President Muhammadu Buhari says the entire structure of the Nigerian Police Force is being overhauled, re-positioned and primed with modern technological gadgets to meet rising challenges in the country.
Buhari said this while receiving traditional rulers from the North led by His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III at the Presidential Villa.
In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, the President said the ongoing reform of the police will include recruitment of more hands, cultivation of stronger local intelligence and networking with communities, traditional rulers and adequate training.
“I have decided to meet with Your Highnesses to assure you that government is determined to tackle and deal decisively with all security challenges facing us as a nation.
“This consultation, therefore, is to engage you, our royal fathers, so that, collectively, we can arrive at solutions to any and all security problems in the country.
“We must all play our part to finally address these security challenges, particularly traditional rulers, in your respective communities, where you feel the pulse of the people, being the closest to the populace at the grassroots level,’’ he said.
“These policies and programmes include a robust revamping of police intelligence gathering capacity and the significant boosting of the numbers of security personnel in our local communities. This in specific terms will include recruiting more police officers and doing so whenever possible from their local government areas, where they would then be stationed in the best traditions of policing worldwide.
“Working with the State governments also, we intend to improve the equipping of the police force with advanced technology and equipment that can facilitate their work. To drive this, I recently created a full-fledged Ministry of Police Affairs.
“As I said during my meeting with the Traditional Rulers from the South-West, directives have been issued to the appropriate federal authorities to speedily approve licensing for States requesting the use of drones to monitor forests and other criminal hideouts,’’ he added.
The President reiterated his commitment to install CCTVs on highways and other strategic locations so that activities in some hidden places can be exposed, more effectively monitored and open to actionable interventions.