Abuja- President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday in Abuja urged officers and men of the Nigeria Police to be mindful of the rights of the ordinary citizens in carrying out their operations.
The president gave the charge at the commissioning ceremony of police helicopters and patrol vehicles to mark the end of the 2013 Police Week celebration.
Jonathan stressed the need for the police to avoid abuse of human rights but have regards for human dignity and sanctity of life in the course of their duties.
``I will also charge the police that while doing their work, to be mindful of the rights of ordinary citizens because that is very sensitive.
``While policing us, you must know that the rights of the citizens of this country must be protected.
``In that regard, respect, maximum discipline from officers and men of the Nigeria Police is required,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president commissioned seven helicopters, 275 patrol vans and 17 armored personnel carriers for use by the police.
The president tasked the police to cultivate a maintenance culture, particularly for the equipment to perform better and last longer.
He said that the police should take a cue from the Armed Forces which had created a department of maintenance for their equipment.
``In the use of the equipment, one thing I will urge the police to do is the issue of maintenance.
``As a nation, we are not too good in maintaining what we have.
``Presently, that aspect is improving because with my interaction with the armed forces, they have set up a very formidable team that now maintains their equipments.’’
Jonathan decried the situation where the police had failed to respond promptly to emergencies due to lack of modern day equipment.
He said that his commitment was to ensure that every state command had at least a helicopter that could be deployed to prevent and fight crimes.
``This is the commitment of government and that is why we set up a special fund.
``The idea that armed robbers will take over a city and be operating for three hours and no challenge must be a thing of the past.
``My vision is to create a robust and efficient Police Force well motivated to discharge their constitutional obligations without fear or favour,’’ he said
The president called on all stakeholders, particularly the public to lend full support to the police to discharge their duties effectively and efficiently.
He assured that government would continue to provide the police with modern equipment to confront the security challenges facing the nation.
The president seized the opportunity of the event to condole with the families of officers and men of the Nigeria Police who lost their lives during operations.
He assured that government would continue to remember their gallantry and offer assistance to their immediate families.
NAN reports that the president also presented awards to 15 police officers who had distinguished themselves in one way or the other.