President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday directed the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, to prune down or reduce the number of policemen attached to political bigwigs across the country.
He also gave a directive that the police boss should redeploy all policemen withdrawn from that role to regular police duties.
The President during a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Police Service Commission in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, warned that he would not tolerate any irregularities or extortion of money from unemployed Nigerians in the coming recruitment into the police.
In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Femi Adesina, he said applicants having to pay bribes before being accepted into the police in the past was totally unacceptable.
The President told the officials that those in charge of recruitment and training in the Police must be above board and eschew every form of extortion and underhand dealing.
“You must ensure that the recruitment process is transparent. Those who will conduct the recruitment must be above board. It should not be heard that they receive gratification or extort money from those who want to enlist in the police,” the President was quoted as saying.
On the stagnation of policemen on a rank for many years, the President counselled the PSC to review the current structure of the police, and make recommendations on how the problem could be solved to boost the morale of serving policemen.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police Affairs, Dr. James Obiegbu, had, in his briefing of the President, listed inadequate police personnel, dwindling finances and non-rehabilitation of police training schools as some of the challenges facing the police.
The Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Mike Okiro, said the country needed to have more than the 305,579 policemen and women which it had for effective policing.
He thanked Buhari for approving the recruitment of 10,000 additional policemen and women earlier this week.