The capacity of the Nigerian Police Force is currently being overstretched by the insurgency in the North, abuses against ordinary citizens and undermining of the rule of law. According to a report of the Human Rights Watch, Nigerians don’t trust the police; citizens generally have a bad impression of police officers because of their perceived brutality and corruption.
You may have seen how dilapidated the police quarters are, possibly have heard how horrible the Nigerian Police cells can be. The reality is right from the Academy, the Nigerian Police officer has known no better way to live.
In what can be described as a brazen show of the harsh reality, a Channels TV documentary on the life of trainees living in the Nigerian Police College, Ikeja has revealed the deplorable conditions faced by people who will later graduate to become policemen and women that Nigerians would rely on to serve and protect them.
Channels TV began the New Year with a focus on the rehabilitation of the foremost training college of the Nigeria Police with an x-ray on the life of students living in the college.The photos below depict the sad state of the dormitories, the toilets and more. Students were seen urinating at the back of the building where the drainage system has broken down completely. The toilets and bathrooms are in such terrible conditions, one wonders how they manage to use them.
Male dormitory 10 is one of those built by Nigerian colonial masters in 1940. Today, its windows and doors are damaged with no plans for any repairs. There is no electricity and the occupants point out blood stains from bed bug bites.
The College once had an Olympic-size swimming pool which is now a breeding ground for toads. It used to win medals for shooting all over West Africa but there is no shooting range anymore.
Jonah Mavah, the Deputy Commandant of the College said there has been no major development since establishment except for some few renovations. The College itself was built for 700 students but today, it accommodates 2,554.
As for the library, the Staff says they cannot remember the last time books were supplied to the library which is full of museum pieces and antiquities called books bought in the 1970s.
There are 7 police colleges in Nigeria and a total of 18,500 constables graduated as at December 2012.
In 2013, a sum of N311 billion has been budgeted for the Nigerian Police. It is hoped this money would be used judiciously and a significant part of it be allocated to improving infrastructure in the Police Colleges and other facilities of the Nigerian Police.
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Channels Television will on Tuesday 22 January bring together policy makers from both the private and public sector at the Muson Centre, Lagos to chart a course towards rebuilding a decent police training institution in Lagos.