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Unease in police as mass sack of AIGs looms


Out-going Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase (right) and the new Acting IGP, Ibrahim Idris, during the handing over ceremony in Abuja …yesterday. PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO

Out-going Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase (right) and the new Acting IGP, Ibrahim Idris, during the handing over ceremony in Abuja …yesterday. PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO

• New Ag. IGP to focus on democratic policing

There is more than a likelihood that those officers who are senior to the new Acting Inspector General of Police, (Ag.IGP) Ibrahim Idris and of Assistant Inspector General (AIG) rank are starring retirement in the face.

Such retirement, according to a police source, would follow accepted command and control practice and in line with Idris’ avowed disposition when he returned from the Presidential Villa where he was issued the instrument of office.

He said his administration would focus on the ideology of equality, respect for human rights and the general observance of the principle of democratic policing.

He also said well-trained and disciplined police officers would be deployed to strengthen the fight against corruption at all the three tiers of government while personnel of the Special Units would be withdrawn from private individuals and companies.

According to the source: “A lot of AIGs, about 24 of them may face compulsory retirement. There is the understandable fear which he may entertain that those AIGs may not be loyal to him. Everywhere is calm now, no one knows his next step so every police officer in the country is careful.”

Another source at the Luis Edet House, headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force said: “The new Acting IGP is not open. As I speak with you now, no one in this headquarters knows his next step.. He is afraid of some of those AIG’s who are his senior colleagues because they also declared their interest in the Acting IGP position when it was clear to all that Solomon Arase’s tenure would not be extended.”

Idris who spoke yesterday in Abuja after taking over from the outgone Inspector General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase (rtd) made clear his desire that the force should be guided by the “core values of policing with integrity, ensuring that the rule of law prevails in our activities, and to strictly respect diversity, courage, compassion and professionalism.”

He said the police force would be operating within the focal point of integrity and accountability, failure of which would attract appropriate sanctions.

He said part of the requirements of this vision, aimed at eliminating impunity in the system is that, all complaints to the Police must be dealt with immediately as it would be against work ethics not to treat complaints to the satisfaction of the complainant.

He would also ensure transparency in the management of the Police Cooperative and Police Insurance schemes for all contributors to see what happens to their money, saying: “A lot can be achieved in our efforts to enhance the welfare of the police personnel through genuine utilisation of these two investments’’ as the contributors would henceforth determine what would be done with their money.

Idris, who is the 19th indigenous IGP, said the Police have a role to play in the current anti-corruption campaign of the Federal Government, as such, the Force would give a boost to the campaign by “strengthening the X-squad units in the commands with the deployment of thoroughly vetted, selfless, and patriotic officers to tackle corruption and abuse of office within the Police organisation and among the federal, states and local government levels.”

He also promised to ensure the establishment of forensic laboratories in the six geo-political zones in the country so as to enhance the investigative capacity of the Force, as well as the restructuring and reorganisation of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to tackle the rising waves of violent crimes in communities.

Idris maintained that Special Units in the police, like the Police Mobile Force (PMF) and the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) would also be restructured, such that the deployment of personnel of the Special Units to “individual businessmen and private companies, would be reviewed as they are established to tackle serious security challenges in the country, such as “riots, terrorism and counter-insurgency operations. Their deployment would be focused on the locations where we experience the challenge.”

One of the cardinal focuses of the new Acting IGP, would be to give equal opportunities to women. He said because of the population of women in Nigeria, “emphasis would be in place for the posting of female Police officers in command positions,” to boost the moral of female police officers.

Idris also promised that because of the strategic importance of community involvement in democratic policing, he would establish an Eminent Persons Forum in all the states of the Federation, to tackle ethnic and religious upheavals that bedevil several parts of the country.

“The forum would be composed of retired civil servants, religious leaders, retired senior security officers and community leaders.”

Just before the ceremonial exchange of Police standards and the National Flag, the outgone IGP Arase expressed satisfaction that he enjoyed high level of diligence and professional cooperation from the personnel of the force during his administration, saying the appointment of his successor is apt, as he is “convinced of the capacity of the Acting IGP to provide the requisite leadership for the force at this time. ”

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