Posted by By Adewole Kehinde | 13 January 2019 | 1,374 times
Since his appointment as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Kpotun Idris has been able to manage the herculean responsibility of overseeing some 1,300 police stations, 370,800 men and women, 36 state commands, 12 zones and seven administrative organs (unlike other IGPs?) with effortless excellence as though he was born for the job. However, the police plan to increase the workforce to 650,000 in the nearest future.
He is the first Inspector-General of Police in Nigeria’s history to publicly declare his assets. He has received commendation from the Code of Conduct Bureau for complying with the Asset Declaration Regulations.
Idris served creditably in the United Nations for eight years, making him foremost police officer in Nigeria, with wealth of experience and polished policing with utmost credibility. When a coalition of civil society groups fighting against corruption paid a courtesy visit to the IGP on December 9, 2016 to mark the United Nations Anti-Corruption Day, he recalled: “In United Nations, you declare your assets on yearly basis; so, throughout my eight years in United Nations, I declared my assets. So I did not hesitate to declare my asset when I was appointed and confirmed as substantive Inspector-General of Police.”
Idris was selected from among the eligible senior police officers because he was the only one who passed the integrity test secretly conducted by the Presidency; and, ever since his appointment two year ago, he has completely repositioned the Police Force to, arguably, the most efficient Police Force in our recent history.
He launched a move of “Change begins with me” in all the police commands across the country, making training of all police personnel his priority. The Nigeria Police personnel have received training on Human Rights and Police-Citizens Relations, Anti-corruption within and without the Police Force, and several other trainings in the 12 zones of the police command.
The IGP, by instrument of witty and well-polished policing, has brought one of the most notorious kidnappers to his knees, and his reign to an end: Chukwudi Dumeme Onuamadike, popularly known as Evans. In February 2017, the IGP Special Squad freed Prof Peter Breunig, a German archaeologist kidnapped by bandits in Southern Kaduna and his associate, Johannes Buringer, in what was a major success in the fight against kidnapping. The Police also secured the release of Maj-Gen Alfred Nelson, the Deputy High Commissioner of Sierra Leone to Nigeria, who was kidnapped by men of the underworld. The capture and killing of armed robbery kingpin, Henry Chibueze, who terrorised the South-east region from his den in Imo State, is another landslide achievement of the IGP. He
provided security cover for air travellers to and from Kaduna, during the temporary closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. He deployed 350 policemen to ensure security of passengers along the Kaduna-Abuja expressway and aerial surveillance by police helicopters which assisted in checking criminal activities in the area during the period.
He ensured that police checkpoints scattered across the country are taken down. This order has since taken effect and has affected all the states except checkpoints within states where extraordinary measures are still in place in response to attacks blamed on the Boko Haram sects, recurring herdsmen/famers CLASHES or the menace of kidnapping. This he did to put decency and order to national policing. Regular patrols by well-motivated police personnel have effectively replaced these checkpoints.
The lawlessness of detaining suspects in police cells without charge for more than 24 hours has been discontinued, while the law on detention of persons is currently being strictly applied: these also accrue to IGP Idris.
Another thought-provoking achievement of this great IGP is the leading role he is playing to establish inter-agency cooperation to make Nigeria safer and more secure. He has strengthened the relationship between the Police Force and other sister security agencies through courtesy visits to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Chief of Air Staff (CAS), the Comptroller-General of Customs, Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and other relevant organisations.
Moreover, the Inspector-General has established the Eminent Persons Group across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT with a view to engaging all relevant stakeholders; traditional rulers, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), Market Women Association, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), and many others to make inputs into how society can become safer and more secure.
Idris is the first IGP to create the stage for mutuality/ cordiality between the police and civil society through his programme “Civil Society interface with IGP.” The first meeting took place on February 20, 2017 at Ikeja, Lagos. “We are building a new Police that is owned by Nigerians. We want a new strategy that will define policing from a different paradigm. It’s a challenge, but we are up to the task,” he said.
Consequently, the IGP has introduced continual training of officers on human rights, peace and conflict resolution and anti-corruption, to enhance the capacity of the Nigeria Police Force. This is periodically done across the 12 police zonal commands in Nigeria. The first was held simultaneously across the 12 commands from the 19th to 21st October, 2016 and, Abia State from 12th – 14th March, 2018, among others (two years behind).
As a trained, polished and intelligent police officer, Idris held on to the value of on-the-job training: thus, he became the first-ever IGP in Nigeria to introduce periodical Police Security Summit in various zones throughout the federation. On August 4, 2017, in Lagos for South-west, themed: Providing Strategic Solutions Emergent Security Challenges: Essentials of Synergy Among Security Agencies And the Civil Populace. On October 3, 2017, Akwa Ibom State for the South-south, themed Insecurity: Socio-economic Impacts And Conflict Resolution Perspectives. On February 8, 2018, Kaduna for the northern zone; theme: Nation-building: Security Challenges And The Need For Inclusive Approach. South-east summit will be held on July 5, 2018 (This is January 2019).
The recent stakeholders summit themed "Election Security: Collaboration Between The Nigeria Police And Other Stakeholders Towards The Success Of The 2019 General Elections" was a huge success on the part of the Inspector-General of Police.
Idris has successful conducted both governorship and National Assembly rerun elections, namely:
*Edo State governorship election held on 28/09/2016
*Ondo State governorship election held on 26/11/2016
*National Assembly rerun election in Imo and Kogi 23/07/2016
*Rivers State National Assembly rerun election 10/12/2016
*Anambra State governorship election held on 18/11/2017
*Anambra Central Senatorial rerun election held on 13/01/2018
*Ekiti State gubernatorial election held on July 14, 2018
*Osun State gubernatorial election held on September 22, 2018.
Prosecution of electoral offenders: During the December 10, 2016 Rivers State rerun (National Assembly) election, six police officers who violated the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) were tried, found guilty and dismissed from the Force, while 23 INEC staff were arraigned in court, and undergoing prosecution. The sum of ₦114,000,000 recovered from the INEC staff was deposited in Federal Government Treasury as exhibit.
Idris is not oblivious to the loyalty of his officers and men, consequently, he has placed high premium on their welfare, as a way of encouraging them to do more. Already, Housing and Mortgage projects have commenced in many states through PPP arrangements for the construction of affordable mass housing for officers and men of the Force. Unlike in the past when policemen went on strike over their entitlements, officers now get their salaries and allowances as and when due through the introduction of IPPIS.
The Police Trust Fund Bill and Police Mortgage Bank is the brain-child of IGP Idris. As a gender friendly police officer, he has ensured the posting of female officers in command positions in states; it is boosting the morale of female police officers.
Perhaps, Idris is one of a few IGPs that operate an open-door policy. He has received different groups across the country on courtesy calls. The UNBIASED investigation and detaining of both past and sitting corrupt senior government officials without fear or sentiment is so commendable.
These meritorious works have not gone unnoticed on the international scene. In 2017, an international recognition came the way of the IGP, with his election, by African Police Chiefs as the Vice-chairman of the regional police body.
In his keynote address on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during the 9th General Assembly of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, Idris said his “successes” in the police was because of a Code of Conduct for Police Officers, which he said he successfully “institutionalised”.
“The code is otherwise called Our Creed,” Idris said. “This code of conduct for police officers has succeeded in ELIMINATING all forms of illegal and unlawful conducts that are not in conformity with the principles of democratic policing…” The record-breaking achievement of Inspector-General of Police, Idris, no doubt, is a strong yardstick for tenure elongation.
•Adewole Kehinde, a journalist and public affairs analyst, is based in Abuja. E-mail: email@example.com
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