Obiano challenges other governors on police welfare
By Osita Okechukwu
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has charged governors of other states of Nigeria to give more priority to the proper equipment and welfare of police operatives in their states noting that when the police are given the best as is obtainable in developed countries, the society will get the best from them.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of a four-day capacity training for Police spokespersons across Nigeria which he hosted in Golden Tulip Hotel, Agulu, Anaocha LGA of Anambra State, Obiano observed that the police are still ill equipped to deal with the dynamic nature of crime in the country.
The Anambra State governor stated that the reason the police in Anambra State seem more effective than their counterparts in other states was because of the priority given to security by his administration. He reiterated that security is a chief enabler of his vision for the state which is to make Anambra State the first-choice investment destination in the country.
In his words, “The police have a daunting task because of the paucity of funds. My encouragement to other states is to motivate the police. If you support them, you will get the best from them. That is what we are doing and we are getting the very best from them. The police will be getting a lot of support on Friday. Some of the equipment I am going to give the police were bought from Houston and have never been used by any police force anywhere in Africa.
“The vision of the state is to make Anambra the first-choice investment destination while our mission is to create a business-friendly environment where indigenes and non-indigenes alike would come to do business. It was based on these that there are enablers, chief of which is security. You can see why we pay very close attention to security in Anambra state. That is why I am your friend. I reassure you that we are very accommodating and very friendly people. Our people appreciate the work of the NPF.”
Earlier in his keynote address, the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed thanked Governor Obiano for hosting the capacity building exercise saying that it was ‘imperative to continue equipping the PPROs with necessary skills and knowledge to effectively engage the public and manage information about the police and its activities.”
The IGP who was represented by AIG Baba Tijjani, in charge of Zone 9 stated that the governor had demonstrated by the gesture that he was a strong supporter of the police force. He encouraged the PPROs to reinvent themselves in the use of the social media in managing security information.
“Experts have asserted that there is a relationship between public perception of the force and effectiveness of the police. The target of this four-day exercise is to rebrand the police and project it positively to the citizens with a view to build strong partnership with the citizens. Our expectation is that your skills will be sharpened by the end of this workshop and that you would develop strong critical thinking ability needed to dissect and manage complaints,” he said.
He commended the PPROs for their job so far in rebranding the image of the police and urged them to maintain utmost professionalism at all time.
In his capacity as the AIG of the zone, Tijjani noted that the workshop was the first of its kind since 1930 adding that such refresher training needed to be a recurrent exercise for the police public relations officers.
The national President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Comrade Chris Isiguzo, in his comment, thanked the police for the exercise. He commended the initiative and called for more of such events to check the ongoing global information crisis.
“We condemn all forms of violence against journalists. In spite of the threats against journalists we encourage them to double their efforts. Freedom of expression is one of the most important right of man. Enhanced press freedom and deepened democracy will enable the police and the media to enhance their practice.
“We encourage media practitioners and the police alike to accord mutual respect to each other and encourage them to recognize each other’s constitutional role. We also encourage the police to provide timely information to the media to avoid the media publishing one sided reports. We shall collectively strive to make the police force better.”
Other dignitaries who spoke at the event were the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, heads of security, military and paramilitary agencies and faculty heads of school of media and communications, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos. There was also the National president of the National Institute of Public Relations, Mukthar Zubairu Sirajo.