In the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday decorated the acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, with his new rank at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Baba was on Tuesday named acting IGP to replace Mohammed Adamu at a time Buhari is still in London where the Presidency said he was scheduled to undergo routine medical check-up.
Osinbajo disclosed that in a clear departure from the past, Baba’s appointment would not lead to mass retirement of senior police officers since he was the most senior after Adamu.
He said, “Your selection by Mr President follows a rigorous process where all eligible Deputy Inspectors-General of Police and Assistant Inspectors-General of police were considered.
“This appointment, which is largely on the basis of seniority and competence, will ensure that you have access to professional and experienced officers to support you in your new role.”
Then Osinbajo reminded Baba that he was assuming office at a turbulent time, hence the need for him to hit the ground running.
He said, “You are assuming office at a very turbulent time in the life of our people. There are multiple threats to law, order and public safety.
“The Police Force is our institution of first resort, the first line of defence against crime and anarchy and the first sign of the strength of the state.”
Osinbajo told the new IGP that the challenges before him would test his mettle, adding that the Police was in itself facing several challenges.
Under Baba’s leadership, Osinbajo said the force must live up to highest standards of professional conduct and compliance with the rule of law and significantly improve the welfare and working conditions of its officers.
Osinbajo said, “In short, your mission is nothing less than the restoration of dignity and high repute of the policing profession and the continuous oiling of that machinery of the Police Force that enables it to be one that is respected by the populace and by the international community.”
Meanwhile, the acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, pledged to strengthen security strategies in order to address the security crisis facing the country.
Baba said this in his maiden address shortly after taking over from his predecessor, IG Mohammed Adamu, at a brief ceremony at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, on Wednesday.
The IG said he was aware of the tasks ahead and promised not to let the nation down.
Baba said he was encouraged by the fact that the outgoing IGP had laid a solid foundation and entrenched a culture of professional efficiency in the force.
He added that these would “stimulate me in my capacity as the new acting Inspector General of Police to strengthen our strategies and provide the requisite leadership that will change the narratives in relation to our operational approach to the current security threats.”
“However, I call on the citizens to change their mindset and be prepared to work with us in the interest of community safety and national security,” Baba said.