Dr Solomon Arase

 Juliana Francis

 

Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Dr Solomon Arase, who is also a former Inspector General of Police (IGP), today Tuesday 5th of March 2024, revealed what necessitated the creation of the Police Veterans’ Foundation.

 

Arase, who made this revelation during the launch of the Foundation at PSC Corporate Headquarters, Jabi, Abuja, said that the idea for the establishment of the Police Veterans’ Foundation was borne out of the need to come up with a “veritable platform, to be deployed in galvanizing support for the improved welfare of retired Police officers who are faced with different post-service challenges.”

 

According to him, the members of the public had to express their gratitude, respect and reverence to retired Police officers whose invaluable contributions were hardly recognised and brought to light.

 

Giving background information that led to the birth of the Foundation, Arase said: “Upon my appointment and assumption of office as the Chairman, PSC on 29th March 2023, it became necessary that the experiential knowledge of the retired members of the Nigeria Police Force is sought.

 

“I believe that the experience of retired Police Officers which spans through different decades would be of invaluable assistance in evolving policies that will help in repositioning the Nigeria Police for optimal functionality in delivering on its mandate.

 

In this regard, on 12th April 2023, I met and had a robust engagement with the retired IGP and the then IGP Usman Alkali Baba.  Also, on 19th April 2023, I convened a meeting with other retired members of the Nigeria Police Force which birthed the Retired Officers’ Consultative Forum. The Forum aims at examining contemporary challenges afflicting the Nigeria Police Force and formulating practical, solution-driven approaches to fortify its operational efficacy, as well as improving the welfare of the retired officers.”

 

The PSC chairman further explained that the Forum was

established to serve as a platform for eliciting interest and recruiting able and willing retired officers as resource persons in the training and retraining programme of Police Officers to give back to the Police institution.

 

He mentioned that within a few months of establishing the Officers’ Consultative Forum, it was discovered that a greater percentage of Police retirees were facing different post-service challenges.

 

His words: “These needs encompass a spectrum ranging from health care concerns to assisting the families of deceased officers and extending financial support for struggling retirees due to the inadequate pension and meagre severance packages.

 

“Sadly, this has informed the growing rate of early deaths of our retirees due to their inability to meet their respective socio-economic demands, issues of health impairment, and other associated challenges of old age.

 

“Suffice it to say that the newly established Forum became burdened with regular financial contributions for medical intervention for retired Police Officers who are facing different debilitating health challenges, and as support to families of deceased officers.

 

“Although it is gladdening that assistance is being extended to retired officers in need, this unwholesome and unavoidable situation playing out with our retirees was derailing the Forum from the main objective upon which it was conceptualized and established.”

 

He stated that the  Foundation will serve as a beacon of support and solidarity, reinforcing the enduring legacy of service, loyalty, hard work and commitment that define the Nigeria Police Force.

 

He also emphasised that the Foundation represents a historic moment for all as it signifies the commitment and an eloquent testament to address the pressing needs of our retired officers and their families.

 

“As a corollary, it presents a golden opportunity for Nigerians to commemorate the incredible bravery and strength of retired Police Officers and express their gratitude to the noble men and women who dedicated their youthful zest, intelligence and vigour for the peace and security of our dear country,” said Arase.

He said that the function of the ordinary plodding policeman may seem uninteresting to the public and always a much-neglected topic to the people, “but this undramatic routine of the ordinary policeman is fundamentally important and remains the basis and backbone to the relative peace and security we enjoy in our country. Indeed, it is no easy feat to be a Police Officer.”

He stressed that “The retired Police Officers whose welfare we seek to improve by the establishment and launch of this Foundation are our national heroes. Heroes of peace. They remain the epitome of sacrifice who demonstrated professionalism under the most trying circumstances and put their lives on the line for the country.

 

“They are exemplars of humanity and humaneness toward people who some might say deserved none. We should, therefore, be constantly inspired by the commitments and courage of our retired Officers, and I consider this an inescapable call to national duty for these senior citizens of the Force to be shown love, assistance and support as our collective token of appreciation for their great journey of achievements for our country’s stability and peaceful co-existence.

 

“As we embark on this journey of mobilising support and assistance for the welfare of the retired members of the Nigeria Police, it is important to note that this noble project cannot be actualised without corresponding understanding, cooperation and love from the members of the society. I, therefore, urge everyone to get involved in this noble act of humanity and humaneness by supporting the Foundation in putting smiles on the faces of our veterans.

“This will not only help them to age gracefully in comfort and dignity, but it will also spur the serving police officers to greater dedication and commitment, knowing that the society they are giving their best appreciates and honours them in retirement.”

 

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