GEJ Commissions Helicopter, Crime Scene Vehicles, Others
ABUJA, Oct 18, (THEWILL) - Determined to control the rate of criminal activities in the country, President Goodluck Jonathan today commissioned a crime-fighting police helicopter and equipment just as he vowed to separate security issues from the current political debates in the country.
The event created heavy traffic situation in the capital city for several hours as motorists and commuters were restricted from using certain routes as part of measures to ensure a hitch free commissioning.
Against the backdrop of the bomb blasts during the 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations, Jonathan remarked at the commissioning ceremony that politicians should draw a line between the all-important issue of security and politicking.
He said: “I have never played politics with it and I will never play politics with it and I urge Nigerians not to play politics with it. It is a serious crime against our Nation and must be accorded the seriousness it deserves.”
He reiterated his administration’s determination to get to the bottom of the October 1 blasts saying, “this administration is fully resolved to ensure diligence and thorough investigation of the dastardly bomb blasts of October 1 in Abuja. It is a duty we owe to our nation and our dear brothers and sisters who lost their lives on that faithful day. It is a duty which we will prosecute to a logical conclusion.”
The President commissioned crime scene vehicles and a twin engine 15-seater Advance Bell 412 EP IFR combat helicopter installed with armoured plate protection for both pilot and passengers, and also fitted with a 16 million candle light dismountable search light that enables it to undertake surveillance operation.
He also commissioned the Total Radar Coverage of Nigerian Airspace (TRACON) comprising four Primary Radar and five Secondary Radar Heads co-located in Nnamdi Azikwe, Murtala Muhammed, Malam Aminu Kano and Port Harcourt International airports, as well as the AYA overhead bridge on Nyanya Road, Abuja.
He observed that how well the police Force was able to meet with its constitutional obligation was to a large extent the function of how well it was supported with equipment and vital logistics.
He said the transformation and repositioning of the Force is a deliberate attempt to attain the highest level of professional excellence which had been the major focus of the present administration.
President Jonathan noted that the recent changes in the Police which saw the sack of top personnel were also to ensure that “we meet our new challenges,” adding “we are presently confronted with new species of crime of kidnapping and car bombs. Surely, this requires new and sophisticated techniques to combat it,” as he added that “the procurement of the helicopter and crime vehicles which we are commissioning today is part of the holistic programmes aimed at enhancing capacity efficiency and functional effectiveness in the NPF. This is the beginning and they will get more,” Jonathan said.
The president noted that the huge financial implication of effective policing across the county was such that the federal government alone could not bear the burden, noting that the Police Reform Programme was estimated to cost about N1.5 trillion spread over six years period.
“It is in recognition of this fact that the federal government accepted a proposal for funding the programme by the three tiers of government; the federal, the state and the local government, including the private sectors and our development partners. “The federal government on its part has already demonstrated commitment to the programme by making a budgetary provision of N7.1 billion in the present fiscal year. I must commend those state governments that even before the unfolding of these arrangements, have consistently provided valuable support to the Nigeria Police Force. It is my hope that others will emulate their patriotic examples,” the president stated.
He expressed optimism that the organised private sector would take up the challenge of effectively partnering with the federal government to ensure enduring peace stability and security throughout the length and breadth of the country.
Earlier at the commissioning of TRACON at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, President Jonathan said that it was another stride in the present administration to overhaul the aviation system and raise it to international standard.
"This is another deliberate stride by this administration to provide safe and secure airspace across the country. The sector is currently undergoing transformation from its past state of disrepairs to conform to international standard," he said.
He described the project as a milestone and a good 50th anniversary gift to Nigeria, stating that the successful installation of TRACON closely followed the conferment of category 1 status in the aviation sector.
Aviation Minister Mrs. Fidelia Njezeh said the realization of the project was a difficult task.