- Says his mission, nothing less than the restoration of dignity and high repute of the policing professional
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has tasked the new Inspector General of Police, IGP, Usman Alkali Baba to see his mission as ‘nothing less than the restoration of dignity and high repute of the policing professional’.
Osinbajo, who made the charge on Wednesday at the State House, Abuja, while swearing-in the new IGP, said that the Force, under his leadership must live up to all of the highest standards of professional conduct and compliance with the rule of law.
The Vice President, while acknowledging that the challenges before the new Police Force boss are indeed onerous and will test his mettle, the onus is on him to galvanize the police to rebuild the broken bridges of trust to the public and regain the confidence of the citizenry.
“This is an ongoing challenge, is 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 to the Nigerian people,” Osinbajo said.
Osinbajo also offered his congratulations to Baba on his appointment, while explaining the process involved that led to his selection.
“Your selection by Mr. President follows a rigorous process where all eligible Deputy Inspectors-General (DIGs) of Police and Assistant Inspectors-General (AIGs) of Police were considered.
“The President then appointed you as the most senior qualified and eligible officer. This is a departure from the past when the selection of the new Inspector General of Police often meant the immediate retirement of a cohort of senior police officers whose vast experience and training would no longer be available to the country. This appointment, which is largely on the basis of seniority and competence, will ensure that you have access to professional and experienced officers to support you in your new role”.
Speaking further on the nation’s expectations for Baba, Osinbajo said, “The role of law enforcement and 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”.
The Vice President further said that that to meet today’s challenges, the IGP must stamp out the excesses, abuses and the culture of impunity, demonstrated by some elements of the Force which provoke public outrage against the institution.
“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.
In short, your mission is nothing less than the restoration of dignity and high repute of the policing professional 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”.
Osinbajo assured the IGP of the the administration’s readiness to work with him to reposition the NPF and take it to unprecedented heights of professionalism, competence and excellence.