By Nwangwu Uba
When Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, assured President Muhammadu Buhari on the day of his decoration promised that he would ”hit the ground running , nobody took him serious as a chip of the old block.
Unknown to many he has made up his mind to scrap the unpopular policies and adhoc police adhoc squads set up by Ibrahim Idris, the former IGP , who has been retired by President Muhammadu Buhari after reaching the mandatory 60 years of retirement in the Force, according to Civil Service regulation, it was a matter of time before the new acting IGP, begins to implement his own programmes and set up new adhoc squads that would be manned by officers he trusts.
On Monday, January 21, 2019, a after a Conference with the Commissioners and other senior police offices in Force headquarters, Abuja, Adamu came out smoking. The meeting which was the first to be held between the new IGP and the Senior officers barely a week after the retirement of the former police boss gave the Adamu the opportunity to disclose his plan to them. The police Commissioners and the other senior officers at the meeting were said to have thrown their weight behind him.
Given the support of the Commissioners and the Deputy Commissioners , who had earlier visited him to pledge their loyalty may have given him the Confidence that those wearing the Deputy Inspector Generals ,DIG rank, who are on their way out or any of his squad mates who are still donning the rank of Assistant Inspector General, AIG, of police Could sabotage his efforts.
There are indications that of some of the Commissioners of police, CP, may soon be uplifted to the enviable rank of AIG while some of the Deputy Commissioners would be moved to CPs . The lucky AIGs, who may have pledge d their loyalty and ready to work with him are sure to be promoted to DIG on his advice.
He may have given an insight to his style of Administration as a listening IGP, with the disbandment of the Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad, FSARS, Special Investigation Panel, SIP and Special Tactical Squad, STS which have been applauded nation-wide. The disbanded special squads had become so unpopular that people were calling for their scrapping. This is because of the allegation that some of the adhoc Squads were going outside their brief at the instance of the Niger state born former IGP. Most of the officers from the squads were said to have been used to harass political opponents because of their special training at the instance of the government.
Based on complaints against FSARS, particular, he was said to have brought it under the supervision of the CPs in their respective states of operation. This is to ensure that their activities are properly monitored to avoid a situation where people would think that members of the squad are still being used to witch-hunt innocent Nigerians by the government of the day.
Recall that the squad members had been accused of high-handedness and extrajudicial killings in different parts of the country in the past. The accusation was so worrisome that it had filtered into the hearing of Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President and at different times acting President of Nigeria who gave a matching order to Idris, the then IGP, to look into the Complaints and come out with a report that would reposition the Anti-robbery squad.
Indeed, prior to the acting IGP, action, there had been a subtle war between the South West Monitoring Committee set up by the former IGP and the FSARS. The quarrel was so pronounced that the Committee took advantage of its closeness to then police boss to warn the police squad not to go beyond their duty of prosecution of armed robbery and kidnapping cases, noting that any member of the squad found going beyond the purview of his duty would be sanctioned.
Based on the report of the Committee, Idris, the former IGP, was said to have agreed to the reorganisation of the squad to ensure they play their specific role of ”nipping armed robbery and kidnapping on the bud but that was how far he could go.
Security experts who spoke to The Value News said the disbandment of the adhoc police squads was a big blow to the officers who were manning the squads in the 36 states of the Federation particular those labeled as ”Idris boys”. Being an election year, he was said to have set up a Special Election Investigation Team, SEIT, with a mandate of investigating and prosecuting electoral offenders. This should gladden the heart of the officials of the All Progressive Congress, who believes that the People Democratic Party, PDP, and other Opposition parties are out to cause trouble during the forthcoming election in the states.
Lai Mohammed , the minister of Information and Culture had alleged that the PDP, particular, and the other Opposition political parties in general, are mobilising armed bandits and BokoHaram insurgents to perpetuate massive acts of violence during the general elections.
Mohamed disclosed that the plan of the parties was to ”disrupt the polls in several states across the country, particular Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau , Taraba and Zamfara.
The minister, Abba Kabir Yusuf, claimed that the Benue based criminal gang , led by Terwase Akwaza, alias Gana ,have been Commissioned to strike soft targets in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states. He further said that in Kano state, a group of notorious miscreants have been mobilised by some prominent Opposition leaders in the state to ”provoke massive choas, before, during and after the elections”.
He may be pointing accusing fingers at Rabiu Kwankwaso, a former governor of the state and Chieftain of PDP, whose son in-law is slugging it out with Abdullahi Umar Gadunje, the APC, governorship Candidate , in the state.The Kwara state minister of Information and culture fears that Kwankwaso could throw the state into crisis if Yusuf, his son in-law fails to win the election. This may have forced Adamu, the IGP, to beam his search on the state.
The accusations are laughable as Adamu and his special Election monitoring officers, who security sources confirmed would be armed to the teeth are fully prepared to match force with force during the election.
In spite of the promises of Adamu , the acting IGP, to be fair to all the political Parties Candidates by ensuring a level playing field, Nyesom Wike , governor of Rivers state is still skeptical of him. He was said to have urged the people of the state to be wary of the acting IGP promises of ”fairness and level -playing ground, stating that” it is too early to trust the police Chief”.
The governor who could not hide his feelings during the flag off of his Campaign at Tai local government Area reportedly said that the experiences of the state in the hands of the police during past elections were still fresh in the minds of the people and warned them not to trust the police Chief until ”they see concrete proof of his sincerity”. He was said to have warned both the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission officials that any attempt to thwart the will of the people of the state to rig for APC likely governorship Candidate to in the March 2, 2019 election would result in unpleasant consequences. But Adamu, the acting IGP. has assured that Nigerians have no cause to worry.
Recall that Asishana Okauru, Director General, Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, at the instance of Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara state and Chairman of the Forum has congratulated the acting IGP, for his well deserved appointment. In the congratulatory message, Okauru, the NGF, Director General had told the IGP that the governors are not worried about his appointment going by his antecedents. ”I am absolutely sure that Adamu the Nasarawa state born IGP would bring professionalism and true leadership in policing the country”, he had said.
The hand of fellowship extended to the IGP by the NGF, of which Wike, the Rivers state governor is a member, should give the Rivers state governor confidence to join other governors in the NGF to support Adamu in his quest to ensure a free , fair and credible election in the country this year.