The Sun News

Menace of kidnappers, highway robbers (2)

The office of an Inspector-General of Police is arduous and challenging. It is also tempting, as it attracts a lot of incentives. This is an office that commands the attention of both the low and mighty in the society. It also commands respect and dignity and, above all, controls enormous power, which the Constitution has bestowed upon the position. It is for the importance of the office that many insist that the President should not just appoint someone based on personal relationship or ethnic or religious affinity, but on integrity, antecedents, professional competence and educational exposure. The recent  noticeable flaws in the police are traceable to leadership, at the divisional, area command, state command and the zonal command levels. When policemen are not well supervised  there is laxity and dereliction of duty that oftentimes negate the main objectives of their service. It is easy to know leaders that are up and doing and those that are what FBI Special Agent Ali H. Soufan, described as “Bird Watchers,” as against the “Bird Catchers.” How do we explain a situation where armed robbers and kidnappers freely operate in a state and the area command, state commissioner and zonal Assistant Inspector-General of police are lukewarm and lackadaisical in their disposition? They all stay, expecting the federal government to invite the military into a situation that should be their primary concern. Thank God, we have a vibrant military that has always come in the nick of time to rescue Nigerians from the costly lack of ideas of police leaders. The Bible told us to “emulate that which is good.” Why can’t the police emulate the leadership qualities and discipline of our military leaders? To emulate a good thing, you must be humble and ready to learn. To  emulate, one must be open to correction and imbibe good traits but delete ego and pride. Some of the good traits of the military, especially under Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, include the ability to easily identify qualities in officers and post them to  commands where they would optimally be useful to themselves and the institution. Take the case of Major General Lucky Irabor, the commander in charge of the war theatre in the north-eastern part of Nigeria, where the Boko Haram  insurgents were doing damage. Irabor’s ethnicity and religious affiliation were not the issue when Buratai courageously appointed him to execute the war. The COAS not only appointed him, he has given him all the needed support. The same cannot be said of the Police where competent officers most times are posted to positions of irrelevance and incompetent ones are given serious positions.  How do we explain the unnecessary hurry  by the Police to post out a hard working officer like the Lagos state police commissioner Mr  Fatai Owoseni in a bid to replace him with  a newly  promoted commissioner of Police?  Thank God this was  immediately thwarted. The question on many lips is,” based on what criteria?” The same was the situation with a hard working and result-oriented officer, who was the commissioner of police in Edo State, Mr  Chris Ezike.He was surprisingly removed few days after preparing a master plan template for the Edo state gubernatorial election and dumped at the Police College, Ikeja in Lagos. In fact,as of today all the management team in the Police college are from the East.In other words the Police College is for people from a part of the country. This is not good enough bearing in mind that the College is a national institution and ought to have a semblance of our federal character. Truly the menace of armed robbers and kidnappers now needs a security summit as a rescuing option, not the type the Inspector General of Police is calling for. l am advocating an all round security summit that all retired security icons of the police and State security services will participate in. This will be a summit that will bring all retired Inspector Generals of Police as well as operational officers, the likes of Simeon Midenda,Bawa  Lawal, Amusa Bello, Sunday Mitsubishi, and all the operational officers etc. If the Police should emulate the Army, it must be noted that Bruatai  summoned all the top military egg heads to refine their operational strategies in fighting insurgency. At the end of the strategy conference the Army came up with the “killer” strategy which was  handed over to the  theatre commander for the final onslaught against the insurgents. Such  an all security personal summit by the Police should be able to carry out a clinical exercise on all the insecurity problems afflicting the country and come up with operational  guidelines and results that would help the police have upper hand in  fighting crime. ( Concluded).

Adinoyi -Ojo  Onukaba  is a bosom friend and a fan of Security File column .Our ways crossed when as the media consultant to Atiku Abubakar , who was then the deputy Comptroller of Customs,at the International Airport.  He had wanted to secure an interview with Atiku Abubakar who asked if l knew him.  l assured Atiku that he was a credible reporter with the Guardian. After the interview ,our friendship developed and in later years we found ourselves becoming neighbors in an estate in Abuja. On hearing of his death, l was devastated because of the closeness of our friendship which has evolved to brothers. He was always handy in proffering advice on the content of the the DAWN ,the Police newspaper; which l  founded and was managing . His death is unfortunately one more evidence of the present insecurity in the country which should be seriously tackled. We have lost a fan, who religiously  calls to appreciate and offer his advice on issues. Adieu!!! my fan and my friend Onukaba.

 

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