The need to rejig the Nigeria Police and inject new and fresh ideas and get it to work better in ensuring the safety of lives and properties led to the appointment of a new Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu Mailafia mni, following the retirement of IGP Ibrahim Idris on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 after nearly three years as the top Police Chief.
Over the past three and half years, the Nigeria Police Force has not lived up to expectations and been perceived by certain quarters as too partisan in politics and unprofessional, which has further given the Police a bad image. The New Ag IGP might be undertaking the biggest and most difficult job of his professional career because its an electioneering year and the eagle eye of the Public will be fixated on the conscious and unconscious activities of the Police before, during and after the elections.
Addressing reporters at State House, Abuja following his decoration by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, Ag IGP Adamu in his speech accepted that the Police has not been professional in the discharge of their duties, thus, promised a level playing ground for all. The popular saying “if you can identify a problem, then, the solution to that problem is half-solved”.
The task before the Ag IGP might appear too difficult to be surmounted but I believe it is not impossible to achieve. Therefore, he must allay the fears of the opposition political parties that the Police is not an arm of the ruling political party and will not be complicit in the rigging of the General Elections to suit any political party. He must demonstrate it both in words and actions.
The new Ag IGP must ensure that intelligence gathering mechanisms of the Nigeria Police Force is strengthened and improved upon, so as not to paint the Police as a ‘witch-hunting security apparatus of the ruling political party’.
The issue of unprofessionalism of the Police Personnel participating in the conducts of elections remains a mind-burgling phenomena in the hearts of many Nigerians judging by the actions of the Police in Osun, Ekiti and Ondo gubernatorial elections.
The IGP must also look into the welfare and promotion of qualified and hardworking police personnel, and reward must be based on merit rather than favouritism and nepotism. This can uplift and boost the morals of the Police personnel who can go any length to perform their task.
The IGP should ensure that the Nigeria Police Force follow rule of law and engagements of service in the discharge of its duties because an alleged suspect is still not guilty until the court so decides. The Police must obey laws while enforcing the law…Farl Warren. It is also important that the police allows for a level-playing ground for all political parties before, during and after the electioneering season
Finally, borrowing a quote from Mary Frances Berry; when you have Police Officers who abuse citizens, you erode public confidence in law enforcement. That makes the job of good Police Officers unsafe. Therefore, it is pertinent that the new Police Boss strive to restore confidence of the public on the Police Force. “THE POLICE IS STILL OUR FRIEND”.