There is palpable anxiety over a plan to relocate the Nigerian Police School of Public Relations in Ilorin, capital of Kwara State, to Nasarawa, the home state of the Acting Inspector General Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The construction works going on in the school has been suspended pending further directives from the police hierarchy.
Situated on a vast land lawfully owned by the Nigerian Police in Ilorin, NPSPR is among key infrastructural projects captured in the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan of 2017 to 2020.
Documents obtained by PRNigeria indicated that the Police School of PR School project, which was conceived by the Police Management in 2017, was approved by the Presidency and captured in the 2018 Budget by the National Assembly.
The former IGP Ibrahim Idris had in July 2017 inaugurated a Committee of Professionals, Senior Police Officers and Force Public Relations Officer to set up the Nigeria Police Public Relations School.
With the endorsement of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, the police management team approved a memo from the then Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, on the establishment of the school in Ilorin and the appointment of CP Emmanuel Ojukwu (retd) as the Provost.
The contract for the project was awarded and payment made to the contractor who immediately commenced the construction of the structures that included auditoriums, classrooms, offices and other facilities in the school.
The ground-breaking foundation laying ceremony of the school in Kulende area of Ilorin was performed by Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Works, Olalekan Oladipupo, in the presence of eminent personalities, including retired top police officers and traditional rulers.
Receiving top police delegation in his palace after the foundation laying ceremony, the Emir of Ilorin, Dr. Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, praised the Federal Government for siting the image-making school in Kwara State and pledged the support of the people in ensuring the speedy completion of the project in the Emirate.
Ojukwu said the school project was a further confirmation of the desire of the leadership to bequeath to the police and the entire nation a platform for the proper training and development of the police personnel on the art and science of public relations in a most conducive, peaceful and central city (Ilorin) in Nigeria.
However, the planned relocation of the project to another state in the North Central has generated a lot of controversies as people are wondering that how could a project of such magnitude that went through all due processes overnight be relocated from its original site to another state despite the level of work already carried out on the site.
Commenting on the issue, the Chairman of Third-Estate Forum, a think-tank group in Ilorin Emirate, Mallam Ahmed Bolaji Nagode, maintained that Ilorin remains the best option for siting such a landmark project.
Nagode said: “The work in the school has been suspended as we learn authoritatively that the current police hierarchy is planning to relocate the project to Nasarawa State.
“The current location of Nigeria Police School of Public Relations in Ilorin, a major town that links the South and North, made it central and accessible to all parts of the Country.
“Don’t forget that it also has an International Airport for air travellers and higher institutions of repute that could support the school academically.
“There is therefore no justification for PR School to be relocated to anywhere else.
“We had seen how some key Federal Government’s institutions were relocated to other states in the past.
“We can’t continue to tolerate that considering the fact that the latest project was passed into law by the National Assembly and was approved by President and Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari.”
The Force PRO, Frank Mba, however, denied the claim that the NPSPR’s project was either stopped or suspended pending its relocation to Nasarawa State when PRNigeria called him.