Yemi Osinbanjo, the Vice President of Nigeria has described the police force as a representative of the people and the government, adding that there is a need to give it an ethos that will be admired by all. According to him, the force “in many ways, is the first line of civil authority and in any country, it is a representative of the people. Osinbajo said this when he received, on behalf of the President, the Annual Report of the Police Service Commission, PSC, from the Acting Chairman, Rtd. Justice Clara Ogunbiyi who led a delegation of the Commission’s Management Team to the Presidential Villa earlier today.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, on Monday. “For many reasons, people regard the performance of the police as the performance of the government,” therefore “the force must be diligent in how it carries out its function,” Osinbajo added. While commending the commission for their clarity of vision, hard work and having the difficult task of managing a huge police force with several challenges, the VP emphasized that the “ethos of the police force is something we have to take seriously.”
Prof. Osinbajo noted the issue of the internal investigation of the police when things go wrong.“I think that it is very crucial because we mustn’t give the impression to the Nigerian public that the police will get away with anything and that whatever happens, there is no accountability,” he said.
He further pointed out the matter of legal services provided within the police force and stated that there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be robust legal services for the police, not just to prevent random claims that people make, but also to be ready to compensate when there are legitimate cases against the police that the courts find. He observed that “it just adds to the confidence that people have in our police force and our government that we are responsible and accountable when we are wrong and we make payments where it is necessary.”