The Nigeria Police Force has begun an intensive combat training course for 60,000 of its officers and men who will be deployed for the general election coming up in 2015.
The Commandant of Police Mobile Force Training College, Ila Orangun in Osun State, Mr. Jackson El-Ekoh, said this at the inauguration of the training for the first batch of the participants on Saturday.
El-Ekoh said the training, which would last for three months, was organised for the participants in order to equip them with skills to prevent violence before, during and after the elections.
He added that some of the officers and men would be deployed for election duties in Ekiti and Osun states, the two states holding governorship elections this year.
According to him, there is synergy among all security agencies in the country but the police do not want their responsibilities taken over by others since provision of internal security is their duty.
He said, “We have started training for 60,000 officers and men who will be deployed for the 2015 elections. The first batch of 700 policemen will undergo a three-month intensive combat course with a view of equipping them to discharge their constitutional responsibilities.
“The aim of this special training programme is to keep the officers and men of the Police Mobile Force combat ready so as to checkmate those who may want to cause crisis before, during and after the general election.”
“We are not politicians but we want a hitch-free election. We will do everything to prevent violence, we are combat ready. We cannot afford to fail Nigerians.”
The commandant, who thanked the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, for the initiative, advised the participants to have respect for human rights in the discharge of their duties and to be dedicated and disciplined.
He warned that anybody caught in any act, which could tarnish the image of the force, would be thrown out and dealt with according to the provisions of the law.
El-Ekoh also said the training had been yielding positive results, noting that incidents of accidental discharge had become very rare and mobile policemen were no longer involved in extortion.