Germany offers to train Nigeria Police on civil engagement, protest management

*We offer to train for best practices. You have a great chance when you train 30,000 young women and men to become policemen…. This the future of the Police of Nigeria ─Matthias Seeger,  ex-Inspector-General of German Federal Police

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In order to learn more about best practices in civil engagement and street protest management, the German Government has requested the Federal Government of Nigeria to enroll not less than 30,000 personnel of the Nigeria Police for special training in Germany.

The German Government stated the objective of the arrangement is equip the officers on how to manage protests among the Nigerian populace without using weapons.

Nigerian youth protesters October 2020, in Lagos 

It was gathered that a high-level delegation from Germany, which visited Mr. Musiliu Smith, Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), said it was willing to train the new crop of recruits into the Nigeria Police on best practices regarding protest management.

The team, led by Matthias Seeger, retired Inspector-General of the German Federal Police, had earlier visited the Force Headquarters where they interacted with Usman Baba, Inspector-General of Police (IGP), in Abuja, FCT, Daily Trust report stated.

Seeger said: “I think the best is, for a start, if you want to build a house, you start with the basement. You focus on very few things, maybe two or three.

“All the demonstrations we had in Europe, there are very few unique situations where police use their weapons; 99.9%, no weapons.”

The visiting retired German Police Chief also said: “So, we offer to train for best practices. You have a great chance when you train 30,000 young women and men to become policemen, you take the best.

“It’s a big chance for you now when you train young people. This the future of the police of Nigeria, so you train them well from the first moment.”

Responding, Smith said Nigerian protesters were usually armed and law enforcement agents had to defend themselves from assault by the protesters.

He said: “Let me draw your attention to one issue. When we’ve protests or demonstrations in this country, it would not be fair to compare it to the ones in Europe and I have my reasons for this.

“For the last 5, 10 years, what the men had to face in such situations, I think they’ve to be well-prepared, if they value their own lives.

“They need to be well-armed, well-prepared so that if they tried all other means of dispersing them or making arrests, they may take some decisions or sometimes, some persons get hurt.

“But on a few occasions, they are forced to use weapons not only to save their lives.

“So, I don’t think they’re totally handling demonstrations very well; there is a lot of room for improvement.”

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