Recent revelations of the dilapidated state of the Premier Police training college, Ikeja have attracted the attention of many Nigerians including that President Goodluck Jonathan. The decrepit level of training the Nigerian Police receive from have no doubt impinged on the performance of the security personnel who are currently being overstretched by the high level of insecurity in the country.
A report by the Human Rights Watch showed that Nigerians don’t trust the police; citizens generally have a bad impression of police officers because of their perceived brutality and corruption.
While on an assignment in the United States of America, Channels Television crew was privileged to visit the City of Miami Police College, an institution which specializes in the training of officers and men for the city of Miami police as well as for other police departments.
In this report we bring you the findings from one several Police training institutions – the Miami police college.
The Federal Government has said that it is poised to restructure and refurbish police training institutions across the country.
The minister of police affairs, Caleb Olubolade, who was speaking after a meeting with the police management team, disclosed that the meeting was to discuss the operational and training needs of the Nigerian police force.
According to him the federal government will address these issues so as to reposition the Nigerian police force for effectiveness.
Mr Olubolade was on Monday summoned by President Goodluck Jonathan to answer questions on the rot at the Police Training College, Ikeja, Lagos, which was brought to the public’s attention after a Channels Television documentary trailer on the college was aired last week.
The documentary had forced Mr Jonathan to pay an unscheduled visit to the college last Friday, the first of such visits by a sitting president to the 73-year-old college.
The House of Representatives had blamed the decay of facilities at the police training college on long periods of neglect and poor funding of the institution.
It also proposed a bill seeking to employ public private partnerships for funding not only the Ikeja College, but other police academies in the country.
There are 10 training police institutions in Nigeria, including Police College, Ikeja; Police College, Oji River, Enugu State; Police College, Kaduna, Kaduna State; Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State; Police Training Staff College, Jos, Plateau State; Police Mobile Force Training School, Ila-Orangun, Osun State; and Police Mobile Training School, Gwoza, Borno State.
Others are Police Detective College, Enugu State; College of Computer Studies, Abeokuta, Ogun State; and other training schools in Lagos, Edo and Cross River States, among other states across the country.
The capacity of the Nigerian Police Force is currently being overstretched by the insurgency in the North, abuses against ordinary citizens and undermines of the rule of law. According to a report of the Human Rights Watch, Nigerians don’t trust the police; citizens generally have a bad impression of police officers because of their perceived brutality and corruption. Despite the huge budgetary allocation to the force – N311 billion ($1.99 billion) in 2013 – the Nigerian police are haplessly often overpowered by criminals whose activity affects those in high and low places.
At the heart of the problem of the police force is training, there are seven police colleges in Nigeria and new recruits are expected to undergo about 13 months training in these institutes.
However, this video report focuses on the deplorable state of the police college in Ikeja, Lagos.
The capacity of the Nigerian Police Force is currently being overstretched by the insurgency in the North, abuses against ordinary citizens and undermining of the rule of law. According to a report of the Human Rights Watch, Nigerians don’t trust the police; citizens generally have a bad impression of police officers because of their perceived brutality and corruption.
You may have seen how dilapidated the police quarters are, possibly have heard how horrible the Nigerian Police cells can be. The reality is right from the Academy, the Nigerian Police officer has known no better way to live.
In what can be described as a brazen show of the harsh reality, a Channels TV documentary on the life of trainees living in the Nigerian Police College, Ikeja has revealed the deplorable conditions faced by people who will later graduate to become policemen and women that Nigerians would rely on to serve and protect them.
Channels TV began the New Year with a focus on the rehabilitation of the foremost training college of the Nigeria Police with an x-ray on the life of students living in the college.
The video below depicts the sad state of the dormitories, the toilets and more. Students were seen urinating at the back of the building where the drainage system has broken down completely. The toilets and bathrooms are in such terrible conditions, one wonders how they manage to use them.
Male dormitory 10 is one of those built by Nigerian colonial masters in 1940. Today, its windows and doors are damaged with no plans for any repairs. There is no electricity and the occupants point out blood stains from bed bug bites.
The College once had an Olympic-size swimming pool which is now a breeding ground for toads. It used to win medals for shooting all over West Africa but there is no shooting range anymore.
Jonah Mavah, the Deputy Commandant of the College said there has been no major development since establishment except for some few renovations. The College itself was built for 700 students but today, it accommodates 2,554.
As for the library, the Staff says they cannot remember the last time books were supplied to the library which is full of museum pieces and antiquities called books bought in the 1970s.
There are 7 police colleges in Nigeria and a total of 18,500 constables graduated as at December 2012.
In 2013, a sum of N311 billion has been budgeted for the Nigerian Police. It is hoped this money would be used judiciously and a significant part of it be allocated to improving infrastructure in the Police Colleges and other facilities of the Nigerian Police.
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Channels Television will on Tuesday 22 January bring together policy makers from both the private and public sector at the Muson Centre, Lagos to chart a course towards rebuilding a decent police training institution in Lagos.
We invite you to participate in the event by:
1. Watching the live broadcast on tv, mobile devices (m.channelstv.com) and other devices (www.channelstv.com/home/live)
2. Sending your questions and comments to the hosts of the Channels TV forum via twitter (www.twitter.com/channelstv_ng) – with the hash tag #channelsforum; facebook (www.facebook.com/channelsforum) and via Google+ (www.plus.google.com/+ChannelsTelevision)
A Professor of criminology and social sciences at the University of Abuja, Femi Odekunle has described Nigeria as a place where politicians engage in political and economic racketeering for their selfish purposes. Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Odekunle said Nigerians should disregard the comments of ministers and other government, officials, who often say that Nigeria’s macroeconomic indices are growing.
“Of course, nobody would deny that we are growing but the growth is not translating to development. Development has to do with impacting on the socioeconomic and political lives of the average citizen. It has to do with distribution of the dividend of development,” he said.
The professor said the reason why the dividend of development is not getting to the ordinary Nigerian was because of corruption.
“The consequences of the resulting underdevelopment cannot be divorced from our level of insecurity which has been worsening, if you allow me to say, from the 60s to today,” Mr Odekunle said.
A security expert and National Coordinator of the Network on Police Reform, Emeka Nwanevu has said that the opaque processes by which Inspectors-General of Police are appointed, the absence of secured tenure for those that occupy that office and high turnover in the leadership of the police make planning for improvements in the performance of the force rather difficult in Nigeria.
Mr Nwanevu, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the lack of security of tenure for the Police Inspector General as well as interference of politicians into the operations of the police make the position of IGP one of the most unstable leadership positions in the country.
He said since the President was the one who can hire and fire the IGP; he has enormous power to control the activities of the police boss. “An Inspector General cannot flaunt the orders of the person who appoints him,” Mr Nwanevu said.
The security expert is calling for the amendment of Section 215(1) of the Nigerian Constitution which provides that the IGP “shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Police Council from amongst serving members of the Nigeria Police Force.”
A lawyer and member of the Crusade for Justice, Richard Nwankwo has described the efforts by the leadership of Nigeria in fighting corruption as superficial and designed to achieve nothing. Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Nwankwo said the present leaders in the country lack the political will and determination to conduct a genuine crusade against corruption in Nigeria.
“When you are fighting corruption from the general point of view, the leadership must show some measure of political will and determination and some measure of drive to demonstrate to everybody that actually there is a massive campaign against corruption and that is clearly not been done here,” he said.
Against the backdrop of recent suicide bombings at banks across the country the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar on Tuesday announced the creation of a special protection unit as part of training for security officers deployed to banks in Nigeria. Mr Abubakar made this known at a meeting with heads of security in banks across the country in Abuja.
The closed door meeting is expected to map out ways of beefing up security at financial institutions and also reviewing the remuneration of security officials deployed to bank premises.
Other decisions reached at the meeting was a plan to create a special protection unit for chief security officers at the banks as part of training to ensure effective reprisal attacks.
The Inspector General asked bank administrators to be weary of the staff employed at the banks saying that there is an urgent need to improve the level of security at bank premises and review the welfare of police officers posted to banks.
Mr Abubakar further highlighted some of the challenges militating against the security of banks and its workers. According to him, addressing the prevalence of bank robbery incidences would require stiffer training for police officers deployed to banks in the country.
The Chairman Committee of Heads of Security of Banks and Other Financial Institutions, Clement Ebere said that his members of his committee are willing to collaborate with the police to tackle the spate of bank insecurity.
The meeting which is to be a continuation of previous discussions on insecurity is expected to ensure better efficiency among chief security officers of banks in the line of duty.