Ex-IGP, Arase, advocates overhaul of Nigeria Police

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Due to the rising insecurity in the country, a former Inspector-General of Police, Dr Solomon Arase (retd.) has advocated for a holistic overhaul of the Nigerian Police Force and internal security architecture.

Arase made this statement while delivering a keynote address at the South-South Citizen Summit for national integration, peace and security, organized by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations in Port Harcourt.

Arase said the years of military intervention in governance left the Nigerian Police Force underdeveloped and ill-equipped, saying opening a dialogue to discuss the people’s differences and diversity will engender national integration.

Arase, who was represented by Assistant Inspector General of Police, Patrick Dokubo (retd.), listed kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, cultism, terrorism as well as the proliferation of firearms by unauthorized persons as major security threats to national security.

“The pursuit of the limited resources, power and control has led to terrorism and insecurity across the country. Lack of religious and ideological tolerance have also led to mass killings, destruction of public properties across the country.

“The political class has also contributed in no small measures to insecurity across the country. Failure to employ our teeming youths in the country has led many of them to go into crimes,” he stated.

Dr Arase stated that the possibility of national integration was not bleak, saying, “There must be open dialogue and discussion for national unity. The discussion should be targeted towards national integration, coherence and unity.

“The citizens must join hands to build a secured nation. Tolerance, unity, equality must be entrenched in the minds of all citizens. Internal security in modern times is built around three structures, namely the people, technology and systems. Well-equipped security agencies, political will and strong institutions to prosecute offenders no matter who is involved.

“Also community policing is important, technologically driven policing, inter-agency and inter-government collaboration to address internal security from a modern perspective.

He continued, “There must be holistic reforms of the Nigerian Police Force and the country’s internal security system, with a view to funding, equipping, training and retraining personnel to curb both internal and external aggression.”

In his speech, the National President of NIPR, Mukhtar Sirajo, called for unity in diversity, pointing out that diversity was the biggest endowment that God has blessed Nigeria with.

“They say variety is the spice of life. Diversity is a blessing, why are we turning our own into a curse? We must all turn a new leaf.

“One thing that makes America great is her diversity. The state of New York alone has more than 350 ethnic groups, but no one there cares about where you are from. We have had instances where immigrants are elected to lead America in different capacities,” Sirajo stated.

Also, the Rivers State Chairman of NIPR, Paulinus Nsirim, harped on the need to rebuild trust and break the jinx of ethnicity, religion and tribe, saying, “Nigeria is at a crossroad. But we will not import people into the country to solve the problem for us.

“Nigeria is a very blessed country but what we lack is the right leadership. The time has come for us as a people to rebuild our nation. For the youths, don’t allow yourself to be used as soldiers of negative propaganda against the country.”