Terrorism: FG to Deploy Trained Police Dogs to Recovered Territories, Borders, Air and Seaport’s – Dambazau.
The Federal Government said yesterday that following the degrading of the activities of Boko Haram, recovery of hitherto seized territories in the North East, Nigerian Police Dogs of the K-9 department, will be deployed along with officers of the force who are expected to take over and ensure the return of civil institutions in the affected areas.
Interior Minister, General Abdurahman Bello Dambazau (rtd) who made the disclosure at the commissioning of the ultra-modern Mounted Troop/ Veterinary complex and Dog Breeding Center at Dei-Dei, Abuja, said, “What the police have done has provided opportunity to build capacity and generate employment”.
“The K9 project is a good idea to combat the security challenge in the country. Dogs can detect bombs and also identify those carrying explosives; the Nigeria Immigration Service can benefit from it in terms of cross-border security. The police should ensure the nation gets maximum benefits from this facility”.
Emphasizing that Nigerians want a police force that is competent, effective and efficient in delivery of services assigned to it, the minister said “We want a police that competent in law enforcement, and one that gives confidence to the Nigerian people.
Commending the vision behind the rehabilitation and expansion of the Police Dog and Mounted troop Center, Dambazau said, “Since I came on board, what I have seen of the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, in terms of performance of policing functions has given me the belief that we are on the right track. The K-9 for example provides the opportunity for Nigerians to be rest assured that their lives and property will be protected”.
“These dogs are capable of identifying people carrying improvised explosive devices especially in the war on terror. Challenges of terrorism like suicide bombings too can be effectively tackled by these dogs. They can be used to further checkmate cross border crimes in the over 5, 000 porous spots across our borders with countries in the sub-region”.
“In this regard, I urged the Immigrations service to partner with the police so that the dogs will not only work on our land borders, they will be useful for security at our airports and seaports. It is also very important that we must sustain and institutionalize this initiative for the betterment of the Police force” he added.
Speaking earlier, Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase said the police dog breeding centre was set up as part of strategies to enhance the capacity of security personnel to combat terrorism and the security challenge in the country.
The IGP said the breeding centre, which is capable of producing over 200 dogs per annum, was meant to complement the technical and human assets of the police and other security agencies to address the challenges facing the country.
The IGP alongside the Minister, Dambazau, and Chairman Police Service Commission, Sir Mike Okiro inspected the various facilities at the center, including the official Binggo dog food, saying that the Centre would make the Force self-reliant to locally breed police dogs in a cost -effective manner while saving the nation some foreign exchange.
Disclosing that the police in the failed to tap the immeasurable anti-crime opportunities which abound in the Force Animal Branch, Arase added that the police had spent over N600 million on the procurement and maintenance of foreign dogs in the past few years.
He explained that the facility would also breed puppies for the public on commercial basis with the intention of evolving the Centre into a self-sustaining dog breeding Centre as practiced in other policing climes.
“My experience as the IG points to the fact that the immeasurable anti-crime opportunities which abound in the Force Animal Branch have remained under-utilized, while the Force continued to rely on importation of dogs and other animals to advance the attainment of its mandate” he said.
“In fact, records show that the Nigeria Police Force has spent over N600mn in the last few years just on the procurement and maintenance of these foreign dogs. This is certainly not sustainable, especially in the face of current dwindling resources.”
The police chief said with the initiative, the Force would soon take its pride of place among countries with “professional K-9 ability,” adding that the dog facility was fashioned after the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, reputed to be the global leader in dog breeding.