A former Inspector General of police, Suleiman Abba has spoken about the current situation of police in Nigeria
Abba said one of the major problems of the police is that they lack trust of the public. He noted that they need to work together with the public in fighting the common enemy, which is crime in the country. The former IG of police, Suleiman Abba, on Sunday, July 1, declared that one of the major problems facing Nigerian policemen is that members of the public don’t trust them. He noted that what men and women of the Nigerian Police Force urgently needed was more than their remuneration. Abba told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the immediate payment of the salaries of the Nigerian Police Force should not be reasons for disregarding their needs during service and after their retirement.
According to him, “Remuneration is not a major problem of the Nigerian Police today. One of the major problems of the Police is getting the trust of the public, so that they can work together in fighting the common enemy, which is crime. “As the largest Police Force in Africa, remuneration should not be used in assessing the welfare of the Nigerian Police. “Take care of their fall-back positions when they retire; take care of their children’s education, take care of their accommodation while in service and after service.’’
Abba said that it was imperative for someone who was or had been engaged in crime prevention, like the police, to work in service and retire with confidence and empowerment. The former IGP said that the necessary equipment, benefits and work conditions should be given to men and women of the Nigerian Police, as was being done in other parts of the world. Abba, who maintained that the current salaries of the Nigerian Police could not provide their needs, said that the provision of their additional needs would make them more efficient. He enjoined states agitating for state police to know that the police all over the world was expensive to maintain, adding that there was nothing wrong in establishing state police if such states could maintain them
Abba said that it was only Lagos state that had showed signs of operating a state police, and not some other states that could not even pay teachers’ salaries. He said: “There is nothing wrong in states establishing their own police, but we must know that the police is expensive to maintain. The Lagos state government, to some extent, is prepared to sponsor the Police in its state if they are handed over to it.
“Many other states agitating for state Police are not in position to provide for such now because some of them cannot even now effectively pay the salaries of their teachers.’’ Abba worked in various capacities in the Police Force. He served as commissioner of police in Lagos and Rivers states, and was a one-time AIG in charge of Zone 7, Abuja. He also once served as Aide-de-Camp to Maryam Abacha, spouse of Nigeria’s former military leader, Sani Abacha