DIVIDENDS OF ARASE’S STAKEHOLDERS ADVOCACY CONTINUES TO TRICKLE – DIFFERENT GROUPS VISIT TO PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR A NEW PSC AS HE JOINS THE DEMAND FOR POLICE TO TAKE OVER THE WAR AGAINST INSURGENCY
By Elizabeth Henrywilson
Different support groups both in the security sector and outside of it have continued to visit the Police Service Commission to pledge support for the innovative development programmes of the Commission’s Chairman, Dr. Solomon Arase, CFR, retired Inspector General of Police as he repositions the Commission for optimal functionality.
The latest callers to the Commission were Elizabeth Macleod, Police Advisor, Lake Chad Basin Support Framework of the United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria; leadership of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms led by its Director General, D.I. Arabi and a Delegation from the Nigerian Television Authority, News 24 led by its General Manager Fatima Abbas Hassan .
The groups pledged their support to the Commission and commended Dr. Arase for his innovative leadership qualities and commitment to repositioning the Commission for optimal performance.
Arase had while receiving Ms Macleod of the Lake Chad Support Framework lamented that the problem of counter-insurgency mission in Nigeria was lack of inter-Agency collaboration and intelligence sharing between the security Agencies.
He noted that Police Officers were trained to secure crime scenes, gather evidence and prosecute criminals which is different from the standard operating procedures for the military.
The Military deployed to the troubled regions in the North East, he noted have no such training and ” this has resulted in low rate of prosecution of offenders and a conviction rate of less than five percent”.
Dr. Arase said this was disproportional with arrests adding that it does not send the right signals.
He advised that the Federal Government should reduce the military component of the war against insurgency and allow the Police, the lead Agency in internal security to lead the battle.
He noted that the Police are properly trained for internal security and leading the battle will curb the activities of the terrorists in the North East.
He remarked that more convictions of these criminals in the North East would serve as a deterrent to others and eventually reduce the spate of crime and criminality in the region.
Dr. Arase also expressed discomfort with the practice where arrested bandits are released and re-integrated into the society without proper profiling. He observed that most of them eventually returns to the crime, creating more harm for the region.
The PSC Chairman told his visitor that the Commission would be happy to collaborate with the Support Framework and have Officers of the Nigeria Police Force benefit from what they are doing in the North East.
Ms Macleod had informed Dr. Arase that she was based in Maiduguri, Borno State and that the project was to assist the Nigeria Police in Borno state in tackling the insecurity in the state. She noted that the Project is funded by the United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria and implemented by the Adam Smith International.
Dr. Arase while receiving the delegation from the Bureau of Public Service Reforms announced that all modalities were already in place for the commencement of Police recruitment. He disclosed that the Police Recruitment Board will soon be inaugurated adding that the Commission and the Police now work in unity for the overall benefit of national security.
He told his visitors that the Commission needs an upgrade of its workforce (staff strength), an improved welfare package and other empowerment programmes due to its increased work load and nature of the assignments.
The Chairman later received the delegation from the Nigerian Television Authority News 24 where he called for Strategic partnership between the two government Agencies so that the Commission can leverage on it to get its programmes and services to the public.