The indefatigable Inspector General of police on Monday May 2nd, attained another feat in his drive to bring about total reform to the Police Force with the launch of the much talk about supernumerary Police Uniform in Port Harcourt, River State on the instance of Shell Petroleum Company of Nigeria. Below is the excerpts of his speech at the epoch ceremony:
“I am most delighted to be in your midst today on the occasion of the launch of the new SPY Police Uniform. This is an initiative that has taken a while to come to fruition, but I am happy to see its proper implementation by today’s landmark event by Shell Petroleum Development Company.
Ladies and gentlemen, the concept of Supernumerary Police draws from Sec. 18 of the Nigeria Police Act which provides guidelines for their establishment and also grants them the powers, privileges and immunities of police officers, but as limited to area in respect of which they are appointed and in any police area adjacent thereto, but not elsewhere. In essence, therefore, SPY Police are engaged for specific security functions within a restricted jurisdiction or operational space. In addition, Sec. 18 (3) (d) of the Police Act provides that Supernumerary Police officers are subject to the Provisions of the Police Act and ‘in particular, the provision thereof relating to discipline’
It is in giving effect to these specific and other broad provisions of the Police Act in relation to the establishment, deployment, status, operation, control and discipline of Supernumerary Police, that the idea of kitting them with Police Uniforms and accoutrement evolved. Although, in so doing, unique service numbers are issued to them to effectively distinguish them from the general duty police officers and also identify the specific jurisdiction they are attached to.
Over the years, however, and with the expansion in the number of Companies and Bodies applying for the establishment of Supernumerary Police in line with provisions of Sec. 18 of Police Act, there has been a significant expansion in its manpower profile and spread nationwide. This trend presented a major challenge as unprofessional conducts by some few elements within the Supernumerary Police structure were being increasingly ascribed to the Nigeria Police Force by citizens who are apparently oblivious of the operations and statutory status of the SPY Police.
The widening scope of this development coupled with the rising concerns of citizens constituted the primary reason for the review of uniform of SPY Police. This is with intent to extend to them a distinct but respectable identity which will distinguish them from the general duty Police and strengthen accountability, control, and discipline in their operations.
Beyond the disciplinary concerns, the introduction of new uniform for the SPY Police is in appreciation of the fact that they represent part of the Special Branches of the Force which like other officers in other Special Branches should enjoy the privilege of a distinct uniform and personality that is reflective of their unique functions within the larger Nigeria Police Family.
Therefore, the introduction of a distinct identity for the Branch is in due recognition of the special role they play in supporting the domination of the internal security space by the Nigeria Police Force. They remain as crucial to me as any other Branch of the Force. This explains why I had to personally honour you by attending this landmark launch in spite of the public holiday and other conflicting official schedules. However, it must be acknowledged that there has always existed a need to have distinct jurisdictional differences for ease of performance evaluation.
The decision to change the SPY Police Uniform appears well thought out. This is because, looking at the officers who are making history here today as the first set of SPY Police personnel to be attired in the new Uniform, I see in them neatness, beauty, smartness, new professional carriage and self-pride. I see in them a renewed pride and dignity and I am motivated that the smartly dressed officers on this Parade will represent the face of the new Supernumerary Police that will break from the past and march into a future in which they will join the Parent Organisation and the Nigeria Police in advancing the concept of Rule of Law-driven law enforcement architecture in Nigeria. I congratulate you on this history-making day and I commend the SPDC family.
I am indeed, not surprised that SPDC are again pivoting this historic event. By taking the lead among other industrial concerns across the country in launching the new face of SPY Police, the management of SPDC has again proven that they are a set of futuristic managers that are determined to remain compliant with extant national policies. This has been the management trademark of SPDC all through history and this, they have once again manifested here today.”