FOR THE RECORD: Modern Policing Rests On Knowledge, Not Brute Force, Says IGP Arase

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Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase
Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase


It is with a deep sense of professional fulfilment that I welcome this rich cream of police managers and our esteem guests to this landmark inaugural Annual Inspector General of Police’s Strategic Leadership Conference.
2. The concept of today’s event was borne out of the acknowledgement of the fact that no organization develops beyond the capacity of its human asset, and the quality of any agency is best measured by the quality of the crop of the strategic managers of such an agency.
3. Beyond these, ladies and gentlemen, for a security world in which crime is increasingly driven by technology and globalization, and in a public space where criminals are increasingly ingenious, dynamic and complex, it is only natural for the Nigeria Police Force to strengthen its leadership competency with a view to staying ahead of these criminal dynamics.
4. Unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen, my experience in service has shown that there is a chronic manpower gap at the strategic policing level in Nigeria. This is particularly noticeable within the ranks of Assistant Commissioner of Police to Commissioner of Police.
5. This institutional challenge is compounded by the fact that there are limited training opportunities for Officers of this cadre granted their large number. Yet, the future leadership of the Force naturally evolves from this cadre of Officers. In consequence, the ability of the Nigeria Police to provide knowledge-based leadership needed to dissect and professionally manage current and emerging crimes has over the years, remained limited.
6. It has therefore, become expedient to initiate sustainable training and capacity building actions aimed at bridging this deep manpower competency gap with a view to strengthening the quality of strategic Police leadership and preparing the Force for future challenges that criminals may pose to our beloved nation. This initiative is vital to the long term manpower reform vision aimed at restoring Police primacy in Nigeria.
7. In furtherance to this, the Force is collaborating with local and international policing actors/experts to institute a training intervention and capacity building scheme on an annual basis which will target this cadre of strategic Police leaders. As a mid-term step, we have, in collaboration with the Rule of Law component of the Office of the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Professor Todd Foglesong of the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, Canada introduced a training scheme where twenty-five (25) Assistant Commissioners of Police were trained some weeks ago.
8. The second phase of this initiative held from Tuesday, 19th April, 2016 to Thursday, 21st April, 2016 in the course of which another batch of twenty-five (25) Officers of the cadres of Commissioners of Police, Deputy Commissioners of Police and Assistant Commissioners of Police were trained on Strategic Police Management.
9. My genuine commitment towards institutionalizing this initiative, informed my resolve to emplace the “Inspector-General of Police’s Annual Strategic Management Conference”, which is the object of our gathering today. Beyond drawing on the experiences of strategic police managers across the world, it remains my conviction that the concept of an annual leadership conference of this nature will galvanise national attention to the need to continually invest in ventures that will sharpen the managerial skills of strategic police managers.
10. This will act as a conscious approach towards positioning the Police to attain its mandate within the internal security framework of the country. It will also act as a national platform for the dissection of current policing challenges with a view to engaging local and international professionals towards developing new approaches in addressing those identified challenges.
11. It is in cognisance of these that the theme of this inaugural Lecture Series was crafted as “Custodial Violence and Strategic Police Management”. This theme recognizes that issues touching on custodial violence remain a burning police discourse in Nigeria. The theme was therefore carefully chosen to explore the challenge of custodial violence in the Nigerian Policing landscape, while also exposing police managers to current thoughts on police management in relation to the application of best global practices to addressing institutional challenges militating against optimal police performance.
12. Against this background, ladies and gentlemen, the sense of professional fulfilment which I exude today, flows from the fact that by this event, I have taken a critical step which if sustained, will advance the training and capacity development projection of the Force which remains a critical component of the six (6) thematic policing strategies of my leadership. Other components include anti-corruption drive, human rights-based policing; Intelligence and Community Partnership; Case Diversion, Fast Track Trials and Restorative Justice; and the engagement and Application of cutting-edge technology to police functions at all levels.
13. I make bold to state that I have significantly operationalize and achieved all these set Visions and I can only wish that with an enhanced manpower profile at strategic leadership level, these initiatives can and will be sustained in a manner that will change the future narratives of the Force.
14. It is in appreciation of this, ladies and gentlemen, that due consideration was given to the future personnel and leadership needs of the Police in selecting the participants for this Conference. Hence, Officers gathered here today, are considered to be at a stage in their career where they are not only expected to provide strategic leadership to the force but also ready to assume higher responsibilities in the hierarchy of the Police. Targeting these officers, therefore, represents an important step in succession planning and manpower development projection of the Force.
15. I would at this juncture, like to thank the Vice President whose Office has been an active player in this project. I am also immensely grateful to my dear friend and intellectual soul mate, Professor Chris Stone, the President, Open Society Foundation and former Professor of Criminal Justice at Harvard Kennedy School of Governance, USA who is also providing the needed support to guide this dream to fruition. I remain grateful to the discussants who even at very short notice agreed to be part of this epoch making event.
16. To my colleagues who are here gathered and who are the target audience of this Lecture Series, I can only remind you that the future of the Nigeria Police rests squarely on your shoulders. The wise, it is said, prepares for the future. Therefore, I admonish you, in the interest of the Nigeria Police Force and indeed the nation, to continually embrace all available opportunities to sharpen your intellectual and professional skills, for this is the only option to remain relevant in a policing world that is increasingly knowledge-driven and in a dynamic criminal space that is increasingly technology-guided.
17. In conclusion let me re-emphasise that the future of the Nigeria Police rests not necessarily on the acquisition of weaponry, but on acquisition of requisite policing knowledge. Similarly, modern policing is no longer by might or brute force, but by the intellectual profile of individual officer.
18. Towards this end, I will like to encourage you all to make the best out of this opportunity by participating actively in this conference and demonstrating the determination to act as change agents that will positively alter the leadership and professional fortunes of the Nigeria Police Force, particularly, at this time that the Force is striving to restore its lost primacy.
19. I wish you all a professionally and intellectually rewarding engagement.

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