From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, decorated Usman Alkali Baba with the rank of inspector general of police (IGP), charging him to urgently deal with the multiple threats to law, order and public safety.
He also charged the acting IGP to rebuild the broken bridges of trust between the police and public to regain the confidence of the citizenry.
Osinbajo urged the new police boss to ensure the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) lives up to expectations and comply with the rule of law.
“The organisation you are leading is one that is itself facing several challenges, your officers work in extremely difficult conditions and some face the threat of super power by terrorists and hostile non-state actors while in the line of duty.
“There is no question, at all, that there is a lot to be done.
“Under your leadership, the police must rebuild some bridges of trust and regain the confidence of the citizens.
“This is an ongoing challenge and task that the force and senior members of the police must take on as a responsibility.
“They must continue to rebuild their trust with the public,” he said.
Osinbajo also charged him to implement the community policing policy (CPP) which had already taken off as well as restore the dignity of the force.
“One of the ways you can restore confidence and build trust is by implementing the CPP which has already taken off and reconceptualising policing as a task carried out in partnership with local communities and officers who are members of these communities.
“Under your leadership, the force must live up to the high standards of professional conduct and compliance with the rule of law.
“It must significantly improve the welfare and working conditions of its officers while rapidly scaling up its forensic, logistical and operational capacities to meet today’s challenges.
“You must stamp out the excesses and abuses and the culture of impunity demonstrated by some elements of the force which provoked public outrage against the institution.
“In short, your mission is nothing less than the restoration of dignity and high repute of the policing profession and the continuous oiling of that machinery, that enables it to be one that is respected by the public and the international community,” he said.
He, however, charged Baba to build on the successes of his predecessor, adding that he should rejig the operational strategies of the police.
Baba, who fielded questions from State House Correspondents after his decoration, said he would build on the successes of his predecessor and vowed to rejig the operational strategies of the police.
“You will see improvement on where my predecessor has left. I came in at a very challenging time. I know it. I recognise it and I will work on how to improve from where my predecessor has left.
“I have been a member of the management team. We have tried to do our best, but it’s not enough.
“There is room for improvement. Definitely, we are going to rejig our operational strategies,” he said.
Baba said Nigerians would see improvement from where his predecessor has left off.
Asked if the strategy will change, he said: “Definitely, we are going to rejig our operational strategies.”
He said with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari, the police would acquire new gadgets that would enhance their efficiency.
He also stressed the need for support and cooperation from the public to enable the police achieve its mandate of ensuring the safety of lives and property in the country.
“We have the blessings of Mr. President and we are hoping to get more of what we have requested through the Police Trust Fund very quickly. Nigerians should expect improvement on the security situation. And Nigerians should also collaborate and cooperate with us.”