•It’s time for confidence building, weapons recovery –Amachree
Following the murder of 73 persons, including 22 policemen and destruction of many critical security formations across the country under the guise of #EndSARS protests, security experts have urged the Nigeria Police to embark on confidence building programme and rededicate themselves to their duties.
Former Inspector-General of Police, Sir Mike Okiro, and a retired Assistant Director of the Department of State Services, (DSS), Dennis Amachree, who stated this in separate interviews, added that the officers and men of the Force should not allow their spirits to be dampened by the recent killings of their colleagues.
Okiro, in particular, said the officers and men of the Force should re-dedicate themselves to their professional duties of protecting law abiding and innocent citizens, because criminal elements are currently taking advantage of the lull to commit terrible crimes across the country.
“Already, there are media reports that some criminals are taking advantage of the current crises and they are so happy. The criminals now rob at will because the police are away from the roads. Police officers should know that they have a responsibility to provide security for everybody. That will be very bad, because it will give robbers the opportunity to have a field day,” Okiro said.
Though he would not give further details, stating that he would still have a meeting with the Inspector- General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, Okiro, who decried the killing of some officers and men of the Force, stated that the fact that these unfortunate incidents have happened does not mean that they should throw up their hands into the air in resignation. “It is the duty of the police to provide security for everybody,” he said.
Okiro urged the policemen to maintain the rule of engagements as set by the United Nations, especially respecting use firearms as contained in Force Order 347, even as he advised that senior officers should also not sacrifice duty-conscious officers because something has gone wrong.
Though he argued that life is irreplaceable, he commended the governors of Lagos and Rivers states (Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Nyesom Wike respectively) who have either granted scholarships to children of some of the police officers or paid some damages to their dependants, and urged other states to emulate this.
Amachree, in his contribution, said after the storm is an opportunity to reinvigorate community policing nationwide as part of confidence building programme. He said Commissioners of Police, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers should hold town hall meeting with community leaders in all parts of the country. “Right now, the police are feeling withdrawn from the streets and they are not responding to distress calls
. Some even tell the populace to go and invite thugs. The solution is not in quick return to the streets. There should be series of town hall meetings at this stage.
Commissioners of Police, Area Commanders, DPOs and local government chairmen should engage all the community leaders to rebuild confidence in one another. “There is this feeling among officers and men now that ‘Nigerians’ don’t like us’.
There is no need to push them aside; rather we should talk with them. It is time for police community relations committees around the country to swing into action, because a country with a demoralized police force is unimaginable.
“This is very important because it will also assist in the recovery of arms and ammunition looted from the police stations. Already, lots of AK-47 and their magazines are out there in the hands of some youths and criminal elements and this is dangerous to the peace of the nation.
“I watched the other day when IGP Mohammed Adamu said 205 critical national security assets, corporate facilities and private property were attacked, burnt or vandalized, and that so far, a total of 10 firearms including eight AK-47 rifles stolen during the attack on police stations and a locally made pistol have been recovered from elements operating under the guise of the #End- SARS protesters,” he said.