ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, GCFR, PRESIDENT, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE FEDERATION AT THE CEREMONIAL PARADE MARKING THE GRAND FINALE OF THE 2016 NIGERIA POLICE WEEK HELD ON 1ST APRIL, 2016 AT THE EAGLE SQUARE, ABUJA
Today’s event represents a significant and commendable step by the Police leadership to preserve the rich history and tradition of the Nigeria Police. It also marks the day when the Nigeria Police family across the country gives true meaning to the concept of community-driven policing.
2. Beyond these, the Police Week celebration, the climax of which we are witnessing today, presents a unique opportunity for the nation to unite with the Police in remembering and celebrating fallen heroes and heroines of the service who have gallantly laid down their lives in the line of protecting citizens and guaranteeing peace and internal security of our beloved nation.
3. In addition, on this occasion, the Police leadership and indeed the nation at large will acknowledge and honour serving police personnel that have demonstrated professional excellence, patriotism, courage and extraordinary zeal as they strive to deliver their Mandate.
4. Ladies and gentlemen, effective policing of a community is dependent on the level of security consciousness of the citizens and the strength of the synergy that exists between the Policing agencies and the community. This explains why it is generally acknowledged that no Police service in the world, no matter how well motivated, equipped or trained can successfully operate without the acceptance and support of the citizens.
5. The need for a police system that is driven by community input in Nigeria has even become more imperative considering our current national security challenges in which Kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, transnational crimes, terrorism and other organized crimes have evolved to threaten our national values and developmental strides.
6. It is in acknowledgement of this that this administration has rested the internal security architecture of the country on three major platforms. First is to restore the lost police primacy by enhancing the budgetary, human, institutional and operational capacity of the policing service and giving a new orientation and direction to the the Nigeria Police. Second is to sensitize citizens to their crucial roles within the national policing system, and third is to frontally address social factors like illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, drug abuse, and peer group influence which trigger criminality within our communities.
7. It is in furtherance to these, that the Federal Government approved the recruitment of additional 10,000 police personnel and also approved funds for the take-off of the exercise. The Presidency has been assured that the exercise will commence under a transparent and credible process with effect from today 1st April, 2016. Aside addressing the national challenge of youth unemployment, this initiative will bridge the chronic manpower gap inherited by this regime in the Nigeria Police. In carrying out this exercise, I expect the Nigeria Police to put national interest in the forefront so that it will be in line with the reforms agenda being pursued under the Ministry of Interior.
8. I am pleased to know that in furtherance of the integration and reforms programme of the new Ministry of Interior, that a Ministry of Interior Services Games is being planned for this year. The games which is to involve the Nigeria Police, Immigration, Prisons, Federal Fire Service, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the civilian staff of the Ministry, when held, will not only engender a sense of unity and camaraderie among the Services and civilians staff of the Ministry but will also enhance operational synergy amongst them. The games should also provide another opportunity for identification of high caliber sportsmen and women for Nigeria’s national team.
9. Furthermore, the Federal Government has funded the procurement of over 1,000 Patrol Vehicles and other logistics to strengthen the operational capacity of the Safer Highway Patrol Scheme and support the deployment of police personnel towards security stabilization and restoration of civil authority in the North East.
10. In addition, the Federal Government has initiated actions aimed at giving effect to the concept of citizens’-led policing and strengthening the technical intelligence capacity of the service as a strategic national approach towards addressing the challenge of highly organized crime on a sustainable basis.
11. No nation thrives without security, and neither can a nation lay claim to security without an efficient policing service. Consequently, this administration shall continue to support initiatives that will guarantee the reform and modernization of the Nigeria Police.
12. In this regard, no citizen should be in doubt of the firm determination of the Federal Government to bequeath to this nation a reformed, re-oriented, well trained, well-equipped and highly motivated policing service. This dream can, however, only be attained with the support of the citizens. This remains a sacred civic responsibility which all citizens owe this country, especially at this time that we are re-energising our counterterrorism initiatives and working assiduously to protect the citizens from fear of crime and guarantee the safety and security of all Nigerians.
13. Let me at this juncture commend the Inspector-General of Police for sustaining this great policing tradition and for advancing the policing vision of the Federal Government through the various innovative policing strategies he has emplaced. There is no doubt that the leadership he has shown has defined pathways for the restoration of police primacy in Nigeria.
14. In concluding, I must clearly recognize that the nation expects so much from the Police. It remains my expectation, therefore, that the annual Police Week Celebrations will continue to present an opportunity for the service to re-evaluate and entrench new strategies that will reassure the citizens of its capacity and willingness to address their apprehension of crime.
15. It is on this note that I congratulate the Nigeria Police for successfully hosting the 2016 edition of the Police Week and for capping up the event with this beautiful and unique parade. As you march out to continue your arduous law enforcement functions, it is my prayer that God continues to protect and guide you.
16. May God continue to bless and protect the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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