Osinbajo to IGP, Usman: Start Urgent Fixing of Our Many Security Challenges

IGP: We are going to rejig  our operational strategies.
From Victor Osula, Abuja
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has charged the acting Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman, to hit the ground running by paying urgent attention to many security challenges facing the country.
Osinbajo who gave the charge on Wednesday while decorating the new acting IGP in the State House, Abuja, charged Usman to commence with the policy on community policing through the country and rebuild the broken bridges of trust between the police and public in order to regain the confidence of the citizenry.
Other areas the VP directed Usman’s attention are the excesses and abuses and the culture of impunity, demonstrated by some elements of the force which provoke public outrage against institution.
He said; “IG, you are assuming office at a very turbulent time in the life of our people. There are multiple threats to law, order and public safety. The rule of law enforcement, in particular that of the police force as primary agency charged with maintaining law and order, has never been more important.
“The police is our institution of first resort, the first line of defence against crime and anarchy and the first sign of the strength of the state.
“Last year, Mr. President signed the new police act, the first police reform legislation to be enacted in almost 50 years. The Act is the centrepiece of our commitment to reinventing the police as an institution that we can all be proud of.
“It articulates this administration’s vision of the modern competent police force, as an institution committed to the preservation of human rights and human dignity and protection of the public against all criminal threats.
“The challenges before you are indeed onerous and will test your mettle, the organisation you are leading is one that is itself facing several challenges. Your officers work still in extremely difficult conditions and some face the threat of physical harm by terrorists, hostile non-state actors, while in the line of duty, but they have lived up to expectations.
“There is no question at all that there is a lot that needs to be done. There is a lot of work that needs to be done under your leadership. The police must now rebuild in some ways all the broken bridges of trust to the public and regain the confidence of the citizenry.
“This is an ongoing challenge, it’s an ongoing task that the police force and all of the senior members of the police force must take on as a responsibility, that of the continual process of building trust with the Nigerian people.
“One of the ways you can do this is by implementing the community policing policy, which had already taken off, and reconceptualizing policing as a task carried out in partnership with local communities and by officers who are members of these localities.
“Under your leadership, the force must live up to all of the highest standards of professional conduct and compliance with the rule of law. It must significantly improve the welfare and working conditions of its officers, while rapidly scaling on its forensic, logistical, logistical and operational capacities.
“To meet today’s challenges, you must stamp out the excesses and abuses and the culture of impunity, demonstrated by some elements of the force, which provoke public outrage against the institution.
“In short, your mission is nothing less than the restoration of dignity and high repute of the policing profession and the continuous oiling of that machinery of the police force that enables it to be one that is respected by the populace and by the international community.
“The testimony of your pedigree and your career, thus far, is that you are up to the task. The administration stands ready to work with you to reposition the NPF and take it to unprecedented heights of professionalism, competence and excellence.”
Fielding questions from State House Correspondents, Baba assured Nigerians will see improvement from where his predecessor has left off.
He said: “You will see improvement from where my predecessor has left. I came in at a very challenging time. I know it. I recognise it and I will work on how to improve from where my predecessor has left. I have been a member of the management team. We have tried to do our best, but it’s not enough. There is room for improvement. “
Asked if the strategy will change, he said: “Definitely, we are going to rejig  our operational strategies.”
On equipment and manpower, the Ag. IGP said: “We have the blessings of Mr. President and  we are hoping to get more of what we have requested through  the Police Trust Fund very quickly.
“Nigerians should expect improvement on the security situation. And Nigerians should also collaborate and cooperate with us. With all the inadequacies we have, we still require everybody to be part of policing in this country. And that is why the emphasis on community policing will continue and the emphasis of collaborating with all other sister agencies will continue and we hope to have a better situation very soon.”
 “We will continue to practicalise it. My predecessor has left at the theoretical stage, we have started practicalising it but we have not gone far and therefore all the methods of practicalising it has been put in place and we are going to continue with it in collaboration with other stakeholders.”