…Indiscriminate arrest of people with dreadlocks, tattoos, not tolerated – CP Lagos
By Evelyn Usman
Plans have been concluded for policemen under the Lagos State Police Command to undergo training on emotional intelligence with a view to enhancing their capability on inter personal relationship.
This is just as policemen in the state have been warned to desist from arresting people with dreadlocks or tattoo.
Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, CP Zubairu Muazu, dropped the hint yesterday, at a breakfast meeting with Stakeholder Forum on Police Accountability, at Alausa, Ikeja area of the state.
The training became necessary, following the indiscriminate and unprofessional manner policemen were accused of handling matters. Among these, were the killings of three Lagosians by policemen, recently.
The training on emotional intelligence according to Muazu, would address the misdemeanor of policemen and at the same time, expose reasons why some policemen behaved the way they did.
Expressing disappointment over the killings of innocent and defenseless Lagosians, since he assumed office, Muazu, disclosed that three police men so far dismissed for murder, were presently in prison custody.
According to him, “Cases of wanton killing is not acceptable. There seems to be no response from any quarter on the killings before now. But the administration of this present Inspector-General of Police , Mohammed Adamu, will not condone any of such act. He has already warned that no policeman in Nigeria that engages in such misdemeanor will go scot- free.
” To address this, we are working hard on training and re-training of policemen. I just approved training on emotional intelligence. The behavior of our men is unimaginable. We have identified that as a problem and have got people to train them on this . We want to know what is happening to our policemen and why they behave the way they do”.
On the arrest of persons with dreadlocks and tattoo, he said, ” We have been emphasizing to our policemen that not everybody with dreads lock and tatoo are cultists. Such type of unnecessary arrest will not be tolerated”.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Chairman of the Stakeholders Accountability Forum, Okechukwu Nwagunma, explained that the forum was a network of stakeholders comprising the National Human Rights Commission, community based/ community focused organisations, other civil society organisations, as well as other stakeholders interested in, or working on issues of police accountability and improved service delivery by the Police.
The Forum which was initiated by civil society and other stakeholders in Lagos State with support from the Nigerian Policing Program (NPP), was according to him, was launched last year, to understand the functioning of the various public complaints and discipline mechanisms and how civil society and other stakeholders could engage and strengthen these mechanisms to promote accountability and respect for human rights, thereby change public perception of the police.
Lauding the command’s efforts under Muazu’s watch at addressing abuses, Nwagunma, however said that the achievements were under reported.
“This platform will help to bring to wider public view, the improvements being recorded by the command under the current leadership ; Community engagement through Town hall meetings, especially with the gender and anti-cultism units. Town Hall meetings provide platforms to communicate police challenges and community concerns and help to create mutual understanding and promote community police partnership”.
Highlight of the meeting included suggestions on the need for policemen to be posted to areas of their specialty to enhance professionalism; need for synergy between the command and other security agencies and vigilante groups; wining the trust of members of the public for an enhanced intelligence, among others.
Present at the meeting were the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of Operations, DCP Ali Muhammed, heads of key units such as X-Squad, SARS among others.