Insecurity: FG To Provide Helicopters For Nationwide Aerial Surveillance
SAN FRANCISCO, April 29, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday disclosed that helicopters to upscale air surveillance operations aimed at curbing dangerous crimes such as armed robbery and facilitate prompt response in case of emergency would soon be provided for all the Police Commands in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Jonathan stated this while speaking at the 2013 Police Week and inauguration of some police equipment at the Eagles Square, Abuja.
The equipment inaugurated at the ceremony included seven helicopters, 13 Armoured Personel Carriers (APCs), 275 patrol vehicles and 20 Toyota Hilux armoured Pick-up vans and other gadgets.
President Jonathan urged the Police to ensure proper maintenance of the equipment at their disposal and embark on constant training of its rank and file to put them in good shape to combat current security challenges.
Calling on the policemen to respect the rights of the citizens in the discharge of their duties, the President said: "I expect that these facilities will enhance police capability in prevention of crimes and improving response time in emergency situation. It shall be instruments of justice and protection of all men of goodwill as it will be deployed and utilised strategically to achieve and accelerate utmost result.
"For us to continue to use these equipment, one thing I urge the police to do is maintenance. As a nation, we are not too good in maintaining what we have. Presently, that aspect is improving because my reaction to the Armed Forces, the Navy, and the Air Force, we have a very formidable team that is now maintaining their equipment.
"The police should do the same so that these equipment will last the time they are expected to last. Also, we must emphasise the need to train. For you to remain gallant, for you to remain functional in whatever you do, and especially in security tactics, training is vital.
"You must train on the job, you must train with the equipment so that our men and women in the Police Force will have confidence in themselves so that they will continue to operate as gallant men and women.
"The police must be well-equipped and kitted to protect us while on land, while in water and also in the air. Of course, you see the helicopter we are inaugurating and I believe my commitment is that every state command must have a helicopter.
"You have seen the commitment of government, that is why we set up the special fund. A situation where armed robbers could take over a place and operate for hours and no challenge must be a thing of the past. And that is why we want to invest in air power for the Nigerian Police."
Jonathan also commiserated with the families of police men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty and presented post-humous presidential awards to those who distinguished themselves in terms of courage.
"This is quite trying moment for this country in terms security. For various reasons, a number of our police officers have lost their lives while serving their father land. In this unique moment, I crave your indulgence for all of us to stand up for one minute of silence for these police officers who have lost their lives.
"We have challenges from the south to the north, from the east to the west, but the police stay awake as security personnel. Accept our condolences and let me assure you that government will continue to remember you loved ones who had worked and served us. I want us also to continue to remember you members of their family.
"The Police has the constitutional role of enforcing the law, keeping the peace and protecting lives and property which as exceedingly vital for societal fitness , well being and development.
"For police to be effective, of course, government must also provide the police with what it requires to work with. The tools must be provided. That is one of the reasons we are here today and also to commission some of the items and we will continue to do more," the President said.
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, in his remarks, noted that the Police Week which was last celebrated in 1976 is providing opportunity for the Nigerian Police Force to reappraise itself.
"Beyond the fun-fare, the 2013 Police Week celebrations convey a deeper message. It provides a veritable window for us to undertake institutional self-appraisal by celebrating our achievements in an increasing complex security crime environment, while also identifying our peculiar challenges in the fight against crime.
"Above all, the long term objective of the Police Week celebrations is to bridge the increasing widening gap between the public and the police and give positive connotation to the popular saying that "Police is your friend ,‘" he said.
Abubakar assured the public of the police commitment to the protection of lives and property of the citizens as well as remaining accountable to them.
In his brief remarks, the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade, expressed appreciation to President Jonathan and urged the public to support the police to do their job by providing useful information to them to tackle various security challenges in the country.