By Frank Oshanugor
Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Usman Baba has paid glowing tributes to operatives of the Police Mobile Force (PMF) describing them as “unsung heroes of the counter-terrorism warfare having been fighting side-by-side the Armed Forces in the North East.”
The police boss made this commendation on Wednesday at a conference with Nigeria Police Squadron Commanders at Force Headquarters, Abuja.
Baba who was having the first conference with Squadron Commanders since his assumption of office as Inspector-General of Police explained that
the Police Mobile Force has been “playing active roles in our drive to positively alter the policing and internal security narratives of our beloved country. They are the unsung heroes of the counterterrorism warfare having been fighting side-by-side the Armed Forces in the North East.
“They have also over the years, been the solid rock upon which our internal security operations in various flashpoints across the country are built.
The Inspector General of Police pointed out that “as at today, Units of the Police Mobile Force are engaged in special operations which are directed at combating internal insurrection and other violent crimes involving bandits, kidnappers, armed robbery, cultism and violent extremists across the country.”
Baba was  elated to note that “in all of these operations, most personnel of
the Police Mobile Force across all ranks have been demonstrating
exceptional gallantry, loyalty, professionalism and patriotism.
Indeed, some personnel have lost their lives at the frontline while many others are grappling with lifetime injuries. I am proud of your
operational attainments even as I empathize with the families of our
gallant officers who have paid the supreme price in defence of our
Fatherland.”
The IGP remarked that the decision to summon the meeting was informed by the need to create a forum for brainstorming on current internal security developments, reappraisal of the role of PMF being the most strategic tactical and operational arm of the Force.”
The police boss also took time to speak on the forthcoming Governorship election in Anambra State. Said he:  “As you are aware, the Anambra State Gubernatorial Election will hold on 6th of November, 2021. The election security action plan will, as usual, revolve around Units of the Mobile Police Force.”
“The import of this is that the task of securing our democratic values and guaranteeing a safe, secure and credible electoral process in
Anambra State will rest squarely and majorly on some of you, the
Squadron Commanders here seated and some of your Units. Most of
your operatives will be deployed to deter subversive elements that are
planning to threaten the process, while others will be deployed to
secure personnel and materials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as other critical national infrastructure.”
He explained that “while the detailed operational action plan in this regard will form a key part of our discourse during this conference, I must
strongly warn you to ensure that you demonstrate high level of
professionalism, strong supervisory capacity on your Units, and the
firmness and courage which are the traditional hallmarks of the Police Mobile Force.
“I charge you to cultivate the spirit of team work and interagency cooperation, knowing that you will operate side-by-side other
sister security agencies and officials of INEC. Above all, you must
remain apolitical while being ruthless with violent elements and ill-guided political thugs that may wish to test our common will to
deliver a transparent and credible electoral outcome. I am confident that like other operations in which you have excelled, you will not let
the Nigeria Police and, indeed, the nation down in this critical
national assignment.”
IGP took time to re-emphasise that “the repositioning of the PMF is one of my police leadership agenda. In this regard, the PMF under my leadership will in due course, be re-organised, adequately equipped, trained and re-oriented with the goal of re-situating it within its original concept. In furtherance to this, all the Squadron Commanders shall be leaving this Conference with new sets of operational assets which have been approved for issuance with a view to sharpening your operational capacity.”
He disclosed that “plans are also underway to issue more weaponry and operational vehicles to enhance your operational mobility and
combat ability. Aside this, the Deputy Inspector General of Police incharge of Operations has been tasked to commence the process of training and re-training of operatives of the PMF in order to strengthen your special operational capacity and exposing you to modern tactical and combat requirements. This initiative will be
structured to cover all officers and men across all the PMF Squadrons
in the country.”
The  IGP further disclosed that Police Trust Fund and the Ministry of Police
Affairs are supporting the Force in this regard.
While applauding operatives of the Police Mobile Force across the country, Baba told the Squadron Commanders that “while I am pleased with your operational strides, I am also concerned about reports touching on unprofessional conducts by some operatives of the PMF across the
country as well as reports of illegal deployment of PMF personnel.
“Citizens of this country are worried about the illegalities of some bad
eggs within the fold of PMF as well as the tendency for corruption by some others. These misconducts are direct consequences of
supervisory ineptitude by some of you, the Squadron Commanders.
“Much as I am determined to motivate you to advance your
mandate as the striking arm of the Force, let none of you be in doubt
of my firm resolve to deal decisively with any Squadron Commander
that lacks command capacity as well as those who are unwilling to
key into our mission of reforming the PMF and repositioning the
Force.
He reminded that discipline, professionalism and operational excellence are the bedrocks of the PMF. “Any personnel that is deficient in any of these has no justification to remain within the PMF system as they are not
only dangers to the Force, but to the nation. Accordingly, we shall
not spare any PMF operative that continues to conduct himself or
herself in manners that are not edifying of the Nigeria Police Force.”
“Consequently, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of PMF has been directed to put machinery in motion to identify and rationalize such incorrigible elements out of the PMF

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