By Abiodun Taiwo
A retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Tunji Alapini yesterday bemoaned the standard of training facilities of the Nigeria Police Force, declaring that most police colleges in the country are not fit for training human beings.
Alapini said, “The environment that police personnel are trained is no longer desirable and this is one of the major reasons for the poor state of the Nigeria Police Force.
If you are trained in an environment which is not conducive, when you come out you apply what you have been trained on members of the public.
This is what we call garbage in garbage out.”
Alapini disclosed this at the second edition of the National Dialogue series of the Political Leadership and Training Institute (POLA), of former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The retired AIG insisted that the poor training of police personnel as a result of the failed training facilities has been largely responsible for the problems in the police force, declaring that “the training we are having now is an albatross”.
“I started my training at the Police College in Ikeja before I was posted to Kwara State. I have been opportuned to be Commissioner of Police in Ogun, Edo and Zamfara states.
I have also been opportuned to be a commandant of police colleges where we trained recruits and I know what it means for us to train new recruits, but nearly 30 years after I left the police college in Ikeja, with what I saw, I couldn’t believe we can train people there,” Alapini said.
The former AIG also noted that the faulty recruitment process of the Nigeria Police Force has allowed for the employment of a lot of “undesirable elements” into the police.
According to him, people who are untrainable are now being recruited into the police, a situation he said portends great danger for security of Nigerians.
He said the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) deviated from its original responsibility into dealing with cases “that are not actually robbery related, cases like land dispute, family dispute” as a result of lack of supervision and neglect.
Other speakers who spoke at the virtual dialogue with the theme: “The challenges of Nigeria Police Reform, Civil unrest and the Nation’s Democratic Advancement”, included: former IGP Solomon Arase, the former National Coordinator of the Police Equipment Fund; Kenny Martins, Ibrahim Mai Sule, Senator Ehigie Uzamere, Dr. Baraka Sanni and former Oyo State governor, Christopher Alao-Akala.
Arase in his contribution submitted that the problem of the Nigeria Police Force was not reforms, but lack of political will to implement reports of many reforms done in the past.
According to him, since 1999, Nigeria has had at least four police reforms from committees set up by past leaders “but unfortunately, none of the reports of the reforms have been implemented.
The reports are just there gathering dust.” “The problem we have in this country is lack of implementation. Even if we set up another police reform committee today, the same issues, the fundamental issues bedeviling the police that we are talking about today will still continue.