25 January 2013

Nigeria: At Kaduna Police College, Recruits Defecate in Bush

Kaduna — Recruit constables who passed out from the Police College, Kaduna recently, are unhappy with the deplorable condition of the premier police training institution in the country.

Established in1949, the Kaduna Police College is presently serving eight police commands in the country namely: Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, Plateau and the FCT. The college graduated over 4,484 recruits three weeks ago.

Daily Trust gathered that during the training that lasted for 15 months, the facilities at the college were over stretched. Over 200 recruits slept in a dormitory, and the same number shared five toilets.

As a result of the shortage of accommodation, many of the recruits slept in the dining hall and classrooms. But those who were 'connected' secured accommodation in the college's barrack.

A cross section of the recruits who are now serving in different police commands recounted their experiences at the college, and they were particular about the condition of their toilets.

One of them who spoke to our reporter said: "We thank God that we passed out without recording any outbreak of toilet related diseases because over 200 recruits shared five toilets in my dormitory. Some of us defecated in the bush because we were told it was safer."

Another one said throughout the 15 months they were at the college, he did not eat food that was served by the police authority. He said because of the low standard of the meal, recruits labelled it as 'Gapza'.

"I did not eat the meals they were serving us because in the morning they served us with watery beans as breakfast. In the afternoon and at nights, they interchanged 'tuwo' and 'eba' daily. That is what we were served with throughout the period of our training. I used to eat from commandant market," another constable who passed out said.

When our correspondent entered the premises yesterday, recruits and college officials were seen carrying out sanitation exercise.

Most of the dormitories were deserted; only about 100 recruits were on ground. The dirtiest place in the college is the laundry quarters, an instructor said.

"I cannot take you there but from afar you can perceive the pungent odour oozing from the gutter," he added.

According to him, the recruits seen at the college were made to repeat because they failed their final examination.

"These recruits are part of those that recently passed out. They failed their exam, that's why they were held back," he said.

A junior police officer who spoke to Daily Trust said: "We embarked on this sanitation because of the unscheduled visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the Lagos Police College. We here do not want to be caught unaware, hence the sanitation."

All efforts to speak with the authorities of the college was not successful. The spokesman, ASP Mohammed Sani, did not pick several calls put across to his handset.

Also attempt by the correspondent to see the acting commandant of the college was unsuccessful as security men at the entrance said journalists were barred from entering the college.

But speaking during the passing out ceremony of the recruits, acting commandant of the college raised alarm over shortage of accommodation.

"In the course of the training, the college experienced shortage of accommodation for recruits in view of the limited capacity of available structures compared to the large number of recruits. Our officers and men also experience accommodation shortage due to the effect of the Federal Government privatisation policy," he said.

To this effect, the acting commandant appealed to state governments to assist the college by building dormitories for recruits, residential accommodation for staffs, road network in the college and providing teaching aids.

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