By Abiodun OBA
Acting Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun ordered the Commissioners of Police in the 36 states of the federation and FCT to immediately commence the dismantling of all non-security checkpoints within their areas of responsibilities and arrest all violators for prompt prosecution.
Egbetokun has also given a three-week ultimatum to Commissioners of Police yet to establish the Complaints Response Units (CRU), in their command headquarters, to do so with a view to combating corruption.
“We are aware of the challenge posed by the continued presence of unauthorized persons on the various highways around the country in the guise of revenue collection who constantly constitute nuisance on the highways by obstructing the flow of traffic and engaging in mischievous activities such as the seizure of vehicles, collection of fines and other unlawful activities”, the IGP said.
Speaking on Thursday during a strategic meeting with DIGs, AIGs and Command CPs, Egbetokun assured that the Police would provide adequate security for the governorship elections coming up in three states of the federation hence there is no need by citizens to worry.
He said, “With just three States having their gubernatorial election, the Police is not burdensome because there are proper and adequate personnel on ground for the election.
“Just as we have seen in other isolated elections, we have availability of more men in number than the one of the general elections. I have no fear about how safe and secure of the election which is going to take place on November 11, 2023.
“It’s very convenient for us to deploy. Nobody should entertain fear about the security of the November election. We have prepared. We are ready and very soon, we will start deployment.
“We deliberately decided to take this year’s Police Conference and Retreat to one of the States where we are having the election. The conference and retreat are coming just less than two weeks to the election.
“So, it is deliberate and not by accident that we chose the venue and date. It is also to show to the public that we are ready for the election. So, there is no fear for the coming election.”
He however called on the electorate and politicians to play by the rules of election and shun any form of violence.
The annual Police Strategic Managers Conference and Retreat for the year 2023 will come up between 29th October and 2nd November 2023 in Owerri, Imo State.
“This conference and retreat serve as a paramount platform for knowledge exchange, strategic planning, and the strengthening of our collective resolve to enhance policing in our nation”, he said.
Continuing the IGP said, “To bolster accountability and transparency within the Force, we have taken steps such as reinforcing the IGP Monitoring Unit and the Complaint Response Unit (CRU) based at the Force Headquarters, and efforts are ongoing to establish CRU offices in all states.
“Directive have earlier been given to all State Commissioners of Police to establish CRU offices in their respective State Command Headquarters, as part of our commitment to combating corruption and improve professionalism in the Nigeria Police Force.
“Those Command Commissioners of Police who are yet to comply are hereby given a deadline of three (3) weeks from today to do so.
On Welfare and infrastructure, Egbetokun said, “These present police administration very well understand the importance of welfare to bolster efficiency of police officers. Hence, we have commenced the review of the policy and contract agreements on renovating, remodelling and reconstructing existing police barracks and office accommodation infrastructures around the country.
“To this end, the board of the Nigeria Police Force Properties Development and Construction Company, recently appointed one of the best hands in property development in Nigeria, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran, as the Executive Consultant to drive a special housing agenda for the Police.
“I have no doubt that the Consultant will bring his expertise and experience to bare in making our dream of house for all Police Officers and Men in Nigeria a reality.
“In alignment with the firm commitment of the current Police administration, under my leadership, to foster a culture of improved behavioural and attitudinal change within the Nigeria Police Force, I am pleased to announce that I have given full approval for the commencement of an extensive nationwide reorientation program for all our Officers and Men to be anchored by the Department of Training and Development.
“This initiative aims at catalysing a transformative journey, emphasizing essential facets such as cultivating emotional intelligence, ethics and professional conduct, refining effective communication skills, and instilling positive values across the ranks of our esteemed Force.
“The foundation of any effective Police Force lies in the character and conduct of its officers. As such, this comprehensive reorientation program represents a pivotal step towards not only enhancing the professional competence of our personnel but also nurturing a new ethos grounded in integrity, respect, and service to our communities.
“It is our firm belief that by focusing on these fundamental aspects, we can foster a more compassionate, efficient, and responsive Police Force that serves as a true beacon of hope and safety for all citizens across our great nation.
Speaking on certain developments in some states, he said, “In light of recent distressing events, we must not forget the abductions of eight (8) National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Zamfara state. The safety and well-being of all our citizens, particularly our young NYSC members, remain of utmost importance to us.
“We are firm in our commitment to intensify our efforts at ensuring the safe rescue of these abducted Corp members and all others still in captivity of criminal gangs in any part of the country.
“Currently, we are actively engaged in the sharing and analysing intelligence gathered thus far, while also exploring collaborative efforts with security agencies to secure the unconditional release of these individuals as swiftly as possible without harm.
“It is imperative to note that rescue operations generally demand a careful, tactical and deliberate approach, conducted with the utmost caution to avoid unintended harm to the victims.
On beheaded DPO, Egbetokun said, “The tragic killing of a Divisional Police Officer, SP Bako Angbashim, in Rivers State is another event which serve as a stark reminder of the multi-dimensional challenges we face in maintaining security and order across our nation.
“We have mobilized efforts to ensure the perpetrators of the mindless killing of SP Bako Angbashim are brought to swift justice while we sound a note of serious warning to those who have penchant for killing our officers to desist.
“The slain officer was known for his courageous exploits against vicious criminal elements terrorizing the communities where he served. His gruesome murder and subsequent mutilation of his body is unacceptable to us.
“The perpetrators of this heinous crime have murdered sleep, and they obviously will sleep no more.
“They will be hunted down with all resources at our disposal. Never again shall we be ordinary in our response to the killing of our Officers. These murderers will pay dearly for their callous acts.
“In Kano, we recorded the evacuation of large quantities of fake and expired drugs on 22nd August 2023, discovered in two different warehouses located at Mallam Kato Market. Those who engage in the illicit business of trading in expired and substandard drugs are as callous as those who kill innocent citizens in our country.
“We will from now on, intensify our collaboration with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in ensuring that these group of criminals are no longer given space to operate in our communities.
“Similarly in Lagos State Police Command, proactive intelligence-based operations have significantly contributed to maintaining law and order in the state.
“This has led to the arrest of 66 suspects engaged in varying crimes including armed robbery, unlawful possession of arms, impersonation, cultism, murder and the recovery of 14 firearms including two AK47 rifles, one of them locally fabricated; 2 locally fabricated toy guns; 15 live cartridges; 4 expended cartridges; 25 live ammunition; 34 bags of weed suspected to be Indian hemp; 6 vehicles; 2 bags containing fake US Dollars, fake Pound Sterling note; and 66 kegs of fake Total engine oil.
“FCT Police Command in the past five (5) weeks have recorded the arrest of 948 suspects for various violent crimes, and the recovery of various sophisticated arms and ammunition of different calibres, as well as stolen vehicles. 903 of the arrested suspects were charged to court where 876 were convicted.
“This demonstrates the dedication and effectiveness of the Nigeria Police across various states in Nigeria in responding to criminal activities and ensuring the safety and security of the public.”