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Insecurity: NPF And NAF Chiefs On Their Toes

By Suleiman Umaru

Mohammed Adamu, a former Inspector General of Police, IGP, appears to have set the stage for the total security of Nigeria from the north east, northwest, south west to the south-south.

 This is because of the tight security provided during the Easter break that the Islamic Fundamentalist Group , Boko Haram, Islamic State of West African province, ISWAP, the bandits in the north west  or other criminal gangs  operating in any part of the country could not strike as they  may have wanted to do.  The Criminal gangs may have shot two Mobile Policemen in Taraba state, and carted away two AK.47, while the bandits were said to have killed ten people, injured four other persons in another attack in the north west state of Kaduna , during the period. The NPF, personnel were really on their toes in Zamfara and Kaduna, that the bandits had a difficult time to operate.

The only security set back witnessed within the period was the attack on the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS,  an agency of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS,  Custodial Centre , in Owerri, the  Imo state, Capital, and  set ablaze the State Police Command in an attempt attempt on the state Police Command armoury , on Monday,  April 5, 2021, by the Court proscribed IPOB, as revealed by the then IGP.

The former IGP, had said that preliminary investigations  showed  that the  attackers   invaded the CCoS, Custodial facility armed  with sophisticated weapons  such as General Purpose Machine Guns, GPMGs,Sub-Machine Guns SMGs, AK49 rifles, Rocket Propelled Grenades and Improvised Explosive devices, IED.

Adamu: Former Police IGP

This may have informed why Adamu, the former IGP, perhaps acting out a script had ordered the immediate deployment  of additional  units  of the Police  Mobile Force, PMF, to the south east state to strengthen its security and prevent  the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Eastern Security Network, ESN, from further attack of Critical national infrastructure in the state. He is said to have mandated the officers of the Nigerian Police Force, in Owerri, on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, not to hesitate in defending themselves using firearms when in danger.

Baba: Nw IGP Of NPF

This may have been his last official assignment as the IGP. President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General, who has been holding Consultations with different shades of political opinion in search of a replacement for Adamu, whose tenure had expired on February 4, 2021, but he had extended it by additional three months. He was said to have been replaced by Usman Alkali Baba, a Deputy Inspector General, DIG, of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Department FCID, described as` a chip of the old block.

The Nigerian President, who is on two weeks Medical vacation in UK  , may have given an order for the former IGP, removal to Maigari Dingyadi, the minister of Police Affairs, who did not hesitate in doing so on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, even when the three months have not expired, an indication that something  may have gone  wrong.

The minister may have spoken the mind of the President when he said that in appointing Baba as the new acting IGP, the government had considered ‘’ issues of professionalism, competence and numerous years in the Force’’ in doing so.

Perhaps , to avoid making the same mistake like the previous IGPs,  Buhari  was said to have urged  Baba, the new IGP,  ‘’to ensure that  policing reform policies are fully prioritized to engender  peace across the country’’.

Giving his vision for the Force,  he aims  ‘’to  enhance  policy primacy  in Nigeria through  the provision of  motivational  and credible Leadership, directed at  stabilizing  internal security and modernizing police operations, facilities, consent , trust and the Rule of Law.

Security experts believe that the new IGP, could only achieve his vision for the Force, if he is given the free hand to operate.  Past IGPs, have had lofty plans for the force but strangulated with paucity of funds to operate.

The internal peace  enjoyed  during the Easter which was as a result of the tight security provided  in all nooks and crannies of the country by the former IGP and his officers may have informed why Isiaka Oladayo Amao, an Air Marshall and Chief of Air Staff, CAS, has assured Nigerians that the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, under his close watch ‘will’’ oust the terrorists  operating in the north east states of Adamawa, Borno, Yobe and other Criminal gangs in other parts of the country including the bandits in the north west  in no distant time’’. This should gladden the heart of Nigerians who have been looking out for such an opportunity.

Recall that last February, the retired army General, had given the new service Chiefs made up of Leo Irabor, An Army General and Chief of Defence Staff, who now oversees the Affairs of the Multi-national Joint Task Force, MNJTF, Lt.General Ibrahim  Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Amao, CAS and Awwal Zubairu Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff, CNS,’’ a few weeks to  secure the country’’ but that was how far he could go.

Air Marshall Amao: CAS

Many believe that Amao, the CAS, promise is not far from what the Katsina born Nigerian President  is expecting from them ‘’to secure the country’’.  The Air Force Chief may have been forced to speak out to encourage his men who were getting demoralised over what is happening in the Air Force in the recent time,. 

The recent loss of the three Airmen of O13 Quick Response Force in Minna, Capital of Niger, home state of rtd. Generals Ibrahim Babangida, a former military President and Abdulsalami Abubakar, a former, Head of State, who were said to have lost their lives in Allawa Operations on April 1st, 2021, speaks volume.

 Prior to the Allawa incident, on Wednesday, March 30, 2021, the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, Alpha plane on interdiction mission in Borno state to support the ground troops, which had disappeared from the radar had crashed somewhere around Konduga Local government Area of the state after the bombardment of the Sambisa forest, the Operational base and Camp of the   Boko Haram insurgents, killing both the Pilot and Co-pilot,. This is an indication that the NAF, has lost five Air men in three days, which is not too encouraging.

The worry of many is that the NAF Authorities, have not even recovered the wreckage of the crashed Alpha fighter Jet in Konduga axis of Borno state, eight days after the unfortunate incident.

At present, there is no indication that the Air Wing of the Operation Lafiya Dole will be able to recover the Alpha Jet 475 wreckage because of where the crash occurred, described    as one of the strong holds of the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno state.

But Amao, the CAS, has made Nigerians to believe that efforts are ongoing ‘’ to recover the crashed NAF Alpha fighter Jet aircraft which was declared missing on March 31st, 2021’’. He appeal to the Air Component of Operation of GAMA AIKI ,,  Operation Lafiya Dole Air Wing and other  gallant   Airmen and women during the Easter break to  remain Calm and not be discouraged, he urged  them  ‘’to remain resolute in the fight  against insurgency and banditry in the country’’.

However apprehensive Nigerians hope this morale booster and encouraging words from the NAF Chief would do the trick and restore the country to normalcy.     

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Stephen Ubanna

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