Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase has said the Police will work with the League Management Company (LMC) and other institutions of the football industry to raise special squad and thus ensure adequate security at football events to consolidate on the reforms which has seen a rise in attendance at league games.
Arase spoke while receiving a delegation from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the LMC and the Nation-Wide League led by Shehu Dikko, the LMC Chairman and 2nd Vice President of the NFF in his office on Thursday.
“I am honoured receiving your team today because I am passionate about football and actually played football as an academical. This is why I have followed developments in the football industry and believe we can work with you to devise an approach that will bring a fresh breathe of air to the security management of the games”, the IGP remarked.
He was responding to a request by Dikko which sought the support of the Police high command in creating a special Police Squad for match day policing and promised that henceforth, Mounted Troops will be part of stadium security on match days as soon as the finer details are worked out.
According to Dikko, “We have over the years enjoyed the support and protection of the Police at our match venues. We have enjoyed incident-free situations at our venues after 190 games of the first stanza and we want to ensure that this continues hence we have come to request that special squads be created for crowd control on match days and also dedicate some officers to be attached to our Match Referees all through their stay for a match”.
The LMC and the IGP further agreed to collaborate on capacity building for officers through training in crowd management using FIFA model for which the IGP said he would appoint a Liaison officer to work with the LMC on the modalities. He said his office will also be contacting representatives of the Metropolitan Police in the country for further enrichment of the training program.
On the delegation were Chief Operating Officer of the LMC, Salihu Abubakar, Legal Adviser to the LMC, Barrister Samson Ebomhe, Chairman of NFF Referees Committee, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh, Chairman of Nation-Wide League, Alhaji Ahmed Kawu, FIFA Security Committee officer, Dr. Christian Emeruwa and ex-international player, Garba Lawal.