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Buhari orders IGP to address insecurity 

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IGP Usman Alkali Baba. Photo/POLICENG


As Police Council Confirms Baba 

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, instructed the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, to quickly tackle the menace of insecurity in the country with a view to reducing it to a minimal level.  

This came after the Police Council made up of the President, Vice President, governors, ministers of Police Affairs, Interior and the Federal Capital Territory, confirmed Baba as the substantive police boss. 

Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, who confirmed the development at the end of the Council’s meeting in the State House, said the decision to confirm the police helmsman was unanimous.

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Recall that President Buhari had on April 6, this year, announced Baba in acting capacity. Baba was a Deputy Inspector General of Police before the Council confirmed his new appointment.

Briefing State House Correspondents, Dingyadi explained that the meeting was to, “get the appointment of acting IG confirmed by the Council in keeping with Section 205 of the constitution. It requires the confirmation by members of the Council before he’s finally confirmed as the Inspector General of Police.”

Dingyadi said the security situation in the country also formed the crux of the meeting, adding: “The meeting started with the usual presentation of tactics by the Inspector General, which fortunately, because of his track record, was unanimously confirmed. 

“Mr. President used the opportunity to congratulate him on his appointment and called on him to ensure that he is worthy of the confidence reposed in him. He tasked him to rise to the challenge and ensure that the insecurity that the country is facing is brought to the barest minimum.

“The IG assured Mr. President and Nigerians that he is going to work assiduously to ensure that the responsibilities assigned to him are brought to bear and executed to the best of his abilities and to the satisfaction of all Nigerians.”

Addressing newsmen, the new IGP said he briefed the council on the threat to national security across the six geo-political zones.

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He said: “There are peculiarities; as I said before, in the Southeast and South-south is the issue of secessionist agenda championed by IPOB. I also talked about terrorism and religious bigotry in the Northeast.

“I also talked about the issue of kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry and cultism as it affects the North-central and Northwest and Southwest. I gave a synopsis in terms of what we are doing to address this situation. I also thanked Mr. President for providing additional logistics in terms of carrying out our duties and responsibilities. 

“In collaboration with other security agencies, we try to checkmate other forms of lawlessness, criminality and unlawful agitation in order to ensure lives and property are saved and at the same time allow Nigerian citizens to go about their lawful businesses. 

“What is seriously worrisome is the Southeast. But it is gradually being checked and results are positive as regards the attacks and killings of security agents and assets belonging to the Federal Government. Our ability to checkmate this lawlessness has improved and we are getting closer to something positive. 

“We also acknowledge the fact that there are some things that have been done by the Federal Government to improve police operations ranging from the establishment of the Police Trust Fund, signing into law of the 2020 Police Act and several other intervention funds, necessary technology and intelligence led policing will be a reality. 

“I briefed Council on adding to our strengths in terms of recruitment for 2020 and 2021 as this will assist us. I also briefed the council on community policing, which has taken off in all the states and how the community police officers are assisting in providing security in their communities, because their operations are restricted to their immediate community. 

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“I briefed the Council on the number of arrests we have made and recoveries in terms of firearms and weaponry that are being used lawlessly. I briefed the Council on rescue of kidnapped victims and what we are doing to secure the school children that have been kidnapped and how we are going about securing those in schools.”

Responding to a question on why the police do not tackle political thugs in the same manner the issue of IPOB members in the South East was being handled, Baba said: “How do I differentiate between political thugs and IPOB? I don’t even need to differentiate them. The issue is, I’m looking for anybody who has committed offence or anybody who belongs to a proscribed organisation. So, it all depends on the level of criminality or lawlessness that someone does to know what punishment will be meted on him. If a political thug that commits crime, he is in for it as a principal offender; if someone is sponsoring him, either aiding, abetting or conspiring with him, they will be taken together.

“The issue is IPOB is a proscribed organisation and we expect nobody to belong to the IPOB. Thuggery is an offence and anyone will be dealt with according to the law.”

On the alarm raised by Southwest leaders that foreign herdsmen were invading the zone, the IGP gave the assurance that the authorities were handling the matter. 

“It is a statement that will not be taken lightly. We are looking into it based on intelligence available to us. We will deal with the situation and those who are making the statement are also at liberty by national calling to substantiate it at the nearest police station. 

“It is not today we have been hearing of foreigners coming in to commit one crime or the other; and in some instances, there are real incidence that some people that were arrested are not really Nigerians. It is not a new thing and whatever level of security we need to provide we are doing it. We have border patrol police; immigration are doing their jobs in terms of checking illegal aliens. It is possible but that word invasion is very strong. We will look into it if actually it is true.”
 

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