President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent claim that his eight years administration has significantly attained its repositioning plan for the Nigeria Police Force has been described as a blatant attempt to spoon-feed gullible Nigerians with phantom achievements of an administration that significantly supervised the destruction of the Nigeria Police Force from how the administration met it in 2015.
Making the counter claim is the nation’s foremost civil rights advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) which states that the eight years of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is the period in which the police lost over a hundred police stations and nearly 300 police operatives lost their lives to the daredevil activities of terrorists waging a war of attrition targeting strategic national security assets in the South East of Nigeria even as the Nigeria Police Force failed to stop the mass slaughter of innocent civilians in the North West by armed Fulani herdsmen and terrorists.
HURIWA recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja at the inauguration of critical operational assets procured by the Nigeria Police Force made the sensational claim of repositioning the near moribund Nigeria police Force in the eight years of his administration and further claimed as follows: “Looking back to what I inherited in the Nigeria Police Force and where we are, almost eight years into our administration, I can proudly say that I have significantly attained my reposition plan for the Nigeria Police Force. It is my expectation that subsequent national leadership of the country will sustain this initiative.”
HURIWA dismissed the false claims of repositioning the police by President Muhammadu Buhari and affirmed that before the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari in the year 2015, the police were still capable of maintaining law and order in over seventy five percent of the geographical areas of Nigeria and the police was effective in checking the activities of all sorts of armed non state actors in the South East, North West and North Central.
The Rights group however lamented that since the government of President Muhammadu Buhari introduced nepotistic yardstick in appointing top level commanders of the police, the police simply collapsed and the overwhelming presence of indiscipline and lack of professionalism on the part of the operatives abd officers, have led to the fizzling out of the police presence in virtually sixty percent of the South East of Nigeria thereby letting armed non state actors to call the shots. HURIWA said the breach of the Constitution by President Muhammadu Buhari in extending the tenure of the Inspector General of Police Usman Alkali Baba even when the Civil Service Rules require that he retires in March 2023 on attainment of 60 years of age, has made the Nigeria Police Force and the Country appear as a laughing stock and a nation whose political leadership elevates impunity above respect for Rule of Law.
HURIWA said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari promised wide ranging reforms of the police during the campaign prior to his assumption of office in 2015 and at a time wanted to introduce state police, but the government capitulated to the sentiments of some northern hawks who want the status quo of the Total control and command structures of the Nigefia police force being in the hands of Northern Muslims, deceived President Muhammadu Buhari to abandon the agenda of thorough police reforms and establishment of state police.
“If we may ask, which police force did President Muhammadu Buhari significantly repositioned? Is it this policing institution that stood by when over 100 vigilantes and villagers were killed by Fulani bandits and terrorists in Katsina State? Is it the police to let armed Fulani herdsmen carry out consistent genocides in Benue state and Southern Kaduna killing over 6,000 Chrustians? Is it this police whose police stations and assets have been virtually and completely destroyed in parts of South East by armed hoodlums? Is it this policing institution that collapsed during the year 2020 EndSars nationwide protests and the police were even too afraid to wear their uniform? If this police force is significantly impacted by the so-called policies of President Muhammadu Buhari, how come that the Nigerian Army is overstretched with virtually all major internal security operations necessitated by the incapacity of the same Nigeria police Force to carry out their constitutional mandate of enforcement of law and order whereas the Army ought to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria and fight foreign infiltrators and rebels? The summary of all of these is the truth that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has significantly destroyed the Nigeria Police Force.”