Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Usman Alkali Baba, has told a delegation of top officials of the German Foreign Affairs ministry that the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is ready to embrace reforms across all sectors of the Command.
While receiving a high-level delegation of the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tuesday, at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, the IGP, the leadership of the police is also poised to cooperate with the German delegation and other development partners on creating enabling platform for general reforms.
The German delegation was led by Mr. Alexandre Callegaro, Deputy Director for West and Central Africa, German Federal Foreign Office and comprised Mr. Sascha Weh, Police Adviser at the German Federal Foreign Office, Mr. Matthias Seeger, a retired Inspector-General, and other retired officers of the German Federal Police attached to German Global Security Sector Reform Foundation (GS-F).
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba CP, said the visit is in continuation of discussions aimed at creating, designing and running a Police Reform programme for the Nigeria Police Force with support from the German Government through its Global Security Sector Reform Foundation (GS-F).
Mba added that the visit is further against the backdrop of the Presidential Reform Plan of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR through the Nigeria/German Binational Commission’s Agreement on Police Reforms.
The meeting also had in attendance the Inspector-General of Police, who was represented by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Department of Finance and Administration, DIG Sanusi Lemu, and other members of the Force Management Team, senior officers from various departments of the Force;
Others are; Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Musiliu Smith; AIG (Dr) Cornelius Kayode Aderanti (Rtd), the Senior Special Assistant to the President on General Duties, Mr. Tunji Lardner Jr., Senior Special Assistant to the President on Strategy and Planning, Dr. Charles Omole, National Security Adviser to the Speaker, House of Representatives, amongst others.
Commenting, Mr. Matthias Seeger, a retired Inspector-General, said: “I think the best is, for a start, if you want to build a house, you start with the basement. You focus on very few things, may be two or three. All the demonstrations we had in Europe, there are very few unique situations where police use their weapons; 99.9 per cent, no weapons”, Seeger said.
“So, we offer to train for best practices. You have a great chance when you train 30,000 young women and men to become policemen, you take the best. It’s a big chance for you now when you train young people. This is the future of the police of Nigeria, so you train them well from the first moment.”
On his part, former IGP and now PSC Chairman Musiliu Smith, said: “Let me draw your attention to one issue. When we have protests or demonstrations in this country, it would not be fair to compare it to the ones in Europe and I have my reasons for this.
“For the last five, 10 years, what the men had to face in such situations, I think they have to be well prepared if they value their own lives. They need to be well-armed, well prepared so that if they tried all other means of dispersing them or making arrests, they may take some decisions or sometimes, some persons get hurt.
“But on a few occasions, they are forced to use weapons not only to save their lives but the lives of innocent citizens around the area. So, I don’t think they are totally handling demonstrations very well, there is a lot of room for improvement.”
“The collaboration is focused on enhancing the capacity of the Nigeria Police Force in thematic areas of training, intelligence gathering, forensic capabilities, information and communication technology, and human rights-based policing to catalyze a result-oriented reform in key sectors of the Nigeria Police structure and bring about a paradigm shift in alignment with global best standards,” the statement read.