Whether true or false, since yesterday, Saturday, 17/04/21, the social media has been awash with clichés in circulation, captioned, “The new Inspector General of Police has released his 12 point agenda for quick implementation.” The agenda list reads:
- Immediate dismantling of roadblocks across the federation.
- Immediate withdrawal of officers attached to private citizens (To open the space for private security companies to thrive).
- Deduction of court awarded damages from the salary of any officer found to have abused human rights.
- Immediate recruitment of 1,500 lawyers with litigation experience to be attached to each police division/area command. They are to give legal fervour to investigations, provide legal advice and serve as police prosecutors.
- Procurement and installation of video recording facilities in all investigation rooms of the Force.
- Building of new laboratories in 36 States and the FCT to analyse DNA, fingerprints, blood samples, body fluids and so on.
- Launching of Vehicle Procurement Scheme for police personnel in partnership with Innoson and PAN. (Officers to get a new car and pay off over ten-twenty years.)
- Rapid rehabilitation and restructuring of Police Academies and curriculum.
- Any interstate transfer of officers to be effected with the provision of transport and accommodation allowance.
- Provision of two pairs of uniform and boots for all personnel, annually.
- Increased allocation paid directly to each police division to run its operations.
- Bi-monthly inspection and audit of police cells, to be carried out in conjunction with representatives from the local NBA Branch and the Bench.
The statement ended with the sentence, The new sheriff in town is counting on your support.
The call for the public to give him support, alongside a cynical comment that was inboxed to me by a friend, personally extending the list from 12 to 13, thus, “No 13. What is in your pocket?”, precisely fascinated me the most. My friend is simply saying, Alkali should make “egunje”, the Yoruba slang for a bribe, a forbidden fruit to the police. Good!
For those familiar with Alkali Usman Baba, the ag. IGP, they cannot but give him a special gun salute when it comes to the issue of a moral sense of what is wrong or right, because he has since made the virtue of fair play as his torchlight of behaviour, and the compass of viewing others. What’s more, he does it with the decorum of decency and the calmness or silence of undisturbed emotions. In short, long before he was propelled to prominence in the police, his close friends said he was blessed with the bluntness and the exemplary etiquette of a gentleman.
So if the collection of ”egunje” is the issue, I am advising my friend to put that in the briefcase of Alkali’s absent aspect of the agenda. He would address it without publicity.
I can bet my wallet that under Alkali, a template would be put in place, to ensure that even gifts to the police must have a legitimate purpose. Must be proportionate, reasonable and not unduly lavish. But above all, such a gift must be transparently or decently declared.
That’s the way to go, and a closer friend to him said that’s the way Alkali want’s to go, but he is putting it amongst the absent aspect of his agenda.
On arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja from his medical leave abroad, President Muhammadu Buhari was asked by Adamu Sambo of the NTA, what is he expecting from the newly appointed IGP, and he answered positively that, the expectations are high. “He knows his job. He has been in it for a long time. He went through all the training. He has the necessary experience. So, we have high expectations of him.”-PMB.
The President was quick to shed light on the process that produced him as the natural choice for the 21st indigenous Inspector General of Police, “We went through the system. There was a committee by the minister of police affairs. They gave me some names and he happened to be the one chosen. He has what it takes to be there.”
Another aspect that seems absent from the hyped agenda of Alkali is the valour and strength, to confront the challenges of insecurity towards the 2023 polls.
Some concerned citizens are expressing fears as the country inches towards 2023. One of such write-ups says, “Ahead of 2023, there are fears in the polity. Currently, no zone of the country is immune to insecurity. Banditry is raging in the North-West zone leading to the loss of hundreds of lives, and the kidnapping of many. The North-East zone is assailed by the Boko Haram insurgency, which has been raging since 2009. Amid these, there are fears that the election may not hold. Reasons: Increasing waves of insecurity and climate of violence, agitation for secession by some parts of the country, and the insistence by many groups and leaders that the country must be restructured with fiscal and other powers devolved to the federating units before elections could be held.”
Yes, these are issues for serious concern, but with trust and support from the public, like the President, the new sheriff is aware of the enormity of the problems and is determined to bring a change.
So let us break the jinx by saying, So help them, God, so that they can help us all.
Ibrahim, a media advisor writes from Abuja.