By Abiodun OBA
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, has disclosed plans of his administration to double the manpower strength of the Police Force in the country.
Egbetokun made the disclosure while addressing men and officers of the Kwara State Police Command during a one-day visit to the state Command in Ilorin, the state capital on Friday.
Egbetokun, who said that the plan to increase the manpower would be gradual, added that President Bola Tinubu has recently given approval for yearly recruitment in Police.
“We’re paying attention to manpower. I know there’s a shortage of manpower in the command. I know the stress that I had gone through while as CP in making sure that the job is done. I know one policeman does job of two policemen.
“A policeman would close from night duty and resume for morning duty. And as he’s closing from morning duty, he’s resuming night duty. And when he dozes off in public, his photography is taken and posted and made ridicule of him. I’m aware of all these.
“We’re making efforts to increase your strength. The President had recently given approval for yearly recruitment in police. That’s the way forward. We need to double the strength of police in the country. We cannot do it overnight, but gradually. And gradually we’ll get there. We’ll also emphasise training to achieve professionally competent police force. We’re also looking into welfare in the increase in salary and other areas to improve lives of officers, just as equipping Police Force is a priority. We promise to take care of the insurance plan too”.
The IGP, who noted that he had an interesting time while in Kwara state as the Commissioner of Police, said, “I’m so excited to be with you seeing your smiling faces. I’m aware of your sacrifices to make Kwara peaceful. I’m aware of your exploits, arrest, convictions, breakthrough, and recovery of arms you are making.”
He also shared the new vision of the Police, which he said “is to have a professionally competent police force, service driven, rule of law compliant, citizen- friendly and a police force that will support the agenda of the government in economic recovery and growth as well as social integration and political development of our country. A police force that will respond to dynamic of crime and criminality in our community”.
During a courtesy visit to the Emir of Ilorin, the 22nd IGP described his visit as a homecoming, while he appreciated the monarch for his support and assistance during his service in the state from 2019 to 2020.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner of Police, Victor Olaiya, requested the supply of an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) from the IGP to further enhance security of banks and improve crime fighting capacity.
The CP also said that the number of Policemen and women policing Kwara state has dropped far below the accepted United Nations policing ratio of one policeman to 400 citizens.
He said that Kwara state was created on May 5, 1967 with a strength of 8,000 policemen, when the population of the state was far below two million.
“Thankfully, the IGP has assured of the recruitment of more hands, and we hope and wish it continues.
“Kwara State is a gateway State between the Northern and Southern parts of the country; this alone has exposed the state to both negative and positive opportunities with her position, hence the need to continually be on our toes.
“The state is surrounded by both local and international borders, making policing challenging. This brings me to the issue of synergy with sister agencies. I am proud to report, sir, that the foundation of collaboration while you served as the Commissioner of Police Kwara State Command has taken a firm root, which has contributed to the successes achieved in the area of crime fighting in the State.
“In Spite of logistic challenges and inadequate manpower, the command has been trying to sustain the harmony that has existed in the state.”