President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, was available in person to play his role as the Special Guest of Honour and rounded off the third edition of the Conference and Retreat for Senior Police Officers held in Owerri, the capital city of Imo State, from 31st October to 2nd November 2022.
The President arrived at the Landmark Event Centre in his official chopper at exactly 1:44pm and was received by His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodimma, the Governor of Imo State and Host, his counterpart from Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni CON, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi, the Inspector General of Police IGP Usman Alkali Baba, Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Yahaya Farouk, Chief of Defence Intelligence, General Samuel Adebayo, and the MD/CEO of Matchmakers Consult International, Dr. Shina Philips.
In his Keynote address, President Muhammadu Buhari who reaffirmed his commitment to democratic governance and values, free, fair, credible and peaceful elections, charged the police hierarchy to remain apolitical and loyal to the nation’s political values. He stressed the importance of maintaining the primacy of the police in the nation’s internal security architecture.
President Buhari also stated that his administration had prioritised critical reforms in the Nigeria Police Force to effectively review the internal security and democratic governance mandate.
He said that he assented to the Nigerian Trust Fund Bill to provide a legal framework for an enhanced funding regime for the force. He added that he signed the Nigeria Police Force Academy Bill to grant statutory recognition for the institution to attain its futuristic manpower development programmes.
According to President Buhari, “I also approved a new and befitting salary and welfare regime that align the remuneration of police personnel with the state’s critical functions also approved and released fund to recruit 10,000 police constables annually to address the wide manpower gap in the force.”
In furtherance to President Buhari’s commitment to extensive police reforms, President Buhari stated the Federal Government was already working with some development partners towards strengthening the Police reform agenda with a view to restoring the primacy of the police in internal security.
“My vision is also to bequeath to the nation a Police Force that is not only modernised but well-funded, suitably equipped, and appropriately re-orientated to effectively police our democracy and guarantee a stable internal security order under a citizen-led, technology-driven rule of law guided by intelligence-based policing.”
The Governor of Imo Senator Hope Uzodinma said the state was hosting the August event, “to reassure both residents and visitors that Imo State is safe again for businesses and tourism.” Speaking further, he said, “I believe that the presence of the top bars of the police and other security forces in the state will help fortify our security and safety as a people.”
In his welcome remarks, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, commended President Buhari for his support and approval of all his requests in ensuring the safety of lives and property in the country.
IGP Alkali Baba noted that the retreat would enable participants to discuss issues relating to the role of the police and internal security process towards ensuring a peaceful, secure, free, fair and credible 2023 general elections.
In a goodwill message to the Nigeria Police, the Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor, pledged the military’s continued support to the Nigeria Police, especially during the 2023 general elections.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi, urged the leadership of the Nigeria Police to see the persistent call for the creation of state police as a persuasive desire for the federating units to enjoy more robust policing.
For their roles in upholding the Police Force, several officers and individuals bagged meritorious certificates at the conference. The awardees include Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma and his Akwa Ibom counterpart Emmanuel Udom, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi – Honourable Minister of Police Affairs, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed – Finance minister, Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, CFR – Chief of Staff to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Temitope Peter Fashedemi – former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Police Affairs, Ekpo Nta, Esq., Executive Chairman, National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission, Hon. Muktar Betara– Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, who received their awards from the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali.
Apart from the presence of President Buhari, the media played big at the 3rd edition of the annual conference and retreat as the event was broadcast live on 5 television stations.
The conference with the theme ‘The Imperative of a Nigerian Police Strategy Plan for Peaceful Elections’, was attended by several prominent national and state officials including the Acting Chairperson of the Police Service Commission, members of the Imo State House of Assembly, Executive Council members and over 162 senior officers of the ranks of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) and Commissioner of Police (CP).
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Matchmakers Consult International Mr Shina Philips expressed delight for the successful organisation of the third edition of the Conference and Retreat for Senior Police Officers held in Owerri, Imo State.
The Conference and Retreat for Senior Police Officers organized by Matchmakers Consult International in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Force come against the backdrop of the nation’s preparation for the General Elections scheduled to hold in February and March 2023.