IGP Kayode Egbetokun needs funding for effective policing

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By Bala Itodo

There is no doubt that Nigeria police is facing alot of challenges in the course of their operation in policing the country. These challenges are however not insurmountable as they can be tracked if the right machinery are put in place by all the stakeholders. There is a common saying that every nation gets the kind of police it deserves. As a people, we should not commonise the fact that, policing a country as large as Nigeria needs the support and cooperation of all well-meaning Nigerians.

The men and officers of Nigeria Police are not spirits or miracle performers when it comes to the issue of safe guarding Nigerian nation. The proper funding of police is largely dependent on the annual budgetary appropriate to them by the National Assembly and as such, it is what is given to them that they use in running all the operation of the Force all over the country and beyond.

The challenges facing the police are numerous and they need proper funding, equipping and great support of the entire country, even as our population increases day by day. Notably some of the challenges being faced by the Police include,
1. Operational cost: Nigeria is known to be the largest country in Africa and the most populous Black nation on earth therefore, every citizen of the country has a constitutional right to be protected by the government through the police.

But it is so fundamental that in trying to meet up this fundamental right and constitutional responsibility of the police, the institution needs sufficient funds to build and equip their stations, personnel among others in all nooks and cranny of the country. Operational cars and relevant equipment are usually required for smooth running of the stations.

Another aspect of operational costs deals with the provision of accommodation for the ordinary citizen by right, when a citizen of a country is stranded in the course of travelling from one place to another, he or she is free to go to any nearby police station to pass a night before proceeding on his or her journey the next day.

2. Is the safety of police at their duty post. This is another area with great challenges for the Nigerian Police Force. In a situation whereby evil minded individuals are more equipped and armed than the police due to lack of equipment or poor funding calls for serious concern.

Security business in any country is quite expensive. The earlier the stakeholder realize this with a view to increasing the budgetary allocation to police Force, the better for Nigeria.
3. Provision of patrol vehicle: in a situation where the provision of police operational vehicles is at the mercies of few individuals should be properly re-examined.

The services of police are far closer to ordinary Nigerian; this is because anywhere you go in Nigeria, you must find police outpost, no matter how remote the village is in order to protect Nigerian citizens living in such areas.

Public criticism labelling Nigeria Police force as corrupt is total unacceptable for such sensitive and critical institution such as the police force whose officers are being killed on daily basis just to keep the entire country safe does not deserve such infamous title. Is it the police officer who have never known break or holiday always on duty day and night?

Is it the police which some of its officer are being paralyzed because of the danger they face or confront from evil-minded individuals in the society in the course of carrying out their constitutional duties that is labelled in such inglorious name? Definitely that is wrong and most unfortunate. The corruption in the Nigeria public service is far more than that of police. Most acts of corruption in Nigeria public service is far more than that of police.

Most acts of corruption being perpetrated in the civil service are not known to an ordinary citizen because they are not privilege to have interaction with the public servants on regular basis like the way they are with police.

Corruption in public service is carried out in comfortable offices, while average police officers are always on the moves in keeping the peace and unity of Nigeria; yet, this is what they get as reward from the same people they protect. I am not saying That all the Nigerian Police Officers are saint, but you cannot use few individuals conducts to generalize the whole police institution.

The life of IGP Kayode Egbetokun and some of his officers are clear indication that the police still have the best officers compared to the public officer in Nigeria, the establishment of Police Trust Fund is the best way to go in addressing the issue of underfunding, but the major challenges is funding it in order to achieve its purpose of establishment considering the constant increasing rate of Nigeria population, if we must have the kind of police we really desire for our dear country Nigeria.

The zeal and passion demonstrated by our dear president Bola Tinubu (GCFR) towards the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies in less than one year in office and also the appointment of highly experienced and brilliant IGP Kayode Egbetokun show clearly that in the shortest time most of the challenges confronting the Nigerian Police Force will be the things of the past, God willing.

Itodo, a social research and public commentator, based in Abuja.