Following the incessant killing of security operatives and attacks on its formations in the South-South region, the Nigeria Police Force has disclosed plans to checkmate activities of hoodlums in the region through an onslaught drive codenamed “Operation Restore Peace”.
Speaking at asecurity stakeholders meeting in Uyo on Tuesday, after a tour of police formations touched by hoodlums in Akwa Ibom, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Research and Planning, Moses Jitoboh, said police authority has reviewed welfare package for officers and men of the Nigerian Police to meet emerging realities.
Jitoboh explained that the review of welfare packages such as gratuities and pensions, as well as provision of facilities were necessary to enable policemen to work better and boost their image owing to recent attacks on its men and formations.
“The Inspector-General of Police is looking into the welfare of the police, gratuities, and pensions is being reviewed. He is working on it, and the President of the country has given him that assurance that it will take place soonest. Policemen will start smiling.
“On the provision of facilities for the police, the President is worried, the Inspector General of Police is worried and everything is being done to address this police logistics and need,” he said.
Also, the DIG said the Inspector General of Police had mandated him as the most senior officer in the region to be the theatre commander of “Operation Restore Peace”.
He said, “Operation Restore Peace” is hinged on the premise that never again will any policeman be killed unjustly and police formations attacked and destroyed.“
Jitoboh explained that the internal security of the state would be reorganised to function better, noting that community policing would be well coordinated for effectiveness.
“The President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and the Police, President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed and formed a special squad for the South-South and South-East which is being coordinated by the IG himself.
“The IG has directed me as the most senior officer from the South-South to be the theater commander of what we call, “Operation Restore Peace”.
“We have to restore the almost broken peace, we have to bring peace together and the way we are going to do it, Nigeria and the world would be grateful.
“Men and assets have been deployed, of which the IGP launched in Enugu and Port Harcourt. We have put down mechanisms in place to tackle attacks on Police formations.
“I want to tell the people of Akwa Ibom State that peace is here. Peace will be restored. Operation Restore Peace has come to stamp its feet and we want to tell them that we have adopted a slogan, ‘never again’. Never again will policemen be killed unjustly, never again will police stations be burnt.
“I have gone to Ikot Akpan in Essien Udim, the biggest hotbed, we have dominated that place, the Police have taken over everything there and peace has been restored. So, never again will the police take all these killings and wanton destruction of properties.
“I’m also here to tell you that with what had happened, we will change the internal security so that it would be better. The internal security of this state will be reengineered and you will have a better police force. We will retool our community policing to make it better,” he said.
In his remarks, Assitant Inspector General of Police, Zone 6, Zaki Ahmed, said though the police were the custodian of security, security was impossible without the cooperation of the citizens.
“We have never had it so bad like in recent times. So many officers were attacked, facilities destroyed, including patrol vehicles.
“We are the custodian of security, but it is impossible to have security without the support of the public. The morale of the police is low but I believe after the interaction, their morale will be boosted,” he stated.
By Victor Uzoho…
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