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Minister tasks police personnel on professionalism, confidence building

Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari-Dingyadi on Thursday said the reintroduction of Police Public Complaints Committee (PPCC) was to boost confidence and deepen mutual cooperation between the police and members of the public.

The Minister said this during a sensitization campaign in Lagos on the reintroduction of the committee.

He stressed that it was also meant to ensure that police personnel shun all forms of parochial interests capable of compromising Nigeria’s collective aspiration for effective policing.

Maigari-Dingyadi said the initiative was in furtherance of President Muhammadu Buhari’s quest for achieving people centric security, which prioritizes respect for citizen’s right and addresses genuine cases of infractions.

He said that this would promote inclusiveness in policing arrangements across the country.

“Following the directive of Mr President, I inaugurated the resuscitated Police Public Complaints Committee in Abuja on April 7, to among others bridge the gap between the police and the populace to elicit sustainable confidence and mutual cooperation.

“Our gathering here this afternoon also dovetail the lessons learnt from last year’s #ENDSARS protest and the need to sensitize Nigerians on actions taken to avert its reoccurrence.”

The minister explained that the choice of Lagos State to flag off the nationwide sensitization campaign was deliberate, as the state had taken “the brunt of last year’s public disturbances”.

“It is therefore apt to start the publicity on the initiative being taken by the Federal Government to enlighten the public on measures and mechanisms to enhance Police-Public relations in Nigeria.” he said.

The minister believed that if the PPCC had been active, it would have provided adequate channel through which Nigerians would ventilate their grievances on police brutality, thereby averting the tragedy that followed the EndSARS protest.

He explained that the PPCC was different from the Public Complaints Commission, an agency of government that deals with all kinds of complaints against administrative injustices by public institutions.

Maigari-Dingyadi assured police personnel that the PPCC was not set up to witch-hunt anyone, but to help them discharge their mandate more effectively.

In his comments, Lagos Chairman of National Youth Council of Nigeria, Mr Lekan Billiamin-Oba commended the initiative, saying it would help build mutual relationship with the public.

According to him, bridging the gap between the police and the populace was long overdue and would help make policing much more easier.

Billiamin-Oba advised the minister to institutionalise the celebration of diligent and outstanding police officers, to encourage commitment and professionalism.

The Oniru of Iruland, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan-Lawal, represented by Chief Aruna Amodu, the Baale Apapa Eleko, noted that most infractions by the police against the public was largely caused by junior police officers.

“The police officers within these ranks hardly listen to the radio and do not know what it takes to keep the state peaceful.

“Their focus is usually on the money they want to extort from people.

“The PCRC is one area that had been neglected for a while and they are the ones closer to the people; they need to be reactivated so that the public can have more trust in the police.” he said.

He also suggested that police personnel be subjected to periodic psychological evaluation, to determine their mental status.

The traditional ruler urged policemen to be professional in investigation, avoid extortion and try to resolve some of the cases at the police station instead of taking it to court.

Archbishop John Osa-Oni, National Vice President, Pentecostal Fellowship, Nigeria who represented the National President, Bishop Francis Wales Oke, also hailed the sensitisation campaign.

“Police is your best friend, when you miss the road, you call on them for direction.

“Police officers put down their lives to ensure protection of lives and property.

“They are the best, we acknowledge what they do, we thank God for their lives, we celebrate them and we pray that God will continue to protect them as they carry out their lawful duties,” he said.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotoso said the event was a good opportunity to appreciate the Nigerian Police.

“The police serve as the shield protecting us, so we should not because of the few bad ones, condemn the good works of the police.

“There are good people in the police, they can be professional and compassionate, so we should project everything that is good about the police,” he said.

The governor urged policemen not to be discouraged, saying the good people of the country are solidly behind them.

He charged them to continue to display the professionalism that the Nigeria police is known, globally.

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