The House of Representatives has urged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to ensure that officers and men of the force dress in uniform whenever they are on highway patrol duty.
The call was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Ajisafe Olowookere (Ondo-APC) at the plenary on Thursday.
Moving the motion earlier, Olowookere said that being properly dressed was necessary to prevent identity crisis and also portray the force as a disciplined organisation.
He said that the uniform was equally important given the worrisome spate of insecurity in the country, with spiralling incidents of kidnappings and armed robberies on the highways.
Olowookere said that the Police was a regimented organisation that had official uniform and a dress code.
He stated that it was necessary to deploy policemen on highways to curtail crimes, but insisted that they must be dressed in uniform.
According to him, the practice of policemen on highway patrol wearing mufti constitutes an embarrassment, both to the force and the nation.
The lawmaker said that being in mufti could cause unsuspecting motorists to fall victims to armed robbers, who could disguise as policemen since there would be nothing to distinguish them from the robbers.
In his contribution, Rep. Nkem Abonta (Abia-PDP) said that policemen were sometimes victims of attacks and kidnapping, hence the need to dress in mufti.
He added that sometimes men of the force would need to undertake undercover operations which required them to wear mufti.
Abonta also stated that it was necessary that the House found out the reason some policemen on highway duties avoid proper uniform.
According to him, the house will be shocked to discover that some policemen will not have received uniforms in the past five years in spite of budgetary allocation.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Mr Yakubu Dogara, mandated the Committee on Police Affairs to ensure that police authorities heeded the call.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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