A cable of the United States diplomats in Nigeria released by WikiLeaks has stated that some officials of the Nigeria Police told the diplomats in a meeting that the force lacked more than policing facilities to overcome attacks of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
The meeting of top hierarchy of the force with US diplomats took place on July 20, 2001 in Abuja in order to ascertain the training needs of the police, but the US diplomats in the cable did not list names of the police personnel who confided in them in the meeting.
Parts of the cables read: “The NPF (Nigeria Police Force) does not have the capability to respond to a WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) scenario. The NPF does not have an emergency plan, equipment, logistics or training to respond to a WMD incident. The NPF officials expressed a strong interest in receiving training and assistance in this area.
“The NPF officials on the panel said their agency does not possess adequate forensic capabilities, equipment and training required to conduct an investigation of a major terrorist incident,” the cable said. “The NPF officials expressed a strong interest to receive assistance in this area.”
“The NPF has several late-model Mercedes-Benz bomb squad trucks equipped with bomb handling robots and bomb containment trailers. However, the NPF officials on the panel advised they are in dire need of bomb suits, explosive detectors and portable x-ray devices. The NPF bomb squad also lacks trained bomb dogs. The NPF bomb squad does not have significant experience responding to actual bomb threats requiring them to ‘render safe’. The Nigerian Police lacks adequate resources (vehicles, communications, etc.) to effectively respond to an overwhelming crime situation. The NPF has not received any outside training in hostage negotiation, roadblocks and response to high threat crimes in progress. The NPF officials on the panel expressed a strong interest to receive additional training in these areas.”
According to the cables, the Nigerian Police lacked adequate resources (vehicles, communications, etc.) to effectively respond to an overwhelming crime situation and that many local area, city and state governments sought to reduce these inadequacies by providing the NPF with additional patrol cars, boats, etc.