Nigerian govt signs MoU with US to train police commanders

The Nigerian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States for the training of commanders of the Police Special Intervention Squad (SIS) in a bid to tackle banditry and other forms of criminality in the country.


At the MoU signing ceremony
held at the Peacekeeping Hall, Force Headquarters in Abuja on Monday, the Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, who also inaugurated the training programme in partnership with the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, said the SIS was an initiative of the IG that was created to combat violent crimes across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

He however, regretted that since its creation, the squad had only been established in two territories, Plateau State and the FCT, following the rise in banditry and kidnapping in both places.

The IG said the programme was designed to prepare the trainees for the challenges associated with the new responsibility of taking up lead positions in combating the scourge of kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, and terrorism amongst others.


“It is with a profound sense of duty that I stand before you today at the inauguration of the training programme for Commanders of the Special Intervention Squad,” the IGP said.

“The programme is designed to prepare the trainees for the challenges associated with their new responsibility of taking up the lead positions in combating the scourge of kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, terrorism and other evolving challenges of crime confronting our society.

“Without mincing words, our country, like many other parts of the globe, is experiencing security challenges arising from the activities of the criminal elements seeking to undermine the peace and security of our nation.

“This development demands an instant and appropriate response from us as the lead agency in the internal security architecture of the country.

“The situation at hand has challenged our ingenuity such that beyond the conventional reactive response approach to crime management, we conceived the idea of the Special Intervention Squad, to serve as an elite unit of the Force, designed to anticipate, respond spontaneously and manage crisis situations.

“The squad was primarily established for the purpose of confronting every situation that threatens the peace of the citizenry and to restore law and order across the nation.

“The initiative is pivotal to safeguarding the lives and property of all Nigerians while guaranteeing the supremacy of the state and the rule of law thus protecting the integrity of our nation.

“The Force in this drive found a willing and dependable ally in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, an agency of the United States of America’s government, which volunteered to train the officers of the SIS.

“A major leap towards achieving this was achieved with the formal signing, on Monday, December 18, 2023, of the Memorandum of Understanding, between the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of United States of America.

“The event today, therefore, is a major milestone towards the full operationalisation of the SIS across the length and breadth of our country. As you are all aware, on January 17, 2024, I formally launched the squad in FCT. Operatives of the squad have since commenced intensive operation, reinvigorating the offensive against criminal elements by taking the battle to their hideouts.

“Among the successes enumerated above was the interception along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway of three major suppliers of arms and ammunition to bandits operating in Niger, Zamfara, and Kaduna states.

“Similarly, operatives of the squad on Friday, January 26, 2024, engaged some armed bandits within the FCT-Kaduna axis in a fierce gun battle during which three of them, including their gang leader, one Mai-Gemu (aka Gadoro), were neutralised.

“The successes recorded so far aptly testify to the triumph of willpower over adversities. We are commencing the training today with a total of thirty-eight officers who were diligently selected to be the precursors of this crucial endeavour based on their competence, integrity, track record, demonstrated commitment to the cause of justice and suitability for the assignment.

“They will assume the roles of commanders of the squad across the states. This is the first step in the training phase as we expect the training of the men to commence at the conclusion of this particular programme.

“It is the expectation of the Force that the officers being presented for this training will take full advantage of the training, firstly for their personal development, and secondly for the success in their assignment, by being impactful on the field so as to attain the goals of the squad.”

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