Three Day Police Public Relations Officers’ Training on Strategic Communication
Police violence in Nigeria, which is one of the critical socio-political problems in the country long existed before Nigeria gained its independence. Thus, the conversation around the need to reform the Nigerian Police Force is as old as the country itself, however, the conversation gained more momentum and global attention in 2020, during the #EndSars protest of 2020.
While the government, private sector, Civil Society Organizations and development partners have to recognize the need for reforming the Nigerian police, it has been argued that one of the major barriers to policing reforms interventions deployments in the country is the oversimplification of the policing crisis in Nigeria, which often reduces the complexities of policing a multicultural society to mean primarily, the conduct of police officers in the discharge of their duties, the long history of impunity aided extra judicial killings and other human rights abuses, weak internal accountability mechanisms, racketeering, and other corrupt practices, etc.
The EndSARS Protest of October 2020 further strengthened the call for the government to reform the Nigeria Police, and this would include improving the welfare of officers, investing in the continuous capacity building of officers, and the provision of modern policing resources, amongst others.
To further the Police Reform agenda, the Presidential Initiative had developed a Police Reform RoadMap that details a new vision for policing in Nigeria and the strategies to achieve this vision; one of such strategies is the training of Police Officers.
Consequently, the Presidential Initiative on Police reform in collaboration with CLEEN Foundation and support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the project “Advancing Reform Efforts in the Nigeria Police Force” is carrying out interventions to aid the actualization of the objectives of police reform agenda.
The presidential initiative had developed a Police Reform RoadMap that details a new vision for policing in Nigeria and the strategies to achieve this vision; one of such strategies is the training of Police Officers.
The Police Public Relations Officers’ training on Strategic Communication was organized in furtherance of advancing police reform efforts in the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to address the challenges and limitations impeding a transformation of the NPF into an accountable, people-oriented, service-driven, and trusted law enforcement agency in Nigeria. The aim of the training was to increase the capacity (knowledge and awareness) of the Police Public Relations Officers (PPROs) on Strategic Communication techniques, modern and Innovative ways of disseminating information internally and publicly to promote the good image of the NPF.
The first phase of the training was held in Lagos from 23rd – 25th May 2022. To this point, twenty-seven (27) Public Relations Officers from the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have been trained. The overall feedback from participants indicates a high satisfaction with the training and a call for more of such trainings to be organized targeting law enforcement agencies in enhancing professionalism, performance and compliance with human rights principles and standards.