Tayo AFOLABI

 

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Baba, has charged Commissioners of Police and other strategic police managers to brace up for greater challenges in 2022 as the year preceding general elections in the country.

Baba gave the charge on Monday in Abuja at a meeting with strategic police managers, including commissioners of police and above.

The I-G said the meeting was to evaluate the activities of the force in 2021 and identify gaps that militated against service delivery to the citizens.

Baba also said the meeting was to chart ways to bridge the gaps and enhance the professional and operational capacity of personnel in 2022.

He told the top police echelon that the political landscape will be charged in a manner that will further test their professional will and operational competence in 2022.

“While appreciating all members of the force for these modest successes within the outgoing year, it is imperative to note that, the upcoming year could even be more challenging.

“This is because it is a year preceding the general elections in the country.

“It is anticipated that the political landscape will be charged in a manner that will further test our professional will and operational competence.

“What this translates to is that we will not only be dealing with traditional crimes, our capacity as the lead agency in internal security management will no doubt be stretched to cover the management of threats that will be associated with an active political space in 2022.

He noted that 2021 was a challenging year to the Nigeria Police with potent threats to internal security by the activities of bandits, secessionists, kidnappers and other organised criminal elements.

According to him, the challenges were compounded by the #Endsars violence of 2020 which weakened the morale and operational base of the force, following the massive destruction of police operational assets.

He said, “Despite this reality within the internal security space, I am delighted to note that all of you, as strategic police commanders, remained resilient, and demonstrated commendable level of courage, initiative, sound operational capacity and loyalty.

“This is the spirit that we set out to advance in the policing agenda, upon my assumption of duty as the I-G, and I am delighted that you have keyed into this new policing mission.’’

IGP Baba said the force, in the outgoing year, undertook several high-profile special operations leading to the prevention of several crimes and neutralisation of numerous criminal elements.

According to him, police have also deepened their capacity to deploy intelligence to support police investigative and operational activities, thereby preventing the perfection of some major crimes and the arrest of high-profile criminals.

He commended the personnel for their resilience, patriotism, and exceptional operational performance during the Nov. 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra.

Baba said the conduct of the officers during the election had been widely adjudged, both locally and internationally, as being responsible for frustrating the attempt by subversive elements to truncate that election.

“My charge to you as we project into 2022 is to prepare to strengthen your leadership capacity in dealing with crimes customarily associated with the end of the year.”

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