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Lack of resources, operational tools limiting Police performance, says IGP

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Mohammed Adamu

Says Amotekun, other vigilante groups carrying arms unconstitutional

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has reiterated the call to equip the Nigerian Police Force with adequate resources and tools, which he said is limiting the Force’s effort in combatting insecurity in the country as well as fulfilling its obligation to the people.

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Adamu, who stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight in Abuja, on “What The Police Need To Be More Effective”, which aired on Monday, and monitored by The Guardian, said Nigeria has the largest police force in Africa, with no sufficient resources and necessary tools to enable them to tackle the myriads of security challenges in the country ranging from terrorism to banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, and others, which are on the increase by the day.

“The nature of crime in our country is so dynamic and we have many gaps because of insufficient resources and tools required to sustain the police. When you create an organisation to fight crime, there are laws guiding it as well as logistics platforms for its function. The personnel must be trained adequately and given the necessary tools to perform their duty effectively because we have a group of people that will want to cause distress in the society and the police must make those groups of people obey the law and order in the society,” he said.

Speaking on the competence of the Force, Adamu said the Nigeria Police is adjudged to be the best in the world, adding that if given the same privilege and logistics as their foreign counterparts in developed countries, they will perform extremely better.

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“It is only in Nigeria that you have police officers that don’t have the required logistics that they need to operate and succeed, yet, they struggle to protect the people and make the society peaceful.

“When you take them out of the country to an international environment where those logistics that are required for you to do policing job are there, you will see them performing wonderfully well. That is why Nigerian police officers are acclaimed to be the best in the world,” Adamu said.

Speaking on the creation of security bodies at the zonal levels to combat crime in communities, Adamu said formation of bodies such as Amotekun and others, which he described as vigilante groups, are only meant to help the police force in intelligence gathering to combat crime and not to take action themselves.

He said the policing structure is built to serve the federal, state, local government, and even the communities, adding that any vigilante group taking up arms to fight crime has gone against the nation’s constitution, which he said is a crime.

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“The constitution of Nigeria states that there should be one police force, any other organisation that deals with prevention of crime are just supporting the police. Before the creation of Amotekun, there were other vigilante groups in other regions to support the police force. They are supposed to work with the community to gather intelligence and not do the police work, which is backed by the constitution.

“Vigilante groups are not supposed to carry arms, anyone that does that has contravened the law. When they are to go to a dangerous place that requires arms, they are to contact the police who carry the arms and goes with them,” Adamu said.

On the police performance in fighting crimes in 2020, Adamu rated the Force excellent in combatting security challenges in the country, which include terrorism to banditry, kidnapping to armed robbery among several others.

He recalled that when his administration came in, there were many issues related to banditry and kidnappings, especially along the Abuja-Kaduna road, a challenge, which he claims, his men have quashed.

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“Apart from the insurgency that is being successfully dealt with in the northeast, there were issues in the north-central in terms of farmers-herders conflicts and even kidnappings. We restrategised, created an operation, Puff Adder. We retrained our Special Forces and identified police officers that have been in the theatre of operations in the northeast before they went and came back,” he added.

Speaking on the resurfacing of police checkpoints, the IGP said there are no checkpoints, noting that what is being seen are police officials engaged in stop and search, especially when there are reports of something incriminating. He called on Nigerians to look out for and report any officer mounting roadblocks as they would be severely punished.

He said to ensure compliance, the Police force set up a monitoring team that goes around to check for defaulters and compliance levels, adding that the presence of social media has also helped to enforce full compliance.

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