President Muhammadu Buhari warned Thursday in Abuja that he would not tolerate any irregularities or extortion of money from unemployed Nigerians in the coming recruitment into the police.
A statement by presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said he made the remark during a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Police Service Commission (PSC) in the Presidential Villa.
President Buhari expressed sadness about applicants having to pay bribes before being accepted into the police in the past, stressing that such a practice was totally unacceptable.
The President told the officials that those in charge of recruitment and training in the Police must be above board and eschew every form of extortion and underhand dealing.
"You must ensure that the recruitment process is transparent,” he cautioned. “Those who will conduct the recruitment must be above board. It should not be heard that they receive gratification or extort money from those who want to enlist in the police.”
The President also directed the Inspector-General of Police to prune down the number of policemen attached to dignitaries, and redeploy to regular police duties all policemen withdrawn from that role.
On the stagnation of policemen on a rank for many years, the President counseled the PSC to review the current structure of the police, and make recommendations on how the problem can be solved to boost the morale of serving policemen.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police Affairs, Dr James Obiegbu had, in his briefing of the President, listed inadequate police personnel, dwindling finances and non-rehabilitation of police training schools as some of the challenges facing the police.
The Chairman of the PSC, Sir Mike Okiro, said that the country needed to have more than the 305,579 policemen and women, which it has at present for effective policing.
He thanked President Buhari for approving the recruitment of 10,000 additional policemen and women earlier this week.