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Police can’t protect everybody, IGP says

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The Inspector General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase has said the Nigeria Police Force does not have the capacity to protect every Nigerian because of the limited number of its workforce and poor funding of the force.

The IG, who put the size of the Nigerian Police currently at 305,000 policemen and women, said the current size is not enough to guarantee the security of all segments of Nigeria.

Security agencies in the country, including the police, have come under intense criticism lately over their failure to secure the lives and properties of Nigerians in the face of renewed aggression from Fulani herdsmen, kidnappers and armed robbers.

According to the IGP, who spoke at the University of Jos on a topic, “Police and Public Partnership in prevention and control of violent crime and conflicts in Nigeria” on Friday, the current numbers of policemen and inadequate funding accounts for the inefficiency of the police and its inability to be everywhere in the country.

“The organizational structure of the Force consists of the Force Headquarters, 12 zonal commands, and 37 State commands including the Federal Capital Territory. Nigeria Police Force’s staff strength by 31st December 2015 was 305,000. This is inclusive of 1,331 Cadets currently on training at the Police Academy, Kano as well as specialist branches and civilian support staff.

Read also: Military to launch joint operation against Fulani herdsmen

“Female officers in the Force constituted 30,854 (9.47%), while there are 127 area commands; 1,130 police divisions; 1,579 police stations, 2,165 police posts, and 1,591 village police posts (NPF Annual Report 2013: 137), Arase said.

Describing the work of the police in the society to be difficult and complex, the IGP said the expectations of members of the public in Nigeria are many and varied and exceed the resources and support given to the police, adding that failures on the part of the police are easily observed and widely reported and condemned while achievements of the police are rarely recognized, applauded and rewarded.

“The challenges notwithstanding, citizens also have a responsibility towards the police. The police will be ineffective if the citizens constantly disrespect, distrust, assault, insult and antagonize the police. The Constitution, in chapter 2 obliged citizens to assist law enforcement agencies as civic responsibility.

Unfortunately, most citizens are either unaware of this obligation or chose to ignore it”, Arase said.

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