The Nigeria Police has begun the process of migrating from total dependence on lethal weapons as first line of operations, to the use of less lethal weapons such as Taser or Stun guns.
The acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, made the disclosure at the inauguration of Zonal Security Stakeholders’ Forum, held yesterday at the Zone 11 Command headquarters, Gbongan Road, Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
Represented by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Logistics at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, the IGP said he had started addressing the root factors that engendered conflict and distrust between the citizens and the police.
Adamu, who said police authorities were concerned about issues of misuse of firearms and sundry abuses of power, added that under the new policy, personnel on low risk policing duties such as routine patrols, arrest duties and civil disorder management would be armed with Taser or Stun guns as a strategic approach to reduce incidence of fatality associated with misapplication of lethal weapons by the police when faced with low-level threats.
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The IGP ordered that shift duty structure of the police at 12-hour two shifts system be reverted to the traditional eight-hour duty, e shifts standard.
He said: “The import of this order is that henceforth no police personnel should be made to perform any duty exceeding eight hours within a space of 24 hours, unless there is a local or national emergency. To further strengthen this, the Force Medical Service of the Nigeria Police has been directed to introduce emotional intelligence, stress management and cognitive therapy towards the enhancement of psychological and emotional stability of police personnel while on duty.
“These initiatives are directed to close the trust gap between the police and the citizens, create a conducive condition for partnership between the police and the citizens and enhance our potential for the attainment of our internal security mandate within the context of the principles of community policing.”
Governor Gboyega Oyetola, represented at the event by Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Prince Wole Oyebamiji, pledged continued support for the police.
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police for Zone 11 comprising Osun, Oyo and Ondo police commands, Mr. Adeleye Oyebade, said the idea of security stakeholders’ forum was muted “out of burning desire and uncommon willingness to provide robust security for the residents of the zonal command.”
The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, Telu I, called for adequate funding of the police to enable them perform to the expectations of Nigerians.
He advocated a legislation that will ensure traditional rulers are financed to attend to local issues at the grassroots.
In attendance were the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun Oyetunji, Larooye II; the Oloba of Oba-Ile, Oba Kunle Oyeyemi and the three police commissioners for Osun, Oyo and Ondo states.
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