By Chinedu Adonu
ENUGU – No fewer than 120 police officers in specialized units within the Enugu state Police Command are currently undergoing human rights training in Enugu.
The officers undergoing the training are drawn from Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Anti-Cultism Unit, Special Anti-Terrorism Squad, IGP Special monitoring Squad and host of others on special assignments.
Declaring the three-day training open on Monday, the Acting Inspector General of Police (I-G), Mr Mohammed Adamu, said that the training was meant to improve professionalism of officers, who would take the training down to their subordinates and rank-and-file.
Adamu, represented by Police Commissioner in-charge of Training, Mr Abiodun Odude, said that the training was part of a holistic reform to get personnel of police well equipped to discharge their duties and win the trust of Nigerians.
“The police have zero tolerance for human rights abuses and will not fail to sanction any officer found to have abused people’s human right and rubbished the professional integrity of Nigeria Police.
“This is why the Nigeria Police is partnering with reputable organisations to bring the training down to command and unit levels so that all can learn and those with bad orientation can change for good,’’ he said.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Sulaiman Balarabe, thanked the I-G for approving that the officers in the command would partake in the intensive training meant to reposition them for efficiency and good relations with members of the public.
“I sincerely believe that after the training and other follow trainings, our officers will increase their knowledge of human rights which in turn make our community-police crime fighting approach effective and people-oriented,’’ Balarabe said.
Earlier, Executive-Director of Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), Dr. Uju Agomoh, said that the ongoing training in Enugu was first time that the human rights training was being scaled down to the unit levels.
Agomoh, whose organization is providing technical support for the training, noted that it was not enough to call for banning of police units; but there was a need to train, retrain and support these units to get the best.
“When you have headache, you don’t call for the cutting off your head rather you diagnose and take medication that will stop it. This training tries to discover root causes of human rights abuses in the police and tackle them,’’ she said.
Project Manager of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ, (German society for international cooperation) Mr Hartmut Zander, said that GIZ had been sponsoring reforms and trainings in the Nigeria Police through its `Police Programme Africa’, which has been running for over three years.
Zander, who was represented by Amokeye Agim, said that GIZ aims at ensuring holistic reform in the way police jobs are carried out and to promote international best practices in policing within Nigeria and Africa at large.