Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria Deploys 140 Police Officers to Somalia

Abuja — The Nigerian Police Force has deployed 140 officers to participate in the African Union Peacekeeping operation in Somalia , with all its assets inclusive, Police authorities said in Abuja yesterday.

The deployment came just as the Inspector General of Police announced that in the last three months, the Police Force has spent close to $1. 6million on police peacekeeping operations Vis a Vis procurement of equipment for formed units and payment of allowances for officers going on such operations.

And after several years of engaging in international peacekeeping operations, the Nigerian Police Force yesterday inaugurated the first peacekeeping hall fully equipped with teaching and other facilities necessary for ensuring proper preparations before police officers embark on such operations.

Speaking at the inauguration, the IG pointed out "Since I assumed office, I have made sure that the allowances of our officers going on such mission are paid upfront so that the standard for which we are known, are sustained. You can not send an officer on a foreign mission without a kobo as was the case in the past. You are sending him to give bad image to the country".

Describing the peacekeeping hall as a world class hall comparable with those of other peacekeeping centers around the world, the IG said it was befitting of a police force whose officers and men have brought honour, pride to the nation to the extent that so many countries are making daily request to have Nigerian police peacekeepers posted to help them.

"On the home front, the IG said, "Yes we are adored abroad because the UN provides what is needed. I want to tell you that at home, if we are given the nitty- gritty, wherewithal to do the job, the capacity and manpower is here to checkmate all forms of criminality".

Earlier, Director of Peacekeeping at Force headquarters, DCP Aderanti disclosed that the hall was put in place to facilitate training for policemen going on such operations, noting that since his assumption of office few months ago, the department has deployed 2 formed units to UN and AU operations which has never happened before.

"Thanks to the support of the IGP, 140 officers with full complement of equipment, arms and allowances were recently deployed to Somalia to participate in AMISOM and we have started getting commendation for the performance of the peacekeepers", he said.

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