President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday directed the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomom Arase, to prune the number of policemen attached to dignitaries and redeploy the affected officers to regular police duties.
The President gave the directive at a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Police Service Commission in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Buhari gave Arase the marching order following a submission made by Mr Mike Okiro, a former Inspector-General of Police and Chairman of the Police Service Commission, on the inadequacy in the number of policemen and noted that the country required about 20,000 additional policemen to secure lives and property in the country.
It would be recalled that Buhari recently approved the recruitment of 10,000 additional policemen to curb with prevailing security challenges in policing the Nigerian nation and its citizens.
The president warned that his administration will not tolerate any irregularities or extortion of money from applicants in the forthcoming recruitment into the Police.
He frowned at the situation where applicants had to offer bribes before being accepted into the police in the past, stressing that it was totally unacceptable.
The President told the officials that those in charge of recruitment and training in the police must be above board and eschew every form of extortion and underhand dealing.
“You must ensure that the recruitment process is transparent. Those who will conduct the recruitment must be above board.
“It should not be heard that they received gratification or extorted money from those who want to enlist in the police,’’ he further cautioned.
On the stagnation of policemen on a rank for many years, the President counseled the Police Service Commission to review the current structure of the police with a view to addressing the problem.
He also enjoined the commission to recommend how the problem could be solved for immediate implementation to boost the morale of serving policemen.
In his remark, The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police Affairs, Dr James Obiegbu, had listed its problems to include inadequate police personnel, dwindling finances and non-rehabilitation of police training schools.
According to available records,he said, the current 305,579 policemen and women are inadequate for effective policing and thanked President Buhari for approving the recruitment of 10,000 additional policemen and women.
Obiegbu, therefore, stressed the need for additional police personnel to meet the security challenges in the country.