President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday sworn in former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Solomon Arase as the new chairman of Police Service Commission (PSC).
Arase took his oath of office at the Council Chamber of Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The President also swore in five board members of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). They are Murtala Kankia from state (North-West), Zephaniah Bulus from Nasarawa state (North Central), Farouk Umar from Yobe state (North East), Taofeek Abdulsalam from Ondo state (South West) and Professor Juwaria Badamasi from Kogi state (North Central).
Fielding questions from State House correspondents, the new chairman of the Police Service Commission promised to prioritise the welfare of officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force.
He also promised to address the issue of corruption and the recurring crisis between the Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission.
“We’ll ensure that we continue to put our local and international expertise at their disposal.
“We will be strong in training in various areas especially alternative dispute resolution.
“The issue of discipline will be taken seriously. I will not want a situation where civil situations arise. So any officer who steps out of the line, there will be consequences.
“But at the same time, they are my colleagues and children. So I’m going to make sure that I sharpen their skills.
“I’ll ensure that they start having confidence in themselves. With more training, the trust gap between members of the public and the police will be bridged.
“That is what I want to do. That members of the public will collaborate with the police force; see them as part of the larger society.
“Every policeman was a civilian and will return to civilian life after retirement as I have since I retired some seven years ago.
“The benefits that are derivable from good conduct as a police officer, they will continue to reap it when they retire. So that is what I will emphasise,” he said.
On the specific steps to improve the relationship between the commission and the police, Arese said: “If you look at the calibre of people you have in the commission, then you also look at the professional skills of the police management team, there is no way that there won’t be occasional issues.
“What I think we should do is that each of the parties should not learn to take everything. There must be negotiation, empathy and respect for each of our roles.
“I will expect that the commission allows the IGP to exercise his operational control over the police. And that the IG himself will respect the constitutional powers of the Police Service Commission. So, there must be mutual respect between both parties. I don’t foresee any crisis at all.”
On the need to address corruption in the police, he said: “Well, as an Inspector-General of Police, the way I looked at the issue of corruption was to identify it from the source. When you tackle issues that are likely to increase the tendencies to be corrupt, you deal with it. How are you taking care of their welfare?
“How are you ensuring that when they retire, they have a decent house to go to? How are you taking care of their children? Can we organise scholarship schemes for them?
“Can we ensure that when we deploy them, they have the necessary work equipment? When you respect people who work for you…even your dog’s, when they see you, they will wag their tails. So we must take the interest of the Nigerian police officers into consideration. And we’ll douse the issue of corruption. Also, members of the public should not corrupt them.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari has honoured the late Lieutenant-General Oladipo Diya (retd) who died on Sunday, March 26, 2023.
The deceased served as the Chief of General Staff and Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council during the late General Sani Abacha regime.
Born on April 3, 1944, at Odogbolu in Ogun state, Diya joined the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna and fought during the Nigerian Civil War.
He was appointed Chief of General Staff in 1993 and Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1994.