Calls for massive recruitment of Police
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
AS the security situation in the country worsens, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FERMA, Senator Gershon Bassey has said that deployment of technology will be the panacea to bring the situation to a control.
Senator Bassey, who represents Cross River South Senatorial District in the senate, also holds the view that massive recruitment of Police personnel would further help to curtail insecurity in the country.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, weekend, Senator Bassey said that efforts being made by the federal government to address the problem economically through the social intervention funds for the youth was good but should be well implemented .
He posited that the human factor model of policing or securing communities had become obsolete and ineffective especially as being experienced in Nigeria with the Boko Haram insurgency armed banditry, kidnapping and outright community invasions by gang of criminals masquerading as Herders are concerned .
He said though the Police as presently constituted in Nigeria, was grossly underfunded and incapacitated in terms of insignificant number of personnels to the population of Nigerians, if the required technological devices like functional close circuit cameras in strategic areas , helicopters for hounding of criminals in the jungles or forests as well as tracking mechanisms were put in place , crimes and criminalities will reduced .
According to him, “You don’t see or hear of kidnapping in many countries, why? It’s because of technology. Once you have the technology, kidnapping becomes extremely difficult.
“Why not acquire the technology to reduce kidnapping significantly. In Nigerian states, where technology has been introduced, kidnapping has been virtually eliminated like in my State , Cross River , same with other crimes.”
Senator Bassey, who said he subscribed to the idea of establishment of State Police Nigeria being a federation, insisted that urgent actions required now to curb the insecurity were putting in place the needed technology by government at all levels and in particular the federal government , carrying out massive recruitment into the federal Police whose personnel both officers and men , are less than 400, 000 now , to a population of about 200 million people .
He also said that adequate funding was another urgent step needed to be taken by the federal government for the Nigeria Police Force as well as other security outfits .
His words: ” There is no doubt whether we have state, federal or local police, they must be properly funded. Nigeria is under-policed, we are far below the international standard when it comes to the ratio of police to citizens. We need to recruit more police.
“Second, we need to fund not just our police but our security agencies. Like some of my colleagues were saying on the floor of the Senate that we need to have an emergency in security, that emergency must include funding, like the federal government is doing for COVID-19.
“Let’s go to the fundamentals first. The ones we have, let it work. They other one, like state police, is a medium term issue. You cannot amend the constitution today, it takes process.
“But in the meantime, Nigerians are having problem, so let address the problem now. If today we have an emergency in security, then we can quickly allocate fund, recruit the personnel and acquire the technology needed within few months”
On quality of personnel being recruited into the Police, Senator Bassey said that shouldn’t be a problem at all, since Nigeria has the highest graduate unemployment rate in the world .
“We have one of the highest graduate unemployment rates in the world. So finding graduate to recruit into the Police Force shouldn’t be a problem. We have enough ablebodied men and women who are ready to go into security agencies. We need them to secure the country.
“And if you say there may be bad eggs amongst them, even in journalism, there are bad eggs. What should be done is to find a way to screen out the potential bad eggs”, he said .
He added that as a way of fighting insecurity through empowerment of the youth, the social intervention programme is a good idea but needs to be well implemented .
” In theory, I totally agree with the social intervention programme, because our people are suffering and the economy is shrinking. In practical economics, one of the ways to come out of the recession is to inject more money into the economy and direct very fast ways of putting the money into the hands of the vulnerable people, so that they will have disposable income.
“The idea of the programme is something I agree with, but I’m not too conversant with the way it is being implemented .
“What I will advise is that those responsible for the programme implementation, should move with speed in disbursing funds to people. If they move fast, I think people will feel the impact”.
Source: Vanguard News