Fanen Ihyongo, Kano
Retired Inspector-General of Police, Barrister Suleiman Abba, has explained how corruption in the Force can be curbed for the police to gain public confidence.
Abba, who is the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, spoke in Kano during his nationwide inspection tour of police barracks.
He also inspected the police constabulary in the State, expressing emotions about the level of dilapidation of the Kano barrack which was built 50 years ago without renovation.
Fielding questions from The Nation on how to stop corruption in the Police Force, the former Inspector General said: “The best way to have the confidence of the public -that the police are not corrupt is for the police to change their mindset -attitudinal change. Let the police say we reject corruption and corrupt practices.
“It has to come from them. I started this during my time as IG. Every policeman should memorise the attributes of a policeman, which include: sufficient knowledge of his work, being tactful, not allowing sentiments override his conscience, and rejecting corruption and corrupt practices.
“Imagine, if every policeman gets this programmed in his head, that doing any of these things is not right, he will start changing himself, and members of the public will see the police changing naturally,” he said.
Abba, a lawyer, also faulted those who give a bribe, saying “the giver and taker are corrupt.”
He explained that the guilty are the ones who hasten to bribe their way in order not to be found guilty.
“In the slave trade, the buyer and the seller were all wrong, the same with corruption. The person who gives bribe and the person taking are all wrong. Those who give bribe should please stop.”
The former IG emphasised that not every police officer is corrupt, urging the public to help identify the corrupt ones bastardizing the integrity of the Force.
“Yes, we have bag eggs among us, and efforts are being made to identify them and the public should help in identifying them. Use your spy gadget in the pocket (camera) to catch them. That is why I emphasise the use of cameras on our streets.
“The police in Moscow was one of the most corrupt in the world. When I went to Moscow recently, I was told they have changed because of cameras. Bribe givers, stop giving. Takers stop taking.”
Abba promised the Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, under his leadership, will formulate policies before the Inspector General of the Police for implementation to improve the performance of the police.