ABUJA, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s vice president inaugurated a committee on Friday to re-organise the police, part of plans to turn around a police force its own chief says is corrupt.
The committee will be headed by Parry Osayande, a deputy inspector general of police in the 1980s and 1990s.
“(The) time has come where the whole Force should be re-examined and re-organised for efficiency and effectiveness,” Vice President Namadi Sambo said at the inauguration.
He said the committee should: “redress the rot in the Nigeria Police Force and reposition it to face the challenges of democratic society through the timely prevention and detection of crimes in all its ramifications.”
Western diplomats and security sources are skeptical about what the committee can achieve. Nigeria has set up several committees in recent months, including one to investigate anti-terrorism and another looking at oil pollution in the Niger Delta but no reports or findings have been made public.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan sacked the former chief of police and his six deputies last month after a key suspect in a Christmas Day bomb attack escaped.
The new acting inspector general, Mohammed Abubakar, said this week that the police force had reached its lowest ebb and admitted that officers had carried out torture, extra-judicial killings and were at the whim of the highest bidder.
Jonathan has been heavily criticised for not getting to grips with Islamist sect Boko Haram, which has killed hundreds in bomb and gun attacks in northern Nigeria this year. The sect’s primary target is police and other authority figures.