The task ahead of IGP Adamu – New Telegraph

Contrary to expectations, President Muhammadu Buhari pandered to the yearnings of many Nigerians last Tuesday by replacing Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the 19th Inspector-General of Police, who had the rare privilege of reaching the retirement age of 60 and climaxing his 35 years of service on the same day.
Idris’ exit was, however, headlined by his participation in the traditional decoration of his successor, the then Directing Staff at the Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (IPSS), Kuru, Jos, Mr. Muhmmed Abubakar Adamu, as the Acting Inspector-General of Police.
Nonetheless, various factors, including the unpleasant perception of his predecessor as a partisan officer and the proximity of his appointment to the elections underscore the fact that the new IGP has gargantuan task on his shoulders.
Topmost of these are internal security challenges like armed banditry in many parts of the country, especially rampaging bandits who have slaughtered no fewer than 3,000 people in the past few years in the North-East, herdsmen attacks, kidnaping, cultism, political violence and many more.
We commend Adamu for setting specific, measurable and realistic goals for himself upon resumption, promising to “adopt a fresh strategy to tackle the insecurity challenges facing Nigeria squarely,” and to “make sure that we have hitch-free elections in the country.”
He promised professionalism among the police and adherence to policing ethics, assuring political parties participating in the election that the police will “stick to the rules and… do the right thing. We will not go outside the ethics of our job to do things that are untoward. Everybody will be given level-playing ground to play his or her politics.”
This would be of interest to politicians and many Nigerians who were apprehensive about Idris’ alleged partisanship as they wait to see how Adamu matches words with appropriate action, especially as the nation goes to the polls in less than one month.
Similarly, we challenge the new IGP to ensure better adherence to rule of law, avoid illegal detention, torture, rights violations and ensure professionalism in investigation and politeness in dealing with civilians, patterns that were lacking in police dealing with the public in recent times.
In retrospect, it was common knowledge that his predecessor’s tenure was characterised, not only by disobedience of constituted authority, especially of the National Assembly, but also presidential orders.
Serially, the former IGP, who should have protected the dignity of the legislature, rebuffed invitations of the Senate, an attitude which amounted to an affront and an assault on Nigeria’s democracy. Ironically, it was the same institution that confirmed his appointment in consonance with extant constitutional provisions.
An infuriated Senate, almost at its wit’s end over the action, the first of its kind in the history of Nigeria since 1999, declared him an enemy of democracy and went further to resolve that he is “unfit to hold public office.”
Under his predecessor, the Senate was invaded and the mace, the legislative chamber’s symbol of authority, was snatched in the full glare of policemen on duty, only to be found a few days later under a bridge before the Abuja City Gate.
Also of interest was the fact that in the heat of the carnage in Benue State, the IGP disregarded a presidential order by President Buhari’s to relocate to Makurdi, an action that drew opprobrium from the citizenry, but ironically went down without penalty.
His tenure witnessed desecration of state houses of assemblies, where security was given to minority lawmakers in futile efforts to truncate democracy in Akwa Ibom and Benue states. Also, high rate of herdsmen’s brazen attacks on churches, communities and individuals were commonplace.
The immediate past IGP disobeyed presidential order with impunity and his spokesman, then Acting ACP Jimoh Moshood, who had the effrontery to describe Governor Sam Ortom as a drowning man on national television, was rewarded with elevation to the rank of a Deputy Commissioner.
By his appointment, Adamu should refrain from perpetuating current ineffective strategies in the force, but must of necessity inject virile, productive and beneficial modern policing methods typical of an internationally exposed top officer of his status, who enjoys the rare combination of cognition of the town and the gown by virtue of his last posting at NIPSS.
The nation is at a critical stage in history and such significant period requires pragmatic and professional policing, akin to what a former IGP about two decades ago code-named “Operation Fire for Fire” to address cross-border banditry.
Close on the heels of Adamu’s initial pronunciation is the real deal – knowledge-driven scientific policing by officers and men as the most visible of the various security agencies saddled with internal security, to justify the current benefit of a significant pay rise.

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