By Stephen Adeleye.
The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Police Affairs, has sensitised stakeholders in the North Central on the activities of the inaugurated Police Public Complaints Committee (PPCC).
In his keynote address on Thursday in Lokoja, the Hon. Minister of Police Affairs, Dr Muhammad Dingyadi, said the campaign was to sensitize the good people of Kogi State and other States in the Zones on the existence and the mandates of PPCC.
According to him, PPCC is a direct response by the Federal Government to forestall reoccurrence of any violent anti-police protests such as the ENDSARS protests that befell the nation recently.
The Minister was represented by Bolarinwa Omoluabi, Director Legal Services of the ministry.
The minister explained that the PPCC as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari was inaugurated on April 7, 2021, to among other things bridge the gap between the police and the populace to engender sustainable confidence and mutual cooperation.
He noted that the first and second editions of the sensitisation campaign was held in Lagos and Sokoto States for the South-west and North-west geo-political zones, respectively.
He thanked the stakeholders for their commitment to the success of the ongoing police reform programme in the area of service delivery, respect for rule of law and human rights as well as deepening police-public relations.
”This initiative is in furtherance of President Mohammadu Buhari’s quest to attaining people-centred policing arrangements, which prioritize respect for citizens’ rights.
”It addresses genuine cases of infractions to promote inclusiveness in policing engagement with the public and to advance peace and security for national development.
”Our gathering here is to sensitize Nigerians on actions to take when their rights are trampled upon by Police officers in the cause of discharging their constitutional responsibilities.
”The idea is to establish a permanent structure as a proactive mechanism that will help to effectively nip in the bud civil unrests with their undesirable attendant effects and disruptive tendencies.
”Provide the populace with the opportunities to channel their grievances on the perceived unethical conducts of Police Personnel to the appropriate quarters for necessary action,” he said.
According to him, the PPCC is composed of the Ministry of Police Affairs (Chair), Police Service Commission, National Human Rights Commission, and an NGO, CLEEN Foundation
Others are Nigeria Police Force, Police Community Relations Committee, Public Complaints Commission, and Police Inspectorate Department (Secretariat).
The minister stressed that the overriding objective of the PPCC is to serve as a platform with oversight on the activities of Police Personnel viz-a-viz their interaction with the public.
He reassured the public that the PPCC had been adequately briefed and prepared to discharge its duties dispassionately.
In his remark, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Usman Baba, who was represented by AIG Zone 8, Ede Ayuba, thanked the minister for the cordial relationship between the police and its supervising ministry.
He further commended the minister for creating the PPCC platform through which the populace could utilise to report abuse of human right by police personnel.
The IGP urged the people to speak out their minds without fear, saying the police are their to serve the people as it is being funded by tax payers money.
In their goodwill messages; the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kogi chapter, Apostle Olaniyan Adebayo; and HRH Dr Muhammadu Maikarfi, the Maigari of Lokoja, enjoined the federal government to improve the welfare of police officers
The royal father urged the police officers not to feel bad whenever a petition was written against them, and admonished the public to convey their grievances politely without being insultive.
Also speaking, the Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Kogi chapter, Usman Samuel, said the establishment and full commencement of operation of PPCC was no doubt the answer many Nigerians have been yearning for.
”We believe that this committee is here to give the Nigerian Police Force a whole new look and further improve on the operations of its officers.
”In the wake of the recent clamor for strike by some officers of the Nigerian Police Force, I wish to crave your indulgence sir, to kindly put police welfare into due consideration,” he said.
Samuel urged the federal government to continue to do more and urgently about police welfare.
The general public can submit their petitions via https://ppcc.policeaffairs.gov.ng