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Lofty expectations of Nigerians from the new IGP



THE President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, last week appointed a former Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Mr. Abubakar Mohammed as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) with the retirement of Ibrahim Idris on January 14. The new police helmsman, who hailed from Adamawa State is reputed to be a man of noble character, brilliance and professional acumen. 

MOHAMMED could be said to have been privileged to attend several officers in-service training on crime control and management, advanced strategies on detection of crimes and enforcement. He has held top and sensitive positions like director in the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), which no doubt, has sufficiently equipped him for the challenges in his new responsibilities of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). In other words, Nigerians believe that he is well positioned to pilot the affairs of the NPF more than his predecessors.

THE police under his watch are expected to be above political partisanship and apply the rules of engagement the arresting suspects, quelling riots and due diligence in prosecution of suspects to see that law enforcement in the country is on the same pedestal with what obtains in sane polities.

NATIONAL Light is elated that Buhari has allayed the apprehension of some Nigerians that he would extend the service years of the former police boss as he had done with the service chiefs in the military and the Air Force. This is a good departure which had constituted a blight on the President’s escutcheon.

NATIONAL Light believes that the new police boss will live up to the lofty expectations of Nigerians. It is exhilarating that he has set things in motion to embark on progressive and sustainable reforms aimed at repositioning the much criticised leadership of the NPF. The issue of promotion, conversions, selection for in-service trainings, transfers, among others. should be devoid of the ethno-religious fault-lines which reigned supreme during the controversial tenure of his predecessor.

IT IS good that he has gone extra mile to reform the controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) like his predecessor. The disbandment of certain bodies like Special Investigation Panel (SIP), Special Tactical Squad (STS) are meaningful steps to curb gross abuse of human rights. The setting up of the Special Election Investigation Team (SEIT) is an innovative measure to reduce the gross impunity during elections; and he will write his name in gold if the body performs creditably without siding a particular political party in the election.

THE IGP should deal ruthlessly with the un-abating customary extortion by the police on the roads and highways, bailing with money, unjustified arrests with the aim of brazenly extorting money from the culprits or their relatives

HE SHOULD avoid the blunder of his predecessor by not flexing muscles with the National Assembly. In other words, he should internalise the norm that Nigeria is practicing democracy whose pillars are rule of law and respect to the provisions of the supreme law of the land.

WE BELIEVE that if the facilities and infrastructure in the police colleges and barracks could be adequately provided in the annual budgets, the mindset of the police would significantly change for the better.  We wish to  congratulate the new IGP and wish him a rewarding tenure.

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