President Muhammadu Buhari has told the Nigeria Police Force to stop harassing young people in their efforts to arrest `yahoo boys.’
Buhari gave the warning on Monday in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Conference and Retreat for Senior Police Officers in Lagos.
The retreat themed “Repositioning the Force for the Challenges of Effective Policing in the 21st Century’’ had in attendance all commissioners of police, Assistant Inspectors General of Police and Deputy Inspectors General of Police.
Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari appreciated the police force saying the service they rendered was one Nigerians could not do without.
He pointed out that they were the closest to the grassroots, and above every other service represent law and order to the average Nigerian.
“Which is why the police cannot escape public scrutiny and sometimes criticism; Nigerian people old and young want our Police force to be better and to do better; they want to be even prouder of your service than ever before.
“This is why in some of our urban areas we want to see more compliance with the rule of law and in dealing with Nigerians.
“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.’’
The President described the Nigeria Police force as one of the proudest National assets being the largest police force in Africa, adding that it had some of the best trained and best educated men and women.