President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said the entire structure of the Nigeria Police Force is being overhauled, re-positioned and primed with modern technological gadgets to meet rising challenges across the nation.
Receiving traditional rulers from the North led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar III at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the president said an intelligence loop among all security outfits had been created.
He said the ongoing reform of the police would include recruitment of more hands, cultivation of stronger local intelligence and networking with communities, traditional rulers and adequate training.
The president had on July 31 met with traditional rulers from the South-west.
He noted that the return of the Ministry of Police Affairs was purposely to drive the new initiative of ensuring proper provision of security of lives and property, with proactive intelligence gathering to nip crimes in the bud.
"I have decided to meet with your highnesses to assure you that government is determined to tackle and deal decisively with all security challenges facing us as a nation.
"This consultation therefore is to engage you, our royal fathers, so that collectively, we can arrive at solutions to any and all security problems in the country.
"We must all play our part to finally address these security challenges, particularly traditional rulers in your respective communities where you feel the pulse of the people, being the closest to the populace at the grassroots level," he said.
He urged the traditional rulers to provide more support to security agencies with their versatile knowledge of communities and individuals.
"These policies and programmes include a robust revamping of police intelligence gathering capacity and the significant boosting of the numbers of security personnel in our local communities. This in specific terms will include recruiting more police officers and doing so whenever possible from their local government areas, where they would then be stationed in the best traditions of policing worldwide.
"Working with the state governments also, we intend to improve the equipping of the police force with advanced technology and equipment that can facilitate their work. To drive this, I recently created a full-fledged Ministry of Police Affairs. The president said CCTVs would be installed on highways and other strategic locations so that activities in some hidden places can be exposed, more effectively monitored and open to actionable interventions.
We're fully in your support - Sultan
In his remark, the Sultan of Sokoto assured the president of the full support of traditional rulers.
"We have come to assure you of our total support, total commitment and undiluted dedication to moving the nation forward as one of the best countries of the world," the emir said.
He said the traditional thrones in various communities predated the amalgamation of the protectorates, and all the forefathers had always upheld the virtues of peace, unity and stability.
The Sultan commended Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara for the relative peace in the state after he was sworn into office, and decided to open up all channels of communication, urging other governors to adopt same model.