Presidential directive on raincoat: Supply didn’t reach police yet -Survey
From Mustapha Saye, Kaduna; Christiana Gokyo, Plateau; Bala Abubakar, Zamfara; Ismaila Muhammad, Jigawa; Sule Aliyu, Bauchi;Yahaya Wakili, Yobe; Umar Danladi Ado, Sokoto; Muawuya Bala Idris, Katsina; Joseph Asegba, Adamawa; Suleiman Lawal, Nasarawa; Salisu Baso & Patrick O. Onu in Kano
Sometime last year, specifically in August, we carried a report that President Muhammadu Buhari, during his home town (Daura) visit, had queried the police authorities for not providing raincoats to police personnel for protection during rainy season.
Buhari, who defied the rainfall to commission a road project contracted by Katsina State Government, wondered why police on duty, during the event, were not wearing raincoats.
He spoke in sympathy with the police personnel when he saw them soaked in the rain.
He then summoned an Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) of Police who was at the occasion to explain why the raincoats were not provided to them unlike their counterparts in the Army.
When the AIG failed to give any satisfactory answer, the President then said: “I will get across to the Inspector-General of Police to find out.”
The directive from the President was in order and he appeared so symphathetic to the men of the Nigeria Police who were on duty posts despite it was raining.
Now The Triumph decided to revisit the issue as rainy season has already started and that it is few weeks to another month of August this year, when the down pour is expected to be at its peak coupled with the security situation across the nation.
Also, the finding will show the level of compliance or otherwise with regard the verbal directive of the President on the matter.
A cream of our reporters across some states of the federation talked to experts as well as those who are to benefit from the directive.
To this end, an Inspector of Police, who craved anonymity, told our reporter that he was at the occasion when the President gave the directive in Katsina during the commissioning of a hospital, roads construction and Army Barracks in company of his convoy.
He said: “We were standing by a roadside and when the President arrived. He asked us how do you manage with the rainfall, while you were not wearing raincoats? We told him, we don’t have any. Then he became so furious and directed the Inspector General of Police to provide us with it with immediate effect.”
In Katsina State, some policemen interviewed by our correspondent said one year after the President’s directive, they are not provided with the item.
“We are aware of the President directive, but none of us was provided with the raincoat,” they said.
The officers who spoke on condition of anonymity described the situation as inhuman a police to work without raincoat, especially during raining season.
“The raincoat protects us from any health hazard and makes our job easier during raining season,” they said.
According to them, they are not surprised with the non provision of the item as directed by President Buhari because of what they called “I don’t care attitude of those in authority as regard to welfare of the junior officers.”
They added: “The issue of raincoat is not a serious one to them because they cannot even address minor problems facing the force.”
But in reaction to their claim, the State Police Public Relation Officer, DSP Gambo Isah said raincoats were provided to all officers in the state.
Isah explained that police headquarters in Abuja had last year delivered enough raincoats which were distributed to officers.
He said the raincoats were handed over to the Divisional Police Officers across the 34 local government areas of the state.
“The directives of Mr. President were strictly followed, we received a large quantity of raincoats and distributed them to all officers,” he added.
Our correspondent in Adamawa State, who sampled opinions, reports that some officers said the directive was not adhered to why some said it was complied and the items were distributed according to the concerned security personnel.
In Kaduna State, virtually all the police officers interviewed by The Triumph as to whether the State Police Command has supplied them with the bitem or not, they said nothing like that had happened.
A Divisional Police Officer, who doesn’t want his name to appear in the print, told our correspondent that: “since last year, we didn’t hear anything again.”
He added: “We are optimistic that the Inspector General of Police will comply with the directives and supply us with these kits.”
One of the female police sergeants who requested to hide her name, said: “Policemen are working in a very un-conducive atmosphere, especially during rainy season.”
She said in most cases, they have to provide raincoats for themselves for the protection of their health, adding that if not, their health condition would deteriorate, considering the nature of their work.
When our reporter contacted the state Police Public Relation Officer, Muhammad Jilge on the matter, he promised to call back to him, which he failed.
Several phone calls were made via his GSM, but he didn’t pick any.
In Plateau State, the State Police Public Relations Offer (PPRO), Gabriel Ubah declined to comment.
All efforts made by our correspondent to see the PPRO for his comment were not successful.
However, while speaking with some of the police officers in Jos, they told our correspondent that they had not received any raincoat from the state command.
Our correspondent, who spoke to some policemen in Zamfara State reports that the personnel of the force are yet to receive the item.
One of the policemen, who spoke to our reporter and doesn’t want his name mentioned, commended the President for the concern to their plights, adding that the President has done a wonderful job with regard to welfare of policemen in the country.
Our correspondent, after several calls to the state PPRO, SP Muhammad Shehu to speak on the issue proved abortive as he refused to pick up the calls.
In Jigawa State, our correspondent, who went round several divisions and the state headquarters to ascertain whether the items were supplied to the police personnel or not, reports that he interacted with many men and officers of the force, but they all mentioned that they are not in possession of any item.
“We are appealing to the Inspector General of Police and our indefatigable Commissioner of Police to assist us with such kits to boost our vigilance of criminals and other miscreants,’’ they pleaded.
When contacted, the state Police spokesman, SP Abdul Jinjiri, remarked that: “Let speak to my CP before I respond to your question.”
But when he consulted CP. Usman Gwamna, he referred our correspondent to Police Force Public Relations Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Frank Mba, saying that: “The matter is beyond our power to speak on it, because, speaking on the issue, it will amount to act of insubordination as it might offend top hierarchy of the force.”
The Triumph investigation in Bauchi State revealed that the story is almost the same, as it was not yet clear if the authority has supplied the raincoats to the policemen, because many officers contacted refused to comment over the provision of the items.
The Police Public Relation Officer in the state, DSP Ahmad
Muhammad Wakili, when contacted, told our correspondent that he is new on the seat.
He said he needed time to find out about the provision of raincoats to the police.
But up to the time of filing this report, we didn’t get his finding.
Many policemen interviewed said they were not aware of the matter.
Our correspondent who spoke with the Police Public Relations Officer, Yobe State Command, ASP Dungus Abdulkarim, revealed that: “In our last meeting with the state Commissioner of Police, he requested OC Store to apply for that at Force Headquarters, Abuja.”
A policeman who doesn’t want his name mentioned, said since he entered into the force 20 years ago, he has never seen anything like raincoat meant for police.
Another police officer also narrated that the raincoat is important to the police, especially during the rain session, adding that not only the raincoat alone, virtually most of police equipment needed, the Police Service Commission is not providing.
Garba Muhammad, a retired police officer, revealed that raincoat to the police is very important, “because it will assist them in discharging their duty especially during the rain session.”
He said lack of the raincoat to the police is discouraging them from performing their duty effectively during the rain session.
He therefore urged the IGP to provide the police with uniforms, including the raincoats.
A cross-section of police officers interviewed in Sokoto State said, they have forgotten when last they were provided with the items.
A police officer interviewed, who pleaded anonymity, revealed that the raincoat, if provided to them, would assist them tremendously in the discharge of their daily routine assignments especially during the present rainy season.
Our correspondent, who went round some major roads and other public organisations in the state, reports that the police personal were seen in their respective duty posts without wearing or keeping the raincoats incase on any eventualities.
When contacted, the Sokoto Police Command said it has distributed raincoats to the men and officers of the command to encourage their efficiency and productivity.
According to the command’s spokesperson, ASP Muhammad A. Sadiq confirmed this to our correspondent in a telephone conversation on the issue.
ASP Sadiq said the distribution exercise was held last year, immediately after the directives made by the President Muhammadu Buhari to provide the raincoats to the police officers.
In their separate remarks, both commentators argued that the police personal can easily be sighted with their raincoats in their respective duty posts.
When contacted, the Adamawa State Police Command image maker, DSP Abdullahi Nguroje, told our correspondent on phone interview that immediately after the directive, the IGP swung to action and equally commanded all the commands nationwide, including Adamawa, for the procurement of raincoats to men and officers as it is raining season to enable the police work accordingly.
Nguroje buttressed that: “As I am talking to you now, all the police officers and men are all rain-coated in the recent supply and distributions of items.”
According to him, there is nobody, who if such directive will be given, will turn it down, especially from Mr. President and the IGP.
When contacted, some of the police officers in the state, who spoke to our reporter under anonymity, said that there is nothing like supply or distribution of raincoat to police in the state.
Also, a police woman said, she has some uniform package, but she did not open it yet, as such she may not tell if there is anything like raincoat, but nevertheless she will find out after opening her own package given to her last week.
In a text message sent to our correspondent in Nasarawa State by the state Police Public Relation Officer, ASP Ramhan Nansel wrote: “the State Command has in full of receipt of its own share of raincoat from Federal Government.
“The Police Command did receive its share of the raincoats made available to all states of the federation. It was distributed to personnel of all the 30 Divisions and seven Area Commands we have in the state,” he indicated.
But some policemen who spoke to The Triumph denied receiving any raincoat yet, adding that they are still waiting to have the consignment as directed by the president.
Our correspondent observed that during rainfalls police personnel find it difficult to bear the situation.
According to Public Relation Officer of the Kano State Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Abdullahi Iliyasu Kiyawa, the Force Police Public Relation Officer in the headquarters, Mr. Frank Mba is the appropriate person to response to the issue related to the provision of raincoats to the police personnel.
Our correspondent who spoke to the spokesperson of the Nigeria Police Force, ACP Frank Mba through telephone, said: “After several calls, he finally picked the last one. After I introduced myself and read the question, he replied: “Who is this man disturbing me with calls and text messages, I don’t have time for you, please leave me alone.”
Then he dropped his line instantly.
Also, Sokoto based public affairs commentators, Alhaji Nasir Bello and Abdallah Elkureb, described the non compliance to Mr. President’s directives on the provision of the raincoats to the police personnel as insubordination.
Also, a lecturer with Adamawa State Polytechnic and Head of Department, Crime Management and Control, said he is not a police but a lecturer and on COVID-19 compulsory holidays.
“Since you said so, we are in raining season and the police are working 24 hours in seven days they need it.
“And that even if the police said they will do the work with or without the raincoat, they have to do it since they promised to defend the nation.
“But it is certain that with or without the raincoat, they will do it because it doesn’t mean anything only without raincoat and at this raining season, it will affect them health wise,” he said.
Barr. Adamu Yakubu Ahmed, a legal luminary and crime analysts in Kaduna State said the 1999 Constitution lists the police as the sole responsibility of the Federal Government, adding that the constitution vested enormous power to control over the force in the President, as in section 213 (3).