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Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Today marks a significant shift to our approach to policing, as it signifies Mr President’s commitment to full implementation of the community policing strategy as encapsulated in the Police Act 2020.

 

Security is local, and we must acknowledge and embrace the unique dynamics of each community in our pursuit of a safer nation.

This Townhall is therefore the first in an extensive series of Townhall engagements across the Country, to catalyse grassroots understanding of security dynamics and foster community-specific solutions.

Recognising that security is inherently local, our approach must reflect an appreciation for the distinct characteristics, challenges, and strengths of each community.

Local security interventions must therefore be designed based on local peculiarities and considerations, with the full participation of members of the various communities and blocks, to ensure inclusivity and full ownership.

For instance, some communities are experiencing security challenges relating to a very high influx of other nationals; others are struggling with insecurity relating to rapid urbanization, while some are struggling with insecurity triggered by resource control and the agrarian nature of their environment, amongst other.

 

Today is not for long speeches but rather a moment of action and commitment. So I will just quickly set out the context that underpins the Renewed Hope Police Reform Project.

Six foundational pillars serve as strategic frameworks meticulously crafted to redefine and strengthen the Nigeria Police Force, and we are here to gather further insights from multiple perspectives and your experience.

The first is Technical and Operational Excellence: Harnessing cutting-edge technology and refining operational protocols to elevate the capabilities of our Police Personnel.

This will also include strengthening the air and marine capabilities of the Nigeria Police Force to boost its operational effectiveness.

 

Second is Infrastructure Advancement: Undertaking a comprehensive standardisation, modernisation and fortification initiative for the physical infrastructure of the Nigeria Police Force.

This includes upgrading facilities and establishing command centers to bolster operational efficiency.

Third is Welfare Enhancement: Focusing on the holistic well-being of our officers by implementing comprehensive support systems and healthcare measures.

This pillar aims to bolster the physical, mental, psychological, and financial health of our dedicated personnel.

Fourth is Policy Framework Development: Crafting a comprehensive policy framework to serve as the backbone of the entire law enforcement apparatus.

This entails adherence to best practices, thereby rebuilding public trust and ensuring the highest standards of professionalism and accountability.

Fifth is Branding, Citizen Engagement, and Public Trust Management: Initiating a strategic branding campaign to cultivate a positive and contemporary image for the Nigeria Police Force.

This involves active engagement with citizens and effective management of public trust through transparent and accountable practices.

Sixth is Community Collaboration and Public Trust: Establishing collaborative partnerships within the community to enhance citizen engagement and fortify public trust.

This pillar emphasises the importance of a symbiotic relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

These pillars collectively form the cornerstone of our efforts and aim to position the Nigeria Police Force in an efficient pathway characterised by transparency, public confidence, and a strong connection with the communities it serves.

In implementing these reforms, one question comes to my mind: “Who is the Police?” The answer, I believe, extends far beyond the confines of a uniform, a title, or a position – we all are Police, either as informants, WatchGuard, or enforcers.

We are all custodians of security and must contribute to shaping a safer and more resilient society by showing our support to the men and women of the Force, who continue to demonstrate a high level of patriotism and selflessness to the service of the Country.

As a forward-looking administration, we are now committed to these deep reforms, backed by a robust implementation plan and innovative resource mobilisation and allocation, which has been the bane of previous reform efforts.

The goal is to see to the emergence of a world-class police force that is inclusive, intelligence-led, technology-driven, and community-based and that is alive to its constitutional responsibilities.

I am therefore confident and can assure you that the Nigeria Police Force will live up to its responsibilities in ensuring the safety of the lives and properties of Nigerians.

In closing, let me appreciate His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for his unprecedented commitment to transforming all critical areas of the economy, with a special focus on security and the Nigeria Police Force.

I also commend and appreciate the Lagos State Governor, my friend and brother, His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for sustaining and building on the security foundations laid by Mr President for a safer Lagos State. The Lagos State Security Trust Fund continues to be a shining example of the possibilities of local participation and collaboration in securing communities.

I also commend the Inspector General of Police and his team for their understanding and commitment to the Renewed Hope Police Vision.

His presence here today is a further demonstration of the Nigeria Police Force’s dedication under his leadership, to fostering collaboration and ensuring the successful implementation of critical reforms within the policing ecosystem.

To every other stakeholder here today, your contributions and presence underscore the collective commitment required to build a safer and more secure nation, and I say a special thank you.

In my role as the Minister of State Police Affairs, I have made a commitment to supporting efforts aimed at delivering viable solutions to tackle the complex issues that have limited the capability of the Nigeria Police Force, and I invite you all to join us with a renewed hope, as we rebuild trust, restore confidence and redefine policing in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

I look forward to engaging in insightful discussions during this engagement as we collectively chart a course for securing Lagos communities and Nigeria as a whole.

HON. MINISTER OF STATE FOR POLICE AFFAIRS, HON IMAAN SULAIMAN-IBRAHIM ON THE 11TH OF DECEMBER 2023 AT THE LAGOS CONTINENTAL HOTEL, LAGOS STATE SECURITY MEETING

 

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