By Bolaji O. Akinyemi
The article titled; “IGP Egbetokun Starts Off on Wrong Foot”, was sent out through my WhatsApp platform on Wednesday, 28th June 2023 at 12:58PM, in an hour it had gone viral and by 3:36PM, that’s within 2 hours 22mins, I got a call, the interaction with the caller will shift my position and change the narrative.
The new IGP is a man I don’t think I have ever met. Not withstanding, we have expectation within the context of our situation in Nigeria. When his appointment was announced, our hopes were raised in the capacity of a man that may have one, two or three maximum as his equal in terms of capacity in the Nigeria Police.
Egbetokun in the first place is a decisive individual known to be firmly rooted in his ideology, his antecedents in the Service speak to this. His academic exploits is a reflection of a focused and studious mind, a graduate of mathematics from the University of Lagos with his Masters in Engineering and PhD in Peace and Conflict Resolution. Commissioned into the police as mobile police man, no one but him should know better about the use of the Police Mobile Force, which is today grossly abused.
If the use of a thing is not known, abuse they say is inevitable! The statement is the best way to capture what my discussion was with a caller who engaged me to know the purpose of my article. How convincing I sounded on the need to see Nigeria transformed and working is left to the caller who came to me like the big man himself, though when I asked for his identity he declined to reveal it. He however left me in no doubt of what to expect of the Nigeria Police going forward. He took me on a short Public Identification Course of the Nigerian Police, the blue beret, red beret, green beret, cream beret and the black beret which is conventional.
He clearly stated the IGP is not withdrawing Police Protection Unit of the Nigeria Police from VIP, but the Police Mobile Force, which is a special unit of the police. The need to enforce fully the Police Act for effective policing is sancrosant at reversing the rot in the service.
Every unit of the service will now function as the Police Act intended for them to, and not as society finds for them.
In my article; “Tinubu’s One Month old Presidency; EFCC Chairman will Determine What to Expect from this Administration”
I adduced reasons Tinubu’s appointment of Nuhu Ribadu as National Security Adviser is in tandem with the spirit of democracy. I also stated unequivocally that Police is the institution that must lead internal security in a democracy.
Our biggest problem I stated is a sustained structure and undue recognition beyond what the recommendation should be of the military in a democracy.
Who ever my caller was, he was clear in his explanation and I was equally given to understanding. The withdrawal of Police Mobile Force will help the military focus on their duties as prescribed by the constitution. As Police Mobile Force most of whom are presently attached to VIPs will now be available to perform their roles as detailed by the Police Act.
The lofty ideas shared with me should lead us to lofty heights attainment. Egbetokun should bring that capacity to bear by way of urgency of what we need. The expectations of the people is what my article has expressed and the listening ear of the Police is appreciated.
My caller spoke well because it is true that the Mobile Police Force seems to be monopolized as it were by the upper class and in the concept of the IGP, that should not be so and which indeed of a truth should not. People have come ahead of him and could not do much. They are always submerged in the system and its rot. Egbetokun is saying no, he is invoking Police Act to say look, the Police Mobile Force is a Special Force. He is looking at another act which puts supernumerary Police as a template for the initial implementation of community policing. The Spy Unit will now start operation, with the weight of experience of the IGP and his determination to keep to the police Act, we should all be looking forward to a new police for the new Nigeria from the IGP.
The hands of our new Sheriff seems to have taken hold of the trunk of the tree ready to shake vigorously, rotten fruits may have no place in the service and as the saying goes heads may roll.
Let me commend Nigerians to the rhetoric of many years that became the reality of my experience with my strange caller; Police is Your Friend, I met one on phone yesterday. My question is, are we prepared for Egbetokun-led Police friendship or are we going to keep acting like enemies?
Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi is an Apostle and Nation Builder. Convener Apostolic Round Table ART and BOT Chairman Project Victory Call Initiative, AKA, PVC-Naija.