- Alao-Akala says government allowed Police to be overwhelmed.
- Calls for proper training, logistics and welfare.
Former Oyo state governor, Adebayo Alao-Akala, has said that the security problem in the country did not start with the administration of President Mohammed Buhari.
Speaking with Tribune in an exclusive interview, Alao-Akala who is also a retired police officer lamented that the Armed Forces is now being given preference than the Nigeria Police which should be in the forefront of security.
”It is a pity that the government before now paid lip service to internal security. We have not got the right the security architecture for the country.
“A lot of things are going wrong. The internal security of any country should be in the hands of a single force and in the Nigerian situation, the Nigeria Police should be in the forefront, and not the armed forces. We are not giving a prominent and proper place to the police in the operation of internal security in Nigeria.
“We should try as much as possible to bring the Nigeria Police Force to the front burner of the internal security of the nation. When you do that along with adequate funding, training and motivation, things will go on well.
The army has taken over the job of the police and this has affected the security architecture of the country. ”
He, therefore, call on the government to try as much as possible not to lay much emphasis on the establishment of armed forces formations but should emphasise the setting up of more police formations, more police station and more area commands.
“If possible and they should engage in mass recruitment. Besides, the police college where people will be trained should be well-funded. We don’t expect the police colleges to bring half-baked police constables into the street because they will misbehave. Proper recruitment should be done and the prerequisite qualifications needed to work in the Nigeria Police should be followed.
“They should make sure that they obey the rules and laws of recruitment. For Nigeria to move forward on security, we should properly fund the police and training, as well as motivate the personnel.”
Speaking on the argument for the involvement of the military in internal security due to some situations where men of the Nigeria Police Force are always overwhelmed during crisis, the former governor disagreed and added that the Police were neglected.
“The police are not overwhelmed and if we say they were overwhelmed, it was because they were neglected. If they are given their proper place in the security architecture of Nigeria, they will not be overwhelmed. No well-trained police officer will surrender his job to an army officer.
“We are trained to maintain internal security. It is the job of the police and not the army. If those make sure claim think the police are overwhelmed, let them give them the necessary support, the needed fund and tools to work with,” he added.
Speaking further, Alao-Akala said lack of logistics is the major cause of all the problems for the police.
“When you get to a police station, the personnel will complain that they don’t have statement forms for suspects. I don’t know the state of the Nigeria Police Printing Press. In our days, the printing press was there to print all the documents needed by the police. Crime diary, statement forms and other documents were printed there.
“But now, the police personnel buy their uniform. From constable to an inspector should not buy uniform. So, that is why you see some police officers in tattered uniform or different colours. It is also causing an identity problem. We can’t identify who is a proper officer and who is not a genuine police officer.
“So, the police are overwhelmed because the government wants them to be overwhelmed. If they are properly taken care of and motivated, they won’t be overwhelmed. When was the last time they recruited into the police? It is supposed to be regular so that as a set is leaving, another set is coming in. A constable should be properly trained for six months but there is no training. All the police colleges in the country are in a sorry state,” he lamented.