Concerned about the repeated reports of police harassment shared by many young Nigerians, President Buhari warned Nigerian policemen to stop with the indiscriminate arrest of Nigerian youth in their attempt to arrest “criminals from Yahoo”.
The President gave this warning when he spoke at the opening ceremony of the Conference and the withdrawal of high-level police officers in Lagos on Monday 28 October. Represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, President Buhari said that the service provided by the police was a service that Nigerians could not do without, as it was the closest to the bases.
“Recently many civil society groups have complained about the arrest of young men and women just because they look successful and are carrying laptops. Yes we must apprehend yahoo criminals but we cannot harass young men and women on the streets and in taxis, most of whom are merely going about their legitimate businesses.“
There are also cases of extra judicial killings and injuries; misuse of weapons and excessive use of force by some members of the force. This sort of conduct by a few bad police officers must stop, and it is the duty of you senior and strategic leaders of the Police force to ensure that impunity of any kind is discouraged and punished where it is found.’’ President Buhari said.
The President added that the Nigeria Police force was one of the proudest national assets as it was the largest police force in Africa.