By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to bequeath a citizens-oriented policing system to the country as one of his administration’s legacies.

President Buhari made the promise yesterday at the passing out parade of 418 officers of the Third Regular Cadet Course at the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State.

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The President said his administration had demonstrated firm commitment towards changing the principle and strategy of policing in Nigeria.

A statement in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said President Buhari directed the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission on the upward review of police emoluments.

The President, who spoke through Police Affairs Minister Maigari Dingyadi, noted that a citizens-led policing system informed the approval for the adoption of Community Policing as the Internal Security Strategy of the country, as well as the approval of funds to support the implementation process.

On the revised salary and allowances for the police, President Buhari said this would be commensurate with the vital functions they perform as the lead agency in internal security setting.

He said the police reform initiative of his administration had focused on improving the welfare of the force, recruitment of 10,000 junior police officers annually, investing in the upgrade of facilities at the Nigeria Police Academy and other police training institutions across the country, among others.

“In addition, a Nigeria Police Academy (Establishment) Bill is currently receiving legislative attention at the National Assembly. On passage, the Bill will give full legal backing to the existence and academic programmes of the Nigeria Police Academy and fully legitimise its status as a Police University.

“Furthermore, as part of our police reform initiatives, the Police Public Complaint Committee (PPCC), which is domiciled in the Ministry of Police Affairs, has been resuscitated with the mandate to receive complaints from the general public on cases of abuse and maltreatment by police officers. The PPCC has a membership comprising officials from relevant MDAs and security agencies.

“A Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement undertaken by the Ministry of Police Affairs to rejuvenate the National Public Security Communication System Network has been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

“This is with a view to ensuring that when fully reactivated, the police and other security agencies will be able to fully utilise this vital facility,” he said.

The President listed some of his administration’s efforts at giving the nation an effective police force.

He urged the newly commissioned 418 cadet officers, who are now Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs), to be guided by the fact that their conduct on the field will be constantly scrutinised and that they would be held personally accountable for their actions.

The academy’s Commandant, Lawal Tanko Jimeta, said the passing out ceremony was the third since the academy was upgraded into a university.

He added that about 1,000 well trained officers had graduated from the institution.

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