Inspector General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase has urged his men to respect human rights. This is just as Interior Minister AbdulRahman Dambazzau said Nigerians expect more from the IGP and his men.
The IGP spoke yesterday in Abuja at a seminar on ‘International Human Rights Standards and Trends in Community Policing’.
Arase said: “Police personnel are the prime security actors in the internal security architecture of the country and in terms of respect for human rights, I will say they are doing well but there are still areas where we have to finetune and that is why I am jazzing up their training and I am getting them to connect with the public.
“It is not an easy thing trying to rejig an organisation that has been stagnant for sometime. So, training will be a continuous thing even after I leave and I believe that I have set the pathway, I have put the building blocks and whoever is coming after me will build on those things.
Speaking on the essence of the seminar, he said: “You must know that in a democracy, the organisation supposed to drive the rule of law is the Police. So, of necessity, officers must be comply with human rights nationally and internationally.
The IGP also said the manual, which was launched: ‘Operational Manual of International Human Rights Protocols and Guidelines,’ will serve as a police bible.
Arase also launched a compendium: “Nigeria Police Force (1861 – 2016): Establishment Profile”.
On the importance of the compendium, Arase said: “The essence is for us to tell our story for posterity because any institution that fails to recognise and document its history stands the danger of creating a historical vacuum, which will engender distorted narration of its evolution.”
The IGP explained that the protocols cover police investigation, arrest, detention, use of force and firearms, management of civil disorder, protection of juveniles, protection of women, protection of victims of crime and abuse of power, police command and management, community policing, and policing in a constitutional democracy, among others.
He hoped that Nigerians would use the operational as a template they could refer to in holding the police accountable.
Speaking on what Nigerians expect from the police, the minister said: “I want to emphasise that a lot is expected from you (IGP) by the public.
“All eyes are on you and you need to ensure that the senior officers focus on professionalism in terms of training and welfare of personnel. There is no doubt that without meeting the minimum standard of professionalism, you will not be able to carry out your constitutional mandate,” he said.