Long before late last month, he was standing with one leg as the topmost sheriff in Nigeria as he was unconfirmed the substantive police boss. Just a fort night ago, he was given the mandate to transform the police as much as possible with his well-deserved inauguration.
For those who may not know, IGP Adamu is tested, experienced, trusted and passionate about his calling. He will surely professionalize the police institution beyond his predecessors put together. I am sure that he will be very effective and efficient in the discharge of his duties. His activities in his first 100 days in office attest to this infallible declaration.
Going by Mohammed Adamu’s profound antecedents since mounting the saddle as the country’s Inspector-General of Police in an acting capacity, it was inevitable that President Muhammadu Buhari will confirm the sheriff to consoli- date on the profundity of his trailblazing accomplishments.
I have the conviction based on his pedigree that IGP Adamu will not betray the presidential confidence reposed in him as he advances revolutionary trends in an institution that has over the years been characterized by an adversary mentality as if Nigerian cops were still dealing with colonial masters of yore, professional incompetency, the national malaise of corruption, insensitivity nay callousness in relating with the public and an inexplicable comportment by officers and men that advertises holistic institutional decadence that appeared irredeemable until the evolution and currency of IGP Adamu.
It is obvious that if our subject had not performed creditably, the President Buhari that I know would not have confirmed his appointment as the IGP. There are robust reasons to believe that Mr. Adamu’s performance shortly before the ratification must have catalyzed his present surefootedness at the helm of the police formation.
Doubt if any Nigerian journalist/writer has done more laudatory articles on the police than this columnist. It is also apposite to mention that I had benefited immensely from a former IGP, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, DIG (Barrister) Taiwo Lakanu and our own Frank Mba (at the critical instance of Chief Femi Adesina), three most distinguished officers and gentlemen. I have equally suffered police brutality via my complicit police abduction instigated by the former governor of Abia State, Theodore Ahamefule Orji, not too long ago. Abubakar, Mba and Adesina moved swiftly, aided by Dr. OrjiUzor Kalu, to release me from the T. A. Orji strangle hold with in hours!
The police and journalists are supposed to be friends, but it is a lingering contentious issue. I recollect how a colleague and friend of mine, Abayomi Ogundeji, was callously hacked down by the police in Lagos years back in curious circumstances that remain a mystery.
Before his dastardly extinction, he was on the Editorial Board of ThisDay. A few days preceding the horrible incident, we had discussed a new bank job he was going to take up as a corporate communications manager. Being in a similar position then, he had asked for my insider perspectives with regard to corporate intrigues, institutional challenges, information management in banks, remuneration and other dynamic accountabilities, which I joy fully explicated. I never knew that our comradeship which started in labour activism on the platform of the Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in its heyday would sadly come to an end abruptly shortly after that phone session.
Recently in this column, I drew the attention of the former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris and the former Lagos State Police Commissioner Imohimi Edgal to the vicious and horrendous activities of a few policemen in Yaba and Surulere (particularly cops from Aguda and Ijeshatedo police stations)—and possibly other parts of Lagos. On Monday morning—the day one of my columnscomesout—the Divisional Police Officer (DPO ) in Aguda (no name mentioned) called me and sought to teach me fundamental principles of journalism! She said I should have contacted her for balance before going to Press. What effrontery! I giggled at the audacity. Did she think she was dealing with one rookie reporter or what? Even if it were so!
The next call came in and she asked me to come and see her or tell her where she could meet me, pointing out that the discussion was not a telephonic matter. Because of my schedule, the meeting could not hold. Later in the day, she called for the third and last time and declared with a hoarse voice (different from the earlier melody) that I published “lies they fed me” in my column “without cross-checking” and terminated the call on me in brazen crudity. At the risk of immodesty, if I joined the police when I left the university, I would have been, at least, by now, an Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) of Police. This is by the way. In the same breath—and without any vainglorious self-adulation—I can assert that in journalism, by the grace of God, I am on the quintessential verge of winding down consummately as a three-star General equivalence. My career antecedents speak volumes. The records are in the public domain. No apologies for blowing my trumpet.
There was no response from the offices of the former IGP and the former commissioner! I know that with Mba now in charge of public communication, it would be a novel dawn. The records of his prompt response to issues are there for one and all.
If the Aguda DPO had read my column between the lines, she would have known that, over time, I experienced and copiously witnessed most of the vexatious reportage here. Additional information I got was merely tangential. Madam DPO, when relating with people you do not know or have never met exercise circumspection, professionalism and candour. My scholarship, career pedigree, reputational profile and maturity cannot allow me to engage in unwarranted scurrility or journalistic unprofessionalism. It should also interest Madam DPO, finally, that the columns I write are not occupational as I do not receive a dime for writing them. Writing for newspapers, for me, is an integral part of my intellectual development, public service and great fun. I have other gainful sources of livelihood that nourish my existential humanism, to God’s glory. Not forgetting my supportive, diligent and delectable accountant-wife.
Modern global policing is all about intelligence and all-roundamity—nomorebrute force, power drunkenness and official rascality atop an adversarial architecture of colonial relics!
IGP Adamu, as you read this, there are, usually, between three and five checkpoints from Pako bus stop in Aguda to Agbonyin Avenue—all in Surulere (with in a distance radius of 3km)—where brazen extortive beggarliness takes place in the morning and evening hours daily culminating in traffic bottlenecks. If anyone contests this again, I will send to Mba some of the names on the tags and the number plates of the police vans in deployment. The narrative is embarrassing, to say the least.
I wish IGP Adamu God’s blessings and direction as he persists in reforming our police and uplifting their reputation, perception and welfare of all cops. IGP Adamu has the opportunity, training, competency and capacity to be the best police chief so far in the annals of our great country. I take off my hat to you in anticipation of your leadership illumination in the New Police.