The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Solomon Arase, has charged movie makers and Producers in the industry in Nigeria popularly referred to as Nollywood, to present and promote the Nigerian Police in a positive light in their movies, even as he assured Nollywood that the synergy and corporation between the Police and the movie industry would be consolidated under his watch.
Mr. Arase made these comments, while responding to a question by the Chairman, Actors Guild of Nigeria, Rita Daniels Chukwuji, at a town-hall meeting with Delta State stateke-holders, in Government House, Asaba, as part of activities during the official visit of the IGP to Delta state.
Ms. Daniels had complained that the police had often stopped and harassed actors on their way to locations, treating them as non-entities, even after lengthy explanations of their mission, adding that they had often met several brick-walls with the police, especially when they request for props for their movies, as they have been told point blank that the IG had instructed that no props should be released to them without a formal, endorsed document from the Force Headquarters in Abuja, approving their request.
Responding, The Inspector General had noted jokingly that perhaps the reason for such refusals may have been as a result of the negative portrayal of the police in most of their movies, but had also assured them that he would formally write to all the commands instructing that they release props to them without any hindrances henceforth.
Arase said; “Perhaps it is because of the way you people portray us in your movies that has made them to be reluctant to release the props to you, afterall how do you expect them to feel if after giving you the items you now use them to present the police in bad light in the movies?
“Anyways, that is on the lighter side but seriously, I want to urge you to use your movies to highlight the positive side of our police force, just like the British did with their James Bond Movies which celebrated the excellence of the police force and intelligence. I have had a discussion with Lancelot Odua Imasuen on this issue and of course I have always given them access to our station and other things they have requested in Abuja and I want to assure you that I will instruct the rest of the command across the country to give you all the assistant you need, but you should also present us well in your movies”, the IGP solicited.
Mr. Arase also assured that the police would partner with the civil society and other security stakeholders to checkmate crime, adding that more ways would be explored to consolidate on the partnership with members of the PPRC, vigilante groups, traders, traditional rulers and other stakeholders in Delta State and while admonishing citizens to stop involving the police in matters that could easily be addressed by traditional authorities, especially land matters, urged the police to ensure that such matters are promptly charged to court, with relevant evidence, to avoid situations where hardened criminals are released and recycled into the society to commit more crimes.
He appreciated the efforts of the different security bodies in fighting crime, where they expressed themselves on some of the challenges faced while trying to carry out the onerous task of crime prevention and noted that a code of conduct document, specifying the roles of every agency would be produced in order to avoid operational conflicts and incidences of undue interference in addressing criminal cases being investigated by the police.
On the clashes between cattle herdsmen and farmers in various communities in Delta State, he said that caution must be applied to avoid making mistakes, even as he noted that the Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with relevant government agencies were exploring ways of devising specific grazing and watering areas for the herdsmen.
The IG added that the proliferation of small arms in the Maghreb region as a result of the Arab spring and economic migration across the area has seen the influx of Northern affiliates into Nigeria, thus making it difficult to distinguish between a Nigerian herdsman and a lookalike from the same region, who has migrated to Nigeria with the arms from the turbulent region.