A Lagos Security Expert and Media enthusiast, Mathew Ibadin has joined millions of Nigerians to congratulate the Inspector General of Police IGP Alkali Usman Baba for his confirmation as the 21st substantive indigenous IGP.
His confirmation by the National Police Council which was announced by the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi on Friday is coming almost two months after he was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Council meeting which was presided over by President Buhari himself also had in attendance, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Minster of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, Governor Fayemi Kayode of Ekiti State and other prominent Nigerian leaders; urging the new Police helmsman to justify the confidence reposed on him. But lending his voice to congratulate IGP Baba as well as urging him to change the narrative in policing, Ibadin who can best be described as a tree with many branches said he expects the new police leadership to pursue far reaching crime fighting policies totally alien to policing in Nigeria.
The chairman of PCRC Victoria Island branch, Lagos and local Intelligence advocate says, “What I will like the IGP to do apart from congratulating him, is to set up a Police Community Financing to fund the Police. The community needs to fund the Police. Studies have shown that the federal and state governments alone cannot fund the Police; neither can the local government. Therefore, the destiny of the Police for efficient and effective result is that it needs to be funded by the community. For us to have a thorough and a stronger Police, we need the community to fund it; even in America, the community is involved in the affairs of the Police especially, in the areas of funding and giving information. We need the Police to partner with the traditional rulers because crime is local. Partner with the Ezes, Emirs and Obas as the case may be.
The traditional rulers have vital information that will help the Police fight crime, if you involve the community, financing the police for their benefit will be well embraced. The IGP needs to collaborate with the locals, he needs to have confidence in them, hold periodic town hall meetings, have a stronger PRO office, localize it so that they can relate with the people especially, those who are not educated; so that they would be able to approach the Police and give information to them that will help fight crime because like I said, crime is local. The uneducated farmers, market women; they all know these criminals, so if we have a localized police public relations officer who understands the particular dialect of the people, talk to them in the language they understand, make the people closer to the Police; that will give them a sense of belonging and encourage them to volunteer information that will assist the Police in fighting crimes.
There is also the need for a new Media unit for the police, this will bridge the gap between the youths and the police. The world has gone digital so the police should also embrace it. The new Media Unit will enable anybody to give complaint and suggestions to the police without necessarily going to the police station. Police Divisions should digitalize statements from suspects in which case the idea of carrying case files should be dropped; because most often than not, when an IPO is transferred from one location the case files are either locked up in a locker and get missing and that ends Investigation into the particular case. But this would not be the case if statements are digitalized and stored in a computer; like it’s done in the outside world. That done, there is need for a National Crime Record; a data base to be domiciled at the Force headquarters, Abuja. You find out that somebody will commit crime in Benin and runs to Lagos State to enjoy his loot undetected because the Police do not have crime record. This should not be so. Look at banks for instance, they have history of people who collect loans, in which case, if you are defaulting in the repayment of loan collected from bank A, bank B will not grant you another loan until you settles your debt with bank A.
The Police should cue into this policy; it is very effective. There should be a national data base for people who commit crime; take their passport photographs and have their finger prints stored so that when next they are arrested it will show that such individuals had committed so and so crime somewhere before. It will help reduce crime because people hate taking their finger prints and passport photographs for keeps. And this is why you need to partner with the community to have this done. I want to see a Police whereby the Commissioners of Police CPs at the respective States are closer to the local government chairmen and Councilors. These chairmen and Councilors represent their various localities, they have information that will help the Police fight crimes but they are detached from the Police. So, the IGP should make it mandatory for the CPs to constantly meet with the local politicians, they know what is going on in their various constituencies and localities.
Crime is local, therefore, we must synergize with the elected people. It seems the Police are working on their own, the politicians elected to represent the people are working on their own; no synergy. It shouldn’t be so. There is need for periodic parley, say twice every month with the elected local government Chairmen and Councilors; this will bring them closer to the Police because they are closer to the people.”
Continuing, the soft spoken and calculated employer of labour who is the CEO of Badinson Security added, “Again and most importantly, the IGP has to look into Police operational incentives; I mean welfare of the officers and men. He should partner with corporate organizations for funding because security is everybody’s business. I understand that there is a Police Trust Fund in addition to the federal government’s yearly allocation but that is not enough. The IGP should device a way to partner corporate organizations for adequate funding; policing is all about funding. He should tackle the accommodation problems of the Police with all sense of responsibility. For example, policemen on transfer duty don’t have where to sleep, most often than not they sleep in patrol vehicles and stations. Some live in villages and work in the towns and they need to travel all the way to their work places and back to their homes.
The IGP should work out a unified accommodation module for the Police; that will increase their marginal output. It should therefore, be a national policy for any policeman who dies and or gets permanent disability during national service to his/her fatherland to be recognized and rewarded adequately and handsomely. It has to be integrated into the Police Act. For somebody to wake up in the morning ready to take bullets on behalf of others should not be treated with scorn. It is not an easy task; these set of people have families too like all of us do. So they deserve national honour even in death. Another area I want the IGP to give attention to, is the withdrawal of Policemen attached to VIPs. He should withdraw policemen from VIPs including politicians without further delay and let NSCDC and Private security take over the job so that the Police will have enough manpower to do their constitutional duty of detective and preventing crimes. If you suggest private security alone they may not accept it but with the combination of Civil Defence I think that makes a lot of sense because already NSCDC carry arms and are securing federal government installations. So they, in conjunction with private security can do the work of VIPs’ security. In addition, the IGP should as a matter of urgency, look into the issue of the Supernumerary Police also called Spy Police. He should unify it. He should immediately hold a conference of the Spy Police across the country, infuse them into the Police proper like we have in the Special Constabulary and let it be headed by a Commissioner of Police.
You do not just train some certain set of people, give them a name tag as Spy Police and let them be, no. As the name implies, they have important role to play in digging out and giving vital information to the conventional Police.
This is in addition to inculcating private Investigators into the Police investigations. Thank God the immediate past IGP, Adamu did add this into the Police Act before he left but the CAC from what I learnt, failed to give nod to it. So I want IGP Baba to use his good offices to inculcate private investigators into policing and makes sure that the CAC registers them so that they can collaborate with the police in the fight against crimes in the country. The Police are overwhelmed already; they don’t even have the capacity for that. So bringing in registered private investigators into policing and police investigations will go a long way to correcting so many anomalies. Finally, I want him to expedite action towards rebuilding Police stations that were burnt during the#EndSARS protest because as it stands, most police Operatives across the country are operating from canopies; this is not good for a country adjudged the largest in Africa. I also want him to replicate what he did while he was DIG ‘A’ in less than one month during which
he cleared the backlog of Policemen due for promotion.
Now that he is the IGP, he should ensure that policemen/women due for promotion are promoted; including those policemen who participated actively during the #End SARS protest as well as those who lost their lives. He spearheaded their promotions; and that is why you witnessed the gale of promotions in the Police early this year. This is the major reason why I am appreciating him and urging him to do the extraordinary even as I pray to the Almighty God to be his strength and guide always.”