Making Nigeria Police more professional Featured

Monday, 21 November 2016 00:00 Written by  Published in The Nation Read 193 times
President Muhammad Buhari congratulates new IGP, Ibrahim Idris President Muhammad Buhari congratulates new IGP, Ibrahim Idris

The axiom, “The Police is a friend,” has stood the test of time, yet many Nigerians find this as a nut too hard to crack, due to the way the police perform their duties in the country. Several Inspector-Generals of Police had come and gone since Nigeria obtained political independence from Britain in 1960, and each had tried to make the Nigerian Police Force better the way they deem fit.

Perhaps, one of the ways the new Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotum Idris intends to make Nigerians accept the police as a true friend is to make citizens see the Force as responsive to their security needs. This certainly means that the police must be ready to act rapidly in arresting whatever security challenge that the people face.

In this regard, the Force is already seen to be poised to address the menace of kidnapping and other inherent security challenges ravaging the entire nation. Ibrahim’s first port of call in the arduous task was Kogi State where he deployed a special strike force to halt the pervasive criminal activities in the state. From Kogi state he beamed the Force searchlight on Lagos state and in no time, on July 4th 2016, a detachment of Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) promptly rescued a woman and her children who were kidnapped the previous day at her residence in Ayobo Area of the state.

In another coordinated operation, based on intelligence and technical support, this time around, in Kaduna state, the intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police smashed an eleven-man suspected kidnap-gang who allegedly kidnapped the Sierra-Leonean Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Major-General Alfred Claude-Nelson on June 30th 2016, the Executive Director of Dangote Group and many other high profile personalities for ransom.

With the understanding that some criminal elements have perfected the act of mouthing road blocks on high ways in military uniforms to carry out surprise attacks on innocent citizens, the IGP ordered the IRT of his monitoring unit on July 2nd 2016 to carry out tactical surveillance of the Abuja-Kaduna axis. This operation led to the arrest of the eleven-member alleged notorious gang, with several arms and ammunitions recovered from them. The IGP has also ordered the same operations to be carried out on all highways across the country.

Determined to ensure that the citizens are sleeping with their two eyes closed, IGP Ibrahim had also ensured that the Force searchlight is beamed on Ogun State where the force arrested the alleged murderers of the late Olalekan Ogunranti, the Managing Director of Today’s Print Ltd. The late Ogunranti was kidnapped on May 16, 2016 by unknown gunmen. The IGP said, “The arrest of these murderers is a glaring evidence of the proactive nature of the Nigeria Police force in the new dispensation. The Nigeria Police will always ensure the security of lives and property.”

While assuring Nigerians and the people of Plateau State in particular that the force is currently trailing those responsible for the death of the traditional ruler of Bokkos, Chief Lazarus Agaie, his family and orderly, the IGP says the operating balloon of a kidnap-gang in Rivers state has also been punctured, leading to their arrest after kidnapping a woman and her one-year-old daughter from her Port-Harcourt home, demanding the sum of over two million Naira.

A syndicate that allegedly specializes in sending text messages to people and demanding money from them while threatening grievous consequences has met its waterloo as the leader of the suspects a 21 year old Abdulrahman Shaibu has been nabbed. The Force’s surveillance has moved from Abuja fraudsters’ den to Delta state where it arrested a 9-member gang that allegedly kidnapped the Obi of Obulu-Uku, HRM Obi Edward Akaeze Ofulue III. The Police did not leave any stone unturned when it smashed another gang that allegedly kidnapped an Indian expatriate in Katsina-Ala, Benue state.

In all these successes recorded by the Police within a short space of his assumption in office, IGP Ibrahim Idris did not mince his words, “our deep appreciation and gratitude to the media, public spirited individuals and other members of the general public whose co-operations aided our success”, adding that “the Police is a friend,” who cares for the safety of lives and property of citizens. As such, he is seeking the cooperation and understanding of all stakeholders towards assisting the force in actualizing its responsibilities. To this end, the Police boss is soliciting a synergy with military agencies in curbing the current security challenges bedeviling the country. Already, a joint control centre has been established at the Police Headquarters, Abuja which will serve as a platform for other sister security agencies to engender cooperation in operational areas.

The commitment to demonstrate that the Police is a co-worker in bringing peace to his father land has led the Inspector General of Police to fervently seek the cooperation of Traditional rulers across the country towards addressing the current security challenges. He particularly intimated traditional rulers about the establishment of an Eminent Persons Forum in every state of the federation urging them to actively participate in the Forum by making inputs from their wealth of experience. Meanwhile the IGP had discussed the Eminent Persons Forum with the traditional rulers in Nassarawa and Niger states, as well as elders, youths and members of Ugborodo Oparaza community of Niger Delta, where he, on July 1st, 2016 conducted on-the-spot assessment and evaluation of security situation in some flash points in the creeks of the Delta State. He particularly assured the communities that the police under his leadership will engage every community in accordance with international core values of policing with integrity, respect, diversity, operate within the principles of democratic policing and cultivate the culture of professionalism.

With his avowed stand against insecurity in the country, he was able to provide adequate security for the smooth and peaceful conduct of the re-run senatorial elections in Imo North and Kogi East senatorial districts. In a concerted effort to guarantee a violent-free and credible re-run senatorial/house of representative elections in Rivers State, he had on 26th July, 2016 held a crucial meeting with the DG, DSS Alhaji Musa Daura, the Governor of Rivers state, Barrister Nyesom Wike and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi in apparent need to have peaceful, free and fair election of the re-run senatorial/house of representative in Rivers state. In the same vein, the Force demonstrated its preparedness for the Edo state governorship election which took place on Wednesday 28 September, 2016. The deployment of additional 25, 000 police personnel to Edo state had a positive impact, considering the peaceful conduct of the election.

The IGP also ensured that the 2016 Eid-El-Kabir was celebrated nation-wide without any report of breach of the peace, having directed the AIGs of Zonal Commands and all the Commissioners of police in the states to synergise in ensuring peace and tranquility.

And to ensure a virile Police Force, the IGP has mandated that that all the successful candidates in the ongoing recruitment exercise into the Force were subjected to compulsory polygraph test (lie detector test) which is aimed at ensuring that candidates are not of questionable characters.

On July 16th 2016, the police boss paid a one day working visit to Borno State to assess the security situation in the state and evaluate the North-East restoration of normalcy.

There is a conscious effort to rejuvenate the Nigerian Police Force towards becoming a real ‘friend’ of the people by acting in the way that would make people perceive friendship without having to say it. 

Mohammed writes in from Benin, Edo State.

Last modified on Monday, 21 November 2016 04:01