President Muhammad Buhari last week appointed Mr. Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, a former Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) as the nation’s new Acting Inspector General Police (IGP).
Adamu was appointed as the former IG, Ibrahim Kukpotun Idris, was retired on the day he clocked 60 years. The Acting IGP was appointed on the heat of controversy over reported plan of the President to extend the tenure of the retired Super Cop for six months.
With the general elections knocking at the door, expectations are very high among Nigerians as Adamu took over the Police Force.
New IGP Should Redeem Battered Police Image – UPP Chief
Professor Francis Dike, a chieftain of the United Progressive Party (UPP) and chairman, Orlu Elders Council, in Imo State, said: “I expect the new IGP to clinically embark on an in-house cleaning to redeem the battered image of the police.
“He has promised to act according to police professional ethics and we are watching. Adamu should ensure that all illegal police check points are dismantled on our roads. He should check the notorious habit of extortion of motorists by policemen.
“Police say the bail is free. But, can you bail any suspect at a police station without paying through your nose? I want to see the abolition of frequent illegal arrests of innocent members of the public by police.”
He Should Check Corruption Within Police Force – Politician
Onuchukwu Nwadiuto Okenna-Secretary, Mass Action Joint Alliance, Owerri North, Imo State, stated: “The elections are around the corner and the world is watching us. Let the new IGP take all necessary steps to ensure that the police do not stultify the exercise through professional misconduct.
“He should check policemen who collect money from motorists with impunity and who arrest people on trumped up charges just to make money.
“In the past, the police used to be a noble profession. But, the reverse is now the case. People look at them with contempt and disdain.”
Let Nigerians Cooperate With New IGP – Lawyer
Baret Imonitie Okoedo, a Benin-based legal practitioner, said: “In my own opinion, I will want Nigerians to believe in the new IGP’s pledge that professionalism would be his watchword.
“Based on that pledge, I believe that he will do the needful before, during and after the elections to ensure a peaceful election and peaceful transition. I therefore called on all Nigerians to give him the benefit of doubt by not looking at him like his predecessor.
“Let us see him as man who came to effect correction on the damage done to the image of the Nigeria police by the immediate-past IGP. To me, he has started well by replacing Moshood Jimoh with Frank Mba as Force Police Public Relations Officer (FPPRO). Let all Nigerians watch and support him to enable him put his professionalism into practice.”
Nigerians Should Trust Adamu – Ex-SSG
Hon. Oseloka Henry Obaze, former Secretary to Anambra State Government (SSG), said although he did not know the new IGP, his classmates who he talked to, described his as a core professional.
Obaze said the IG’s actions and utterances after his appointment were comforting, adding that many Nigerians had high expectations of him as he was expected to play a major role in the coming elections.
Obaze said the IG was lucky to come in at a time he did, adding that his actions and how he would comport himself in the next few months would matter a lot. He maintained that an average Nigerian had no trust on the police.”
He Should Focus On Successful Conduct Of Elections – Businessman
Jamil Abdulrahman, Minna-based businessman, said: “My expectations from the new IGP, Mr. Adamu, especially as the elections are few weeks away is to quickly get to work, assemble intelligent officers that will work with him and focus on successful conduct of the elections starting next month, February.
“It will be a test of his capabilities to prove that he is equal to the task and he must not fail in proving to Nigerians that he is not just able, but capable of making a difference from what he inherited and work in accordance with best global policing practices because that is what Nigerians would be looking out for to know if he is good at the job or not.
“While doing that, he should also try and correct all the bad things or mistakes of his predecessor, Abubakar Kpotun Idris in order to redeem the battered image of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF). Many are not surprised that Idris committed a lot of blunders. We believe that the former IGP might not have been the best the Police Force had then. He had the job given to him on a platter as reward for ‘great job’ done for the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) during the election that brought President Buhari into power when he was the Kano State Commissioner of Police. Nigeria lost a lot of best brains in police who were forced to retire compulsorily to pave way for Idris.
“Two things we need to reason about are: Many police officers were summarily retired prematurely thereby adding to the league of jobless Nigerians, but above all and most importantly, different segments of the NPF were altered with impunity and existing police order of rising to hierarchy were badly bruised. The case of the notorious and self confessed chairman of criminals in Niger State, Saidu Maiturare, whose biological son and wife are gang members, is one of the issues they tried to sweep under the carpet simply because they are said to be relations of the former IGP.
“The abuses under the former IGP also raised some moral questions about future order of promotion in the NPF because many of them rose to ranks not on merit, but what I would call ‘politically induced promotions’ that tended to destroy the entire Nigerian police if nothing is done to correct the anomalies.
“The police under Idris was highly compromised. The case of SARS is one of the areas that made the police lose its integrity in the eyes of many Nigerians. That is what led to every other segment almost collapsing in a twinkling of an eye.
“Check out the number of policemen that were killed in the past three years on the line of duty and/or when citizens feel betrayed by the police. ‘Police is your friend’, we have always been told, but I can say in real sense they are the problems of Nigerians under Idris.
“I know what many unemployed youths, including my cousin, suffered trying to join the Force, all the money changing hands, unnecessary delays, politicising a sensitive segment of security by not engaging intelligent poor people, simply because there were candidates of one political bigwig, Emir or Chief in place of sound and intelligent candidates needed to man the sector. This is part of things that happened during recruitment. Many falsified their nationalities, states or local government areas just to get endorsed and we all know the consequences.
He Should Not Allow Himself To Be Used By Politicians – Rights Activist
Ayobami Agboola, a human rights activist and social commentator, admonished Adamu to sanitise the Force, get rid of bad eggs, especially the corrupt officers and decentralise the Force to ensure adequate security across the country.
He also advised the new IGP to strengthen the investigative department of the Force to ensure that innocent Nigerians are not made to suffer or punished unjustifiably. He further urged the new IGP to discourage accidental discharge and ensure that officers that are posted out are well trained and matured.
Agboola, however, warned Adamu against being used by politicians before, during and after the forthcoming general elections.
He said, the new IGP must be transparent and mature in handling issues, ensure neutrality and unbiased relationship with political parties, tighten up security across the country and assist the military in intelligence gathering nip insurgency and stamp it out completely in the country.
He stressed, “He must also ensure that the ‘Bail is free’ policy is completely respected and obeyed under his watch because this is another area where innocent Nigerians are being punished by the police.”