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CSOs doubt compliance to withdrawal of police attaches from VIPs

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Ag. Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, at the briefing of the Nigerian Senate on the measures being taken to address the insecurity across the nation. Photo/twitter/bukolasaraki

Civil society organisations (CSOs), yesterday, doubted the feasibility of the recent order for the withdrawal of police officers attached to very important persons (VIPs), arguing that complying with the order will be challenged without reform of the Nigeria Police.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, had ordered the withdrawal of police officers attached to all VIPs across the country with immediate effect but retained those attached to government houses, President of the Senate and Speaker House of Representatives.

This was contained in a police wireless message sent on Wednesday, as addressed to state Commissioners of Police (CPs).

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But Co-Convener of the Centre For Liberty, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said because all Police formations across the country were under the VIPs’ influence in one way or the other, the IGP might not muster the will to achieve the order without major reforms.

Convener of the Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, said the IGP’s directive was not new because “we have been witnessing such directives by different IGPs ordering
the withdrawal of Policemen from VIPs and I don’t think it would be different because almost half of the nation’s Police Force is controlled by big men and companies.”

A former member of the House of Representatives, who represented Aguata Federal Constituency, Anambra State from 1999-2007, Nze Chidi Duru, said most police divisional offices generate funds for their daily operations.

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He argued that in recent times police operations include the provision of security details for VIPs, a situation, which he said, has reduced most police officers to bag carriers and drivers for wealthy individuals and politicians.

In a wireless message dated October 21, 2020, the IGP had directed that any commander who violates the withdrawal order would face dire consequences.

The signal, which was signed by the AIPOL, Protect, Force Headquarters, Abuja, read in part: “Any protect personnel found escorting or guarding any VIP with or
without a firearm is deemed to be deployed by the commander and the commander will be sanctioned.”

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The Guardian recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2015 directed that police personnel attached to unauthorised persons and VIPs in the country be withdrawn and deployed to confront then security challenges in the country.

In 2018, the Police Service Commission (PSC) said the commission in conjunction with the NPF, had commenced withdrawal of police officers, but the exercise was stalled due to lack of funds.

Former Chairman of the PSC, Mike Okiro, said the Police Force could not afford to have more than half of its officers in private hands, lamenting that the enforcement of the order on withdrawal of policemen attached to unqualified persons in the country could not be sustained due to lack of funds.

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