaders’ commissions, but sadly, none of the reform reports have been implemented. The papers are only collecting dust there.’
A retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Tunji Alapini, for his part, lamented the deplorable condition of training facilities at police colleges across the country, saying that most of them are unfit to train citizens.
The atmosphere in which police personnel are educated is no longer attractive and this is one of the key reasons why the Nigerian Police Force is in a bad condition. When you are trained in an atmosphere that is not conducive, you adapt what you have been trained to members of the public when you come out. Alapini said, “This is what we call garbage in garbage out.”
Senator Ehigie, in his contribution, called for the elimination of the quota system for the recruitment of police workers, stressing that the recruitment of police officers should be based on merit rather than lobbying.