by Stanley Azuakola
Police officers would soon be smiling big time; who knows, the police might finally become our friend.
That’s because Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Abubakar has made an announcement which so many would be pleased to hear.
Speaking in Alausa, Ikeja, when he visited Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, he said henceforth, policemen would receive a minimum wage of N50,000, “unless there is a change of plan.”
He also placed Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police on notice that they would henceforth be held responsible for any human rights violation in their domains.
Not done yet, IGP Abubakar went further to warn policemen that “the era of policemen checking vehicle particulars is over. Policemen driving against traffic [should] face the law of the land.” Using populist rhetoric is certain to endear him to Nigerians, the police chief said citizens must be respected at all times and not intimidated by policemen.
The highpoint of his presentation was the announcement of measures taken to improve the welfare of officers. Apart from the N50,000 monthly wage to be earned by a constable, he also assured that a low-cost housing scheme was being worked out for policemen in Kaduna and Port Harcourt since “that is where we have enough land.”
Policemen are now expected to work hard to remain officers. “The era of policemen who cannot read or write is over. If they send you on a course and you fail an examination for three times, you will be sent out of the job. Our vision is to build a well motivated police force,” he said.