Minister of State for Police Affairs, Hon Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, has said her priority is to ensure the implementation of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu in the administration of the Ministry of Police Affairs.
In a statement, Tuesday, the minister stated that the police affairs ministry is carrying out reforms that will restore the image of the Nigerian Police Force, and that the mandate is made easier with the hard work and commitment of finest gentlemen like the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr Solomon Arase, and others working behind the scene to deliver on the mandate of Mr President.
She added that the ministry is ensuring that the ongoing recruitment into the Police Force is diverse and reflective of the geo-political zones of the country with a consideration of the multi ethnic groups as well as achieving a balance, based on the Renewed Hope Agenda.
According to her, the ministry is ensuring that recruitment into the Police Force is not only based on merit but it is all inclusive so that no ethnic group is marginalised.
“Diversity in police recruitments is an important and ongoing issue for law enforcement agencies around the world, because when the police force is more representative of the population, it can build trust and enhance relationships within the communities,” she said.
Imaan-Sulaiman stated that a diverse police force are less likely to exhibit systemic biases and discrimination, and can bring unique perspectives and help address issues related to racial, ethnic, and cultural biases.
According to her, “a diverse police force can be more effective in addressing the complex and varied issues that our country, Nigeria faces. Different perspectives and experiences can lead to more creative and comprehensive problem-solving.
“Reviewing and adjusting hiring criteria to ensure they are fair and don’t disproportionately exclude candidates from underrepresented backgrounds. This may include reconsidering educational requirements or modifying certain aspects of physical fitness testing towards ensuring more representations without sacrificing merit.
“We are ensuring that existing officers and recruiters recognize and address implicit biases during the recruitment process and subsequent ones. This can help ensure a more equitable selection process.”
The minister, who is at the verge of completing her PhD research programme at the School of Postgraduate Studies of the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna, stated that it was important to recognise that, achieving diversity in police departments is an ongoing process and can face challenges related to cultural resistance, historical biases, and systemic issues.