Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday decorated former Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, with his new rank as he takes over the mantle of leadership of the Nigeria Police Force.
Adamu was led to the Presidential Villa by the former IGP, Ibrahim Idris.
Nassarawa State-born Adamu while assuring that the police would provide a level-playing field to all political parties in the coming elections thanked President Buhari for finding him worthy for the position and promised to be professional in the discharge of his duties.
He said: “I want to thank Mr. President for considering me worthy to be the next Inspector General of Police. We know that there are security challenges that we need to tackle in the country: issues of kidnapping, abduction and other security challenges. From the strategies put in place by the former IGP, we will re-strategise and make sure that we tackle these challenges squarely.”
On what to expect during the elections, the new IGP said: “You have heard from the former IGP, adequate arrangement has been made to make sure that free, fair and credible elections take place in Nigeria. We are going to build on the strategies put in place to make sure that we have hitch-free elections in the country.”
Asked if he was allaying the fears of the opposition that he would not be partisan, he replied: “Well, we are professionals. We are going to stick by the rules; we are going to do the right thing. We will not go outside the ethics of our job to do things that are untoward; everybody will be given a level-playing ground to play his or her politics.”
Also speaking to newsmen, Idris said he had reached the pinnacle of his career, while wishing the new IG success, recalling that they worked well together in the past.
He said: “I want to inform Nigerians that today, I am 60 years old and I think I have reached the pinnacle of my career. So, I am going to hand over to my successor, the incoming Inspector General of Police.
“He is an officer I know very well. We have known each other in the past; we have worked together and I wish him success.”
On his advice to the new IG, Idris said: “Just like in our time, he should try to go round the country and adopt measures to ensure that the Nigeria Police Force gives maximum protection to lives and property.”
Asked to list the major challenges the Nigeria Police Force was currently facing, the former IGP said: “I think so far, under this government, the Nigeria Police Force has been making a lot of effort to secure Nigerians. Obviously, we have challenges in the area of recruitment; of course, you are aware that the government has just given us the approval to recruit more people yearly; by the grace of God, this year, the number of police officers is going to increase considerably.”
On how he prepared the police ahead of the elections, Idris said: “Obviously, we are adequately prepared for the elections. We have carried out a lot of elections in this country and I think you will agree with me that the Nigeria Police Force has tried in those elections. I am assuring Nigerians that the Nigeria Police Force is going to do its best in these coming elections.”