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A retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Tunji Alapini has declared that most police colleges in the country are not fit for training human beings.
Alpini said Alapini said the environment where police personnel are trained is no longer desirable, claiming the development is one of the major reasons for the poor state of the Nigeria Police Force.
Alapini said this at the second edition of the National Dialogue series of the Political Leadership and Training Institute (POLA) facilitated by former governor of Ogun state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel held in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.
He decried the failed standard of training facilities of the Nigeria Police Force,
The retired AIG insisted that the poor training of police personnel as a result of the failed training facilities has been largely responsible for the problems in the police force.
Alapini said, “The environment that police personnel are trained is no longer desirable and this is one of the major reasons for the poor state of the Nigeria Police Force.
“If you are trained in an environment which is not conducive, when you come out you apply what you have been trained on members of the public. This is what we call garbage in garbage out”.
He declared “the training we are having now is an albatross”.
“I started my training at the Police college in Ikeja before I was posted to Kwara state. I have been opportuned to be commissioner of police in Ogun, Edo and Zamfara states. I have also been opportuned to be a commandant of police colleges where we trained recruits and I know what it means for us to train new recruits, but nearly 30 years after I left the police college in Ikeja, with what I saw, I couldn’t believe we can train people there.”
The former AIG also noted that the faulty recruitment process of the Nigeria Police Force has allowed for the employment of “a lot undesirable elements” into the police.
According to him, people who are untrainable are now been recruited into the police, a situation he said portends great danger for security of Nigerians.
He said the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) deviated from its original responsibility into dealing with cases “that are not actually robbery related, cases like land dispute, family dispute” as a result of lack of supervision and neglect.
Other speakers who spoke at the virtual dialogue with the theme: “The challenges of Nigeria Police Reform, Civil unrest and the Nation’s Democratic Advancement”, included: former Insprctor-General of Police, Solomon Arase, the former National Coordinator of the Police Equipment Fund; Kenny Martins, Ibrahim Mai Sule, Senator Ehigie Uzamere, Dr. Baraka Sanni and former Oyo state governor, Alao Akala.
Arase in his contribution submitted that, the problem of the Nigeria Police Force was not reforms but lack of political will to implement reports of many reforms done in the past.
According to him, since 1999, Nigeria has had at least four police reforms from committees set up by past leaders “but unfortunately, none of the reports of the reforms have been implemented. The reports are just there gathering dust”.
“The problem we have in this country is lack of implementation. Even if we set up another police reform committee today, the same issues, the fundamental issues bedeviling the police that we are talking about today will still continue.
“The government should take those four reforms, do an executive summary and implement the report”, Arase said.
He disclosed that 50 percent of personnel of the Nigeria Police Force are protecting the political class and not the general populace.
“We have about 400,000 police personnel in Nigeria and 200,000 of those officers are with the political elites. What we are doing in this country is that, we are policing the elites, we are not policing security spaces and this is an issue we have to look into”, Arase added.
In his contribution, Senator Ehigie called for the abolition of the quota system in the recruitment of police personnel, stressing that recruitment of police officers should be based on merit and not lobbying.
He also called for increment of salaries and improved welfare of police officers, suggesting N250,000 as the minimum pay for personnel in the lowest rank.