A former Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, says over 200,000 police officers were attached to political elites, a practice he termed “policing the elites against policing security spaces.”

He spoke at the second edition of the National Dialogue series of the Political Leadership and Training Institute (POLA) of former governor of Ogun state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel held in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.

“We have about 400,000 police personnel in Nigeria and 200,000 of those officers are with the political elites. What we are doing in this country is that, we are policing the elites, we are not policing security spaces and this is an issue we have to look into”, Arase added.

Arase attributed the challenges facing the police to lack of political will to implement reports of many reforms done in the past.

He said since 1999, Nigeria has had at least four police reforms from committees set up by past leaders “but unfortunately, none of the reports of the reforms have been implemented. The reports are just there gathering dust”.

On his part, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Tunji Alapini lamented the deplorable state of training facilities at police colleges across the country, saying most of them are unfit to train human beings.

“The environment that police personnel are trained is no longer desirable and this is one of the major reasons for the poor state of the Nigeria Police Force. If you are trained in an environment which is not conducive, when you come out you apply what you have been trained on members of the public. This is what we call garbage in garbage out,” Alapini said.

In his contribution, Senator Ehigie called for the abolition of the quota system in the recruitment of police personnel, stressing that recruitment of police officers should be based on merit and not lobbying.

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