Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Minister of Interior Lt-Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd) has taken a swipe at the immediate past Inspector General of Police, IGP Abubakar Idris, accusing him of severing the relationship between the Nigeria Police Force and its supervising ministry during his reign.
Speaking when the acting IGP Mohammed Adamu paid him a courtesy visit, the minister lamented that out of the 25 memoranda the ministry took to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for deliberations, none involved the police under ex-IGP Idris.
He said he had urged IGP Adamu and his management team to look into the lingering issue of community policing, promising to provide all the assistance he needed to succeed as IGP.
“I want to first congratulate you on this position you are elevated to and add my prayers that God grants you success. I also want to appreciate your coming here on a courtesy visit, recognising the significance of the Ministry of Interior in terms of its supervisory mandate to the police and other agencies including its mandate in terms of internal security and public safety,” the minister said.
“We are happy that you took this step because since early 2016, shortly after I came in as Minister in November 2015, I had a very cordial relationship with the then IGP, Solomon Arase, but when Arase left, there was the severance of relations between the police and the Ministry of Interior.
“It was not completely though because most of our dealings in terms of internal security and public safety were with the DIG Operations and because we must do everything possible to ensure that we not only carry our supervisory mandate in terms of policy but also to ensure that police as an institution does not suffer,” he noted.
Speaking further, the minister said: “We are indeed glad that you came in with an absolutely different idea regarding this relationship. Throughout three years, we have presented more than 25 memoranda to FEC that have to do with policies concerning the country, but none of them involved the police except few that came from Police Academy, Wudil.
“So, this is the kind of thing that we must be able to avoid because you need the parent ministry to represent you at the FEC. That related with us here. We need to work together with the kind of security challenges we are experiencing in this country as you mentioned. I will appreciate the idea and concept of community policing. There are so many things in terms of policy you can drive from here.
“Ours stop at making policies because the implementation is absolutely yours. We will not interfere in that area at all. We have capable and experienced hands in the ministry that can make lots of inputs, particularly in this democratic environment that you need this process. I want to reassure that this ministry will give you all the support you need to succeed.
“We will not pretend about it; there are security challenges in the country, but they must be tackled and we must put heads together to ensure we succeed in providing for Nigerians, the security they deserve. We do hope that this is just the beginning of our working together to ensure that you succeed,” he promised.
Speaking earlier, the acting IGP pleaded for forgiveness, promising that, having retraced their steps, they would not want to be left out of the activities of the ministry.
“It is really a privilege to be received today. Since my appointment as the new acting IGP, my thought was to first visit the Ministry of Interior which is the parent ministry where Nigeria Police belongs. I have not gone anywhere on courtesy call except this one and now that I have been here; I am now free to go to other places.
“We are aware of the fact that most of the policy issues concerning police operation come from the Ministry of Interior. We don’t want to be left out. We want to be deeply involved in the activities of the ministry. We want the minister to know that we are 100 per cent ready to participate in every activity of the ministry that involves security.
“We do have challenges involving security within the country. They are challenges that can be surmounted and we can easily overcome them with the full support of the parent ministry. If we were not participating in the past the way we should, we have now retraced our steps to return and do the needful for the benefit of the country and benefit of everybody. That is the reason for our coming,” he said.
In his entourage included seven deputy inspectors generals of police (DIGs) and an assistant inspector general of police among others.