Why Police Affairs Ministry must go –Osayande

Published 7 years ago by: Omogbolahan Babs
at 09:38 AM, 28/08/2012 (7 years ago)

(1213 | Gistmaniac) (m)

As controversy rages over the desirability or otherwise of state police, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Parry Osayande, a retired Deputy Inspector-General, has reiterated his opposition to the proposal, describing it as a veritable recipe for the break-up of the nation. Speaking exclusively with Daily Sun shortly after submitting a comprehensive report to President Goodluck Jonathan on reforms and reorganization of the Police Force, Osayande argued that even if state governments-controlled police may in the future be considered, the time was not ripe for such a move. “Globally, people are centralizing their police because of new crimes that have evolved as a result of modern technology,” he said. He added: “Cyber crimes, terrorism are not restricted; they are not localized….Supposing there is a quarrel between one state and another over land, will you take Benin or Edo police to go and fight in say Delta or Taraba? We are not yet politically matured for state police.” The former police boss also spoke on other critical issues affecting the police and the nation. He spoke with ERIC OSAGIE in Abuja.

In your report to the President, you claimed the Nigeria Police is the least paid compared to sister agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the State Security Services (SSS)….

Look! Let me start with this: in the West African sub-region, the Nigeria Police is the least paid.

Why did you say that?

I conducted a research. Côte d’Ivoire earns more than that. Cameroon, Ghana, they earn more than the Nigeria Police.

But are those not smaller countries?

That is not the issue. We are doing the enforcement of law and order, preservation of lives and property. It operates globally. The highest paid policeman is the Canadian policeman. So, why will your gate man now earn more than a policeman? He works day and night, he has no public holiday. Once you open a police station, you cannot find the key because the door is wide open forever and ever. Do you know that a part can never be equal to a whole? We second officers from the police to go and man the EFCC. Take the case of an Assistant Commissioner of Police. When he got there, I promoted him a Deputy Commissioner of Police and now he earns N1.5 million a month and the Inspector General of Police earns N711,489.

But they say that is a different body, it has other duties, there are other allowances….

He is doing part of the police job. So, don’t argue along that line. To investigate crime is the responsibility of the police as envisaged by the constitution. So, a part can never be equal to a whole. So, when you now carve out a part and say this man, you give him more ammunition, more powers, more equipment to work with and then you pay him better, what the hell are you talking? It was a contraption by some people who ruled this country to weaken and deride the police so that they can now make the place ungovernable in their own interest. You also have the FRSC. It is a part of the police. That is traffic duty. By carving out the Road Safety, you create a vacuum because the automobile is not only an object of crime. It is also a means of committing crime. When you remove that, the other one is regulating how vehicles shall move on the road. He doesn’t know what is put there whether it is dead body or stolen . So, there is a vacuum created in the information gathering mechanism. And you have the Civil Defence? It is our operation. To open doors, car doors and all the rest of them. You have the SSS! SSS should neither be seen nor heard. They are supposed to work like the Israeli and gather intelligence and when you find anyone useful for the police, you pass him on to the law enforcement agency and not to go to Benin City and be parading people you have suspected or you have…

You think that was wrong for the SSS in the Edo issue…?

(Cuts in) It is very wrong! Very wrong!  This is needless schism. Have you got a tape of what you are referring to? We are supposed to collaborate, cooperate and work together and not to come and deride each other.

Are you not saying this because you are a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police?

That is not the issue because I have been involved in security for going to 50 years now. It is not a question of DIG. Am I an everlasting DIG? I left service 20 years ago. We are now talking as statesmen and then talking in the overall interest of the country.

Why do you think our society does not trust the police? Is it something to do with the polices itself?

It is not. No, it is not. There is one statesman who said it. He is somebody I respect a lot. The arrangement that was made for Nigeria was not to make it one. They were talking of north, they were talking of south, they were… So, the British came here to sustain their political interest and one of the organs they used in achieving their result was the police. When children were crying as young boys, their mothers would threaten that if you don’t stop crying, I will call the police. So, how do you want them to come and be loved? It is not that they hate them. It is the evolution of the police. Yes.

Everybody is talking about state police. Many Nigerians are confused between community policing and even state police. What do we need now in this country?

You need a police that will sustain the country.

A Nigeria Police?

Yes. For the time being. I have always said so. You are not politically mature. Alright! Look at when they went to arrest (former Governor James Onanefe) Ibori. His kinsmen rolled out logs and blocked the people. They did so in the time of (former Governor Joshua) Dariye. When you now bring state police, which the states can easily afford, then the politicians are crying that they want state police to use them as agents of oppression of their opponents. Are they talking of crime? When they talk of crime, they go and bring 20 vehicles and you say you have contributed towards the maintenance of the police. Is it the vehicle that the ordinary man, the jobless man who is involved in crime will eat? It must be about two or three pronged approach that if you are going to bring down crime, you must also create employment. What have they created there apart from Lagos that is bringing the Lagos State Transport Monitoring Agency (LASTMA), bringing all these things? You must create employment. And then, you have over 100 universities and on a continuing basis, these universities are milling out, training people and when they come out, what do you do? They don’t do anything. And what is the devil’s workshop? Is it not the idle mind? And the people plan.

Is that why there is an upsurge in crime?

Yes. Then, you are now saying that they must create state police. What are you going to do with it? To go and arrest A, to go and arrest Y? Globally, people are now centralizing their police forces because of new crimes that have evolved as a result of modern technology. Cyber crime, terrorism. They are not restricted. They are not localized. Alright? Supposing there is a quarrel between one state and another over land, how do you do it? You will go and bring Benin police in Edo to Delta or Taraba police? Is that what you are saying?

But the fear also, going by this argument, is that even though the governors are the chief security officers of their states,  they have no control over the commissioners in their states….

Because they abdicated their responsibility. They abdicated their responsibility. Go to the Police Council and then control the Nigeria Police from there. You have an assigned role. Alright? Is there anything stronger than the Governors Forum now? Yes! So, if you take the Police Council as a permanent secretariat and the people meet about four, six times a year and discuss how to police and evolve national crime policy, then look after the budget. But they don’t. They will only come once in three years when they want to appoint an Inspector General of Police and then withdraw and go back and start shouting for police something. Do you see the allegations that come up within a state for instance?

But the Presidency can  also abuse federal police. Can’t it?

How will they? They can send somebody from Abuja and say go to Kaduna or Ekiti, and effect… Listen! How can one man who is the chairman now overrule 37 people? They are more in number. The governors are more, plus FCT minister. Let them take a more active interest in the Police Council.

Coming to budget for the  Police: is it that the budget is inadequate or the money disappears somewhere?

It doesn’t disappear anywhere



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