The Nigeria Police Force is irked that some officers are taking photographs with pro-secession leader Nnamdi Kanu, and warned that authorities will not take the action with levity.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, expressed his disgust over the attitude of the officer on Thursday in Lagos where he addressed officers.
He was awed that some policemen were taking pictures with the self-acclaimed IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu.
“We will not take it with levity. There should be no double loyalty to Nigeria. No matter your rank, your commitment to the country should be absolute.
“Nationalism is key. Some officers were taking pictures with Nnamdi Kanu and this is someone that is challenging the unity of this country.
We are changing the face of policing in Nigeria, policemen that are people-oriented with the satisfaction of the citizens as the primary focus.” he said.
“As policemen, you must be committed to unity, leadership and authority of government of this country. No double standards are allowed.” he added.
Idris said on Thursday said additional 88 area commands would be created to boost operational efficiency.
He was addressing policemen at the Police College, Ikeja during a two-day visit to Lagos.
“We are waiting for approval from the PSC for the 88 new area commands and by extension, this means we are going to have more assistant commissioners of police.
“This will also create room for more chief superintendents of police to be promoted. Do your best in your duties and you will be promoted.
He commended them for their commitment to duty, adding that they are an important to the day-to-day policing activities.
“You are important for this job. We depend on you.”
He said 10,000 more personnel had been recruited and undergoing training to boost the nation’s police.
Speaking on the on-going move to pass into law for the setting up of the Police Trust Fund, the IG said it was being done after realising that government budget alone could not cover police entire needs.
“This Trust Fund will address the issue of funding for the police forever and this will help us to carry out effective service.
“We just had a public hearing about the bill and we had a large turn out of civil society organisations and other appropriate stakeholders. With this trust fund, we can buy more equipment and pay allowances for investigation.” he said.
The IG emphasised his zero tolerance for corruption and warned police personnel to shun collecting money for bail.
“Bail is free. If you collect money for bail, you will pay the price and we will kick you out of the force. Your duty is to provide services for the protection of lives and properties of the citizens.” he said.
He also charged his men to respect the fundamental human rights of the citizenry, as well as their right to free speech and movement.
“Section four of the Nigeria Police Act gives you the police officer the right to arrest anyone that constitutes offence, irrespective of your rank.
“Despite the rank, a constable can arrest a minister or anyone that contravenes the law of the nation but you must use that right judiciously.” he said.
The IG also paid a visit to the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, where he commended the first class chief for his constant partnership with the police.
Akiolu in his response emphasised that there was no shortcut in policing, lamenting that the budget for the police is grossly inadequate.
“Nigeria will burn in 2019 if the government does not fund internal security. This is because internal security operations is the entire responsibility of the Nigeria Police.
“Thus, they should be provided the requirements to do the job and the IG be given a free hand to run the force.”