The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, has assured Nigerians that the Nigeria Police Force is ready to deliver violence-free elections in 2015.
He said the Police had embarked on series of trainings and retraining of its officers and men to ensure a transparent and hitch-free polls.
Speaking during the decoration of 37 Commissioners of Police on Wednesday in Abuja, Abba informed the officers that the nation expected a lot from them.
He recalled that as the Chairman of the Election Planning Committee of the Force, he had evolved strategies that would ensure the security of the electoral process.
Abba said, “You know too well that we have a lot of national assignments aside from those that we perform daily, which is 24 hours. The national election is just around the corner. We have already commenced implementing our strategies for safety and security for the elections and I am glad as chairman of the planning committee before now, to say we are on course.
“We also have staggered elections in some places and any other national assignment that will come up. If for any reason you find it necessary to make recourse to me on any issue, I urge you to make it 24 hours a day.”
Noting that the CP rank is one of the most important in the Police because it is statutorily guaranteed by the constitution, the IG advised the officers to work towards meeting the expectations of both the public and the government.
He reminded them that they were holding their current positions and powers in trust for the public.
He also charged them to reduce the response time to distress calls. He said in all cases, they must work towards saving the victim and arresting the offender for prosecution.
He said, “The achievement of this expectation will be the yardstick for your assessment. There is no better assessment of a policeman or a police organisation than its ability to control crime. It is not about how many ranks you are decorated with or how much wealth you have acquired.
“I must also say that there are other expectations. The public will expect you to be accountable. They want you to be accountable for how you exercise your powers. They also expect you to control the level of corruption. These are expectations that I will like the CPs to discharge creditably well.
“You must also take the issue of the welfare of your personnel very seriously so that that influence you are supposed to give to make sure that they perform will be there.”
Abba stated that the government expects Police officers to live up to expectations, adding that if there is no safety of lives and properties, there cannot be real development.
The IG, who also declared open a one-day workshop on the Ebola Virus Disease, noted that security operatives, just like health workers, are also at the risk of contracting the virus.
“The Nigeria Police Force can be said to be vulnerable to this kind of threat. Security operatives the world over control outbreaks and enforce quarantine measures. So, a proper knowledge of EVD is necessary for us all,” he added.