The Nigeria Police yesterday hit back at its critics and recent poll results which indicated that the force was one of the most corrupt agencies of government, explaining that corruption is more of a societal problem than a police issue.
Pioneer Chaplain of the Nigeria Police Force Chaplaincy, Rev. Fr. Raphael Fagbohun, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, said corruption in the police is not an institutional phenomenon and therefore not peculiar to the police alone as it is a societal and personal issue.
Fagbohun, who spoke yesterday at the seventh anniversary celebration of the force chaplaincy in Abuja, also charged Nigerians to use their ethnic and religious leanings to promote the unity and continued co-existence of the country.
According to him, the singular purpose of establishing the chaplaincy was to eradicate corruption in the police through the instrument of spirituality to transform the officers and men.
He said corruption occurs both at a personal level and at the societal level, wondering why people tend to single out the police for public bashing and ridicule.
Fagbohun, who also declared that the force was not corrupt, said the organisation has dismissed so many of its personnel found wanting.
He argued that the force has the highest rate of such dismissals not because its men were the most corrupt, but because it does not condone corruption and other vices. “It is a societal issue that has to do with Nigeria as a whole.
It is a personal one that has to do with individuals. Every wise person knows that corruption is a Nigerian problem and not a police issue.
The police happens to be a part of the Nigerian society with corrupt individuals who are personnel of the force, which does not condone corruption. “The Nigeria Police as an organisation is not corrupt but upholds high discipline even till date.
A clear example is that it is the organisation with the highest number of dismissal rate of indiscipline officers in the public or civil service. You can check out this statistical fact,” he said.
The former chaplain said the force currently has 102 trained pastors and imams while places of worship for officers and their families have been established in all police formations and barracks throughout the country to enable them easily connect spiritually with God. “No cross no crown,” they say.
There is no success without challenge; the chaplaincy has got its successes and failures to learn from and become better in the future,” Fagbohun noted, adding that the force has outlined measures to ensure the continued growth of the chaplaincy.
He said the easy accessibility to places of worship is of huge benefit to the officers, who do not have to leave the places of their assignment in order to fulfil their spiritual and religious obligations.
Fagbohun also warned other religious leaders not to attempt to take over the police chaplaincy, saying no particular denomination could lay claim to its ownership.
He said such moves would be viewed as trespass and an attempt to take over police administration of the chaplaincy. “Our stand in dealing with this, which we still reiterate here, is that the police chaplaincy is not a religious organisation or an appendage of a particular denomination.
“It is purely an administrative section of the Nigeria Police meant to oversee the spiritual growth of the officers and men while coordinating religious matters within the force.”
Source: National Mirror