Kidnapping: We’ve deployed police to schools, says police minister

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Police officers have been deployed to schools across the country in a bid to curb the spate of kidnapping of school children, the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, said Tuesday.

Fielding questions from journalists at the second annual ministerial press briefing, at the Force Headquarters Abuja, Dingyadi said the police officers were deployed to schools selected by state governments, pointing out that: “With regards to security of schools, states were asked to select schools they felt should be protected…Yes there have been some attacks but this time around, the police personnel are well equipped to handle any security threats.”

While giving the ministry’s scorecard in the last one year, Dingyadi said implementation of community policing initiative of the current administration received great attention.

“It is worthy to note that constabularies 25,000 constabularies were trained in several police colleges across the country. The successful officers, who were trained on basic police duties, modern intelligence gathering techniques, rule of law etc, were deployed to their local governments of origin to aid in intelligence gathering and improve police visibility in their communities.

“In our efforts towards the actualisation of increasing the number of police/citizens ratio, (418) cadet officers of regular course 3 were successfully graduated in June 2021 and deployed into the operational asset of the Nigeria Police Force.                                               

“Determined to resolve all cases of allegation of police infractions against citizen’s right, on 30/7/2021, I inaugurated the Police Public Complaints Committee (PPCC) as a permanent structure that will help to effectively nip in the bud civil unrests and serve as opportunities for Nigerians to channel their grievances on the misconduct of police personnel.”

Speaking further he said, “In a bid to improve the operational capability of the NPF, the ministry secured Federal Executive Council (FEC) intervention for procurement of 30 operational vehicles, such as Toyota Hilux, four wheel Drive ford, Police Mobile Force troop carrier (unimogs) and ambulances. These facilities were procured and handed over to the Police management on November 28, 2020.                                           

“In recognition of the critical importance of synergy in policy implementation, and overall realisation of goals, the ministry, in June 2021, organised a-four-day retreat to appraise attainment of the ministry’s deliverables and build template to foster synergy among agencies under the ministry for improved service delivery

“Another giant stride worthy of mentioning is the establishment of West Africa Police Information System (WAPIS). This initiative, mid-wifed by the ministry, was executed by ECOWAS in conjunction with Interpol unit of the NPF. WAPIS connects member countries in a platform for shared intelligence utilization, mutual cooperation and exchange of expertise.    

“The problem of fueling of police operational vehicles will soon become history as the ministry in its 2021 Budget, secured about N5 billion approval from the federal government for supply of fuel to police commands nationwide.

“The first round of supply was concluded about two months ago, while the second round will commence before the end of this month. This gesture aimed at improving operational efficiency of the Police, will be carried out on quarterly basis.”  

Also speaking on recent call by the Katsina state Governor, Aminu Masari, for vulnerable residents of the state to arm themselves against banditry, the minister said, “In Nigeria, everybody is entitled to his opinion. But what the governor is talking about is community policing.

“Everybody should contribute his quota towards fighting crime. What we are saying is that we should all play our roles, not that everybody should just go out and take up arms. So, protection should be done in line with community policing.”