President Goodluck Jonathan has in the aftermath of his Friday visit to the Police College, Lagos, openly lamented the treatment of people as though they were poultry.
The impromptu visit of the president was a rare one and gave him the opportunity to see first-hand the rot present in the 73-year old institution. A source present at the visit quoted an obviously shocked Jonathan asking, “Why are you treating people like chicken?”
The visit, borne out of a Channels TV promotional documentary which the president had lasted less than an hour.
The president was said to have described the documentary when first aired as ‘unbelievable’ and wondered aloud why the television network would be allowed to publicize the rot that had gone on in the institution for so long.
Suspicion was already being cast on the documentary of it being meant to embarrass the Jonathan administration until the president was made to understand that the network had partnered with the police authorities to raise publicity, bad as it may appear, “is to sensitise corporate bodies to the massive needs of the institution, such that when the Channels’ Forum is held on Tuesday as scheduled, there would have been enough sensitization exercise.
It has als0 been learnt that under the process of engagement for being instituted for the institution, the corporate bodies would pick projects (rehabilitation of hostels or construction of buildings) and fund it directly rather than making financial contributions.
It was pursuant to the president’s understanding of the mode of operation of the Police/Channels partnership that he decided to pay the surprise visit.
Already, there are pointers to the fact that the Presidency would join the partnership.
“The president would be very supportive of any activity or sets of activities that would ensure a worthy restoration of the institution”, a Presidency source said yesterday.
Asked about the initial feeling of embarrassment, the Presidency source quipped: “I do not think that is the attitude of Mr. President.
“Mind you, that institution has been there for some 73 years. President Jonathan just got to office some two and a half years ago; the incumbent Inspector General of Police is just about a year and a half in office too. Would it be wise to blame these two individuals for something that had gone on for that long. Mr. President is the first in recent history to visit the place; the incumbent IG has deemed it fit to accept to partner with the television network and, but for that, the massive interest it has generated may not have happened”.
President Jonathan later left for Abidjan, the Ivorien capital for the ECOWAS meeting on the Malian crisis, and was said to have looked like an obviously worried man on the trip.