By Lanre Adesanya
An advocacy group concerned about having a better Nigerian Police force, has implore the Federal Government to urgently address various factors militating against efficient policing in the country.
The group, ‘Advocacy for Better Welfare of Nigeria Police’ while making the plea at a world press conference in Lagos stated that poor condition of service and dehumanizing renumeration and deliberate oppressive tendencies has reduce the police productivity.
The group harps on the need for transparency and accountability in the allotment of the nation’s police budget to appropriate formations of the agency.
Barrister Solomon Bankole, the President of the group, while delivering a jointly issued text of the conference hinted that the group not minding the stance of the brutality meted on human rights advocators by the Nigerian Police, choose to deal with the causative factors which culminated in their cited none civil conduct.
According to them, for Nigerians to have a better society, there is a need for better police stressing that policing is a special duty hence the need to advocate and campaign for better welfare package for police officers.
The group said: “Our findings revealed that the yearly budgetary allocation expected to take care of the welfare of officers and rank/files of the Nigeria Police Force are not being disbursed for its purposes.
“Poor remuneration, lack of kits and other equipment designed to make the work efficient are lacking, in spite of the huge budgetary allocation from the Federal Government.
“Hence, the necessity of the formations (Police) to source for support which has to a large extend compulsorily redesigned operations of the Police Force thereby, constituting threats to human rights, confrontation with members of the public they ought to serve.
“This situation has brought about hatred, police public hostility and loss of confidence in the police by the people and a disrepute to Nigeria police force image.
“All these are reflective of the inadequacies of budgetary allocation on one hand, and accountable, transparent expenses and disbursement of the allocation to appropriate quarters among others.”
Barrister Adeola Ilori, the group’s General Secretary, equally advocated for proper and structural discipline for all officers to serve with integrity.
“We need not to force them to do their job,considering their brutality towards us, so we are critically looking at advocating for their welfare and better condition of service.
“We have good officers among them who have distinct themselves at international level for efficiency, we are doing this to ensure they give their best.” Adeola said.
The Vice President of the group Comrade Auta Ogudare Bukola, noted that most misconducts of police would be reduced if police officers were comfortable with welfare packages, adding that the group would continue to protect, promote and sustain rule of law and human rights by the police.
She noted that some officers had constituted serious threat to rule of law, human rights and performed below standards, but highlighted the challenges of necessary provisions, welfare and other benefits.
The group said that one of the techniques to attain its dream police in Nigeria was regular monitoring, evaluation and reporting as event unfolds on the budgetary allocation and welfare of police officers.
The group demanded amongst other basic needs an: “Immediate update and upward review of the monthly salary of all officers, rank and file with a minimum of N100,000 for the officer at the lowest rung of the ladder; a position of constabulary.
“Provision and regular delivery of police kits such as uniforms, boots, bullet proof vest and equipment covers under capital expenses as budgeted for. Quarterly and regular publishing of the disbursement of budgetary allocation of the force to various formations including capital, overhead and personnel cost in the national dailies.
“Provision of housing or accommodation for transferred officers from one state to another state as a duty post as well as regular review of the officers’ record and promotion without sentiments at the stipulated time in line, promulgation of a Police Trust Fund Act, a legal framework that will outline the arrangement for the funding of the Nigeria Police.
The group however, commended the Federal Government for the rearrangement of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police.