PMB to increase funds and welfare for Police, others; sets up Security committee

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President Muhammadu Buhari has set up a committee to periodically review the security situation in Nigeria.

The Federal Government has also agreed on the need to increase funding for the security services, especially the police, their welfare and of their families, in order to boost their commitment in crime fighting.

The committee’s members are to be drawn from the executive, legislature and the ruling party.

This development follows the call by the Senate and House of Representatives last week for the sack of the service chiefs as well as other drastic measures to tackle the deteriorating security situation in the country.

Answering questions from State House correspondents after a meeting with President Buhari, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, while not disclosing the names of the committee members, said it would include members of the executive, the legislature and the ruling party.

He said the committee would help find lasting solutions to the security problems in the country.

The Speaker said the National Assembly’s leadership believed that something drastic needed to be done under the present circumstance, but added that the removal of the service chiefs may not entirely address the crippling insecurity in the country.

When asked if changing the service chiefs would impact positively on the fight against insecurity, Gbajabiamila replied, “Is the President as concerned as we are? Answer: probably more. Is the President looking to do something about it? Answer: yes. The question of security is uppermost in his mind and he opened up to us and you must understand that some communications are privileged, but suffice to say that the President is concerned and he intends to do something about our challenges.

“Opinions are divided; the generality of the opinion is that the service chiefs should go, that was evident in our debates in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, but sometimes you don’t want a knee-jerk reaction.

“Many of us identify that something drastic has to be done, there’s also the school of thought that says since we are talking about banditry, kidnapping and murders, what have the armed forces got to do with that, anywhere in the world? So, the question then arises that, if he changes the service chiefs, does that address the issues of kidnapping and banditry? The army, navy and air force are outfits set up to tackle external aggression. It is the police that is set up for internal security, such as we are all witnessing.

“That’s talking about service chiefs; has the Inspector-General of Police met up with his responsibilities? The question is, if we now narrow it to the IGP, many will argue that he has done a very good job and many will argue with you that he’s hamstrung, straight-jacketed, there’s very little he can do in the face of no equipment, no funding, and we explained to Mr. President that we have to increase funding, we have to recruit more.

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