Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, on Monday in Abuja lamented the depletion of the force, through the loss of between 20 and 30 of its officers and men every month.
Arase, who spoke when he visited the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mike Okiro, a retired IGP, appealed for urgent recruitment to ensure that the force is well positioned to perform its duties.
The IGP further lamented that many of its men and officers who are due for promotion have been stagnated for a long time, explaining that, “some officers had been on one rank for upwards of eight to nine years, because of non-availability of establishment vacancies.”
Such high rate of stagnation, the IGP regretted, had seriously affected the morale of the officers, appealing to the PSC to assist in ensuring that more establishment vacancies are created to cater for the backlog of promotions in the force.
Responding, Okiro said his office is aware of the shortfall in the number of policemen in the country, acknowledging the need for urgent recruitment to ensure that the nation is well policed.
While emphasizing the need to replace officers who may have died in the course of duty, Okiro vowed that his commission would do everything within its powers to raise the overall efficiency of the force.
Meanwhile, the police management team has ordered the re-deployment of 16 X-Squad teams to check the illegal activities of corrupt police officers in the six geo-political zones in the country.
During a visit to Lagos at the weekend, Arase said the re-deployment would ensure the team is on the trail of officers who mount illegal roadblocks to extort money from motorists plying major roads and expressways nationwide.
Arase insisted that any police officer caught mounting illegal road blocks and extorting money from motorists would face orderly room trials and if found wanting, dismissed.
The acting IGP however explained that dismantling road blocks will make room for Federal Highway police officers to patrol these roads and expressways in order to ensure visibility.
“I have directed the State Police Commissioners to ensure that there is maximum cooperation when the team arrives their zones for the purpose of policing corrupt police officers,” even as he further disclosed that his tenure will focus on intelligence-led policing.