The police High Command has described as worrisome the constant abuse of its officers attached to individuals and companies on guard or escort duty.
The current leadership of the force also stated that it had resolved to ensure full compliance with the order of the Inspector General of Police Olukayode Egbetokun, ordering the withdrawal of the Police Mobile Force from VIPs.
In a statement released on Thursday night by the Force spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, the police high command said that the current leadership had what it takes to enforce the directives of the IG, adding that the withdrawal process would be monitored.
The statement partly read, “The incessant abuse of police officers attached to certain individuals and companies on guard or escort duty has become worrisome and detestable, particularly to the present leadership. This necessitates the drive to not only deploy these officers for strategic police assignments, but to also sanitize the police, review the process and deployment of men on VIP guards, to restore the dignity of the personnel in particular, and the NPF in general.
“The decision to withdraw PMF personnel from VIPs and establish a Special Intervention Squad is aimed at ensuring a more inclusive and effective security framework that caters to the needs of all Nigerians rather than a select few. This strategic shift in approach recognises the importance of equal access to security services for all citizens and seeks to enhance the overall safety and well-being of the Nigerian populace.
“The current leadership possesses the requisite zeal to enforce the directive and monitor the withdrawal process, ensuring it is seamless while gradually moving away from individual protection to collective general social safety.”
Adejobi added that the decision to set up a committee showed the determination of the IG to ensure the order is carried out to the letter.
“By establishing a committee to guide the process headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of operations, the IGP is demonstrating a commitment to transparency, accountability, and actualization of the policy for improved public safety.
“This committee will oversee the implementation of the withdrawal process and ensure a smooth transition while addressing any concerns or challenges that may arise. It will work in close collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including VIPs, to ensure that the interests and security requirements of all concerned are duly considered,” the statement added.
He also said VIPs are empowered by the Police Act to employ individuals while the police train them as ‘supernumerary officers’.
Adejobi said, “Furthermore, the exploration of the use of supernumerary officers aligns with the provisions of Sections 23 to 25 of the Police Act 2020. This legal framework allows VIPs to employ individuals for their security and have them trained by the police as supernumerary officers. This approach not only provides an opportunity for VIPs to have dedicated security personnel but also ensures that these individuals receive proper training and adhere to professional standards set by the police.”