Listening to the lnspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, address all the top echelon of the Nigeria Police on October 3, 2019, as he lauded the little efforts of the police under his watch, what any critical mind would tend to take awaywas, here is a leader who desperately yearns for public commendation but is missing the strategy to attract the encomiums.
Adamu, to all intents and purposes, wants to succeed in this appointment; he has shown enough diligence and focus but, coming on the heels of his predecessor who woefully failed the government that appointed him, the police institution and the general public, this is a tall order. One can, therefore, understand his resolve to work extra hard, while some of his men are yet to disrobe themselves of the corrupt tendencies of the past.
To those around him, he is working himself to stress a point just to ensure that Nigerians sleep with their two eyes closed; no wonder even the President had at a time attested to his attenuating physically. That presidential acknowledgement of his dedication notwithstanding, Adamu needs to understand the level of insecurity created due to the abysmal incompetence of former lGP lbrahim ldris. The rot, like seeds, are today germinating to the insecurity we are daily observing around the country.
To be in charge of the internal security of a large country with almost 200 million population, with a larger percentage of the youths roaming the streets without jobs, means extra work for the police. But when the police leadership goes to sleep, that is an open invitation to insecurity. One understands why Adamu had to be holding monthly conferences of strategic police managers drawn from the 12 zonal police commands and all the command formations.
Since he assumed office, he has exhibited a clear understanding of the security problems of Nigeria, except that these multifaceted problems seem to overwhelm him, but he is undaunted. As a fighter, he strongly believes that, once he gets the strategy right, every other thing would definitely fall in place. Yes, according to Webster’s dictionary “strategy is a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result.”
Interestingly, after reviewing his last “Puff Adder” strategy, Adamu was seen beating his chest like the proverbial agama lizard that jumped down from a high floor, and after assessing the feat, seeing that no one applauded his ability, the lizard started to nod its head in self-commendation.
Adamu told his officers,” I am again pleased to note that the national crime profile of the country continues to decline in relation to the previous quarters. This trend is indicative of the effectiveness of our policing strategies, which are based on community partnership practices, application of cutting-edge policing technologies and crime management solutions, the engagement and integration of intelligence-led policing standards to our functions at all operational and investigative levels, and an enhanced inter-agency collaboration orientation”.
To further buttress his point, he reeled out a two-month scorecard, pointing out: “Between August 2019 to date, a total of 1,151 high-profile suspects were arrested nationwide. A breakdown shows 470 armed robbery suspects, 216 kidnap suspects, 335 suspected cultists, and 130 murder suspects, with the recovery of 228 firearms of various descriptions.”
Aside this, 231 kidnap victims were rescued and reunited with their families, while 75 stolen vehicles were recovered from criminals.
Many would have wanted these figures authenticated with evidential proof. This notwithstanding, security observers argue that the frequent reviewing of strategy may be time-consuming as they proffer that intelligence-led policing would surely save the day.
ln the days of IGP Alhaji Muhammadu Gambo, the police were known for the two-pronged approach to curbing insecurity, intelligence and operations. For instance, when universities became a beehive of cultists, what the police did was to inject plainclothes policemen into each institution. They were “students,” and even student union members. Before long, many of the student cultists were identified and arrested for prosecution. The same system was used when robbers were operating along highways. Plainclothes policemen were used as cab drivers and they were collating information from unsuspecting members of the public. Also, many suya and drinking spots in Obalende, Yaba, Surulere and Ojuelegba areas of Lagos were operated by plainclothes policemen who were armed with pistols. They collated information about the bad boys in these communities. Strategy also involves reaching out and tapping from the knowledge and experiences of those who have passed this same route of insecurity. The confidence Adamu exuded throughout the duration of the strategy re-evaluation spoke glowingly of a leader who really wants to change all the negative facets of the police, especially the public perception of the police and their relationship-cooperation with the police.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Nigeria was almost swallowed by the neferiius activities of ruthless armed robbers. It looked as if the police force was overwhelmed, but it refined its strategies and before despondent Nigerians could realise the effect of the robbers’ attacks, the police were already on top of the situation.
The same members of the public that had written off the police gave them public ovation. Adamu, though on the seat at a very difficult time, this writer, as a crime reporter with over three decades of experience, would suggest that the lGP should constitute a committee with such persons like DIG Taiwo Lakanu to head the committee, which should comprise all the heads of Special Anti-robbery Squad.
Lakanu is a tested crime fighter who has seen it all: combating daredevil armed robbers when he headed Lagos SARS and, as lmo State Police Commissioner, received state award for extraordinary crime fighting performance in lmo. The committee is to fashion out a better way of tackling each of the security issues prevalent in the country.
It would be a minus if the police is seen encouraging this new trend among northern state governors who have resorted to negotiating with bandits. This trend presupposes that there is a clear weakness in tackling the menace in the North. Adamu has enough brains in the police to effectively handle just a handful of criminals marauding as bandits in the country. Indeed, with good strategy, Adamu can easily win the war.
Dan Mallam the CP to watch (1)
His demeanor can easily sway off any critical fellow who is looking for a macho personality that can fit into the image of renowned international and award winning actor cum elected US governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
(To be continued)