Nigeria’s acting Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar said the removal of road blocks from the nation’s highways has reduced corruption in the force by over 80 per cent.
Speaking at an interactive session with stakeholders during an official visit to Bayelsa state, Abubakar said that the action had also removed hiccups on the roads as Nigerians could now travel faster by road.
“Removal of roadblocks must go for good. Removal of roadblocks has reduced corruption by over 80 per cent,’’ he said.
Abubakar, who admonished police officers and men against receiving money for bail from members of the public, emphasised that bail was free.
He stressed that women also had the right to take somebody in detention on bail, saying: “I pledge a police force that would not collect money for bail.
“Responsible women can take someone on bail because there is no law restraining women from taking somebody on bail in the nation’s statute books.”
The IGP promised that a befitting headquarters would be built for the Bayelsa Police Command in 2013.
He said there was a serious disconnect between the police and the citizens, adding, however, that “we will reconnect with members of the public.”
Abubakar said although he was appointed at a very difficult time, Nigerians would continue to enjoy police protection to advance the country.
The IGP said Bayelsa was one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria and called for partnership with the public, especially traditional rulers as the custodians of the people’s domain.
He warned policemen against unlawful detention of persons, saying: “we will ensure that unlawful detention at police stations are reduced because the common goal of security agencies is to protect Nigerians.”
Responding to a question from stakeholders on unfriendly posture of some policemen at some stations, the IGP gave his personal mobile telephone number to the public to report genuine cases to him directly.
He warned against giving false information.
Abubakar promised that the welfare of policemen would be given priority during his tenure to ensure optimum performance.
The police command is currently operating from the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) secretariat built for the Yenagoa council since the creation of the state in 1996.