President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated in his statement in Lagos yesterday while handing over security equipment donated by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to the Lagos State Police Command during his one-day official visit to the state that his directive to security agencies to shoot any person or persons found illegally wielding AK-47s and other assault weapons still stands.
He warned that ‘‘a nation that turns its Police personnel and infrastructure into targets of violence and destruction is a nation on the path of self-destruction.
“As Commander-In-Chief, my primary responsibility remains the security of the country and the safety of all citizens. Despite the many challenges we are facing, I want Nigerians to rest assured that we will secure this country.
‘‘We will secure our infrastructure, our highways, our communities, and our forests, and we will secure the lives of our people.”
“First let me commend the Inspector-General of Police and the entire Force for the recent efforts to restore peace to troubled parts of the country.
“I have charged the Inspector-General to leave no stone unturned in rebuilding the morale of his officers and men, especially in the aftermath of the mindless violence associated with the EndSARS protests, as well as the recent spate of attacks on Police Stations in some parts of the country,” he said.
The President also commended the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu for providing the security equipment and assets,
He said: This is even more touching in the light of the unwarranted violence that ensued in the wake of the ENDSARS protests last October, which saw the security architecture in Lagos State being severely damaged.”
“You did not allow yourselves to be deterred by the severe setback; instead you have bounced back and are now boldly rebuilding the confidence of residents and investors in the State.
“I acknowledge the initiative taken to kick-start the rebuilding process, through the establishment of the Lagos State Rebuild Trust Fund, and through this very laudable effort by the Lagos State Security Trust Fund. I enjoin other State Governments to emulate your bold, proactive and resourceful initiative.
“In 2019, I signed into law the Act establishing the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, the first in the history of the Force, to provide guaranteed funding to support Police welfare, logistics and equipment.
“In September 2020, I assented to the Bill amending the Nigeria Police Act, which was originally enacted in 1943.
“This new Act, a vast improvement over the old one, among other things spells out the modalities for the implementation of a National Community Policing Scheme in Nigeria.
‘‘This new scheme will build confidence within our local communities and make them active stakeholders in the safety and security of their environs.
‘‘We are currently recruiting 10,000 new Police officers to reinforce our personnel capacity across the country. In addition to this, I have directed the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to carry out an upward review of Police salaries and benefits,’’ he said.