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Acting IGP Promises Fairness As Parties Set Agenda For Him | Open Reporters
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Acting IGP Promises Fairness As Parties Set Agenda For Him

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Newly-appointed Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Àbubakar Mohammed Adamu, has promised to provide a level-playing field for all political parties and their candidates in the forthcoming general elections.

Adamu, who spoke after President Muhammadu Buhari decorated him with the IGP rank at the State House, Abuja, assured Nigerians that as a thorough-bred officer, he would professionally handle his duties and be fair to all the citizens irrespective of their status and political inclinations. He had a closed-door meeting yesterday with President Buhari at the Aso Rock and came out with his new rank, and also participated in the annual Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony at the National Arcade, Abuja.

After the meeting with the president, Adamu told State House correspondents that the police under his watch would ensure a level-playing field in the coming polls. According to him, strategies have been put in place by the police to ensure credible and hitch-free elections next month when the polls would begin with the presidential contest. He said: “We know that there are security challenges that we must tackle in the country. They range from kidnapping, abduction to other security issues. From the strategies put in place by the former IGP, we will restrategise and make sure that we tackle them squarely.

“On the elections, you have heard from the former IGP that adequate arrangements have been made to ensure 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. “Well, we are professionals. We are going to stick to 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 level playing ground to play his or her politics,” Adamu said.

Adamu who later yesterday assumed duty as the country’s 20th IGP, thanked President Buhari for finding him worthy of the position and promised to be professional in the discharge of his duties. The new IGP, who was a directing staff at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, near Jos, Plateau State before his appointment, was born on November 9, 1961 and enlisted in the police in 1986. He has a bachelor’s degree in Geography. He was at one time a director of peacekeeping operations and a former police commissioner in Enugu, and later an Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) for Zone 5.

The acting IGP thanked the president for considering him worthy to be the next Inspector-General of Police. Adamu replaces the outgone IGP Ibrahim Idris whose tenure expired on January 3, 2019 having attained the mandatory 35- year in service. As at yesterday afternoon, speculations were rife that Buhari may extend the tenure of Idris as he had repeatedly done for the service chiefs. But some media houses, including LEADERSHIP authoritatively reported yesterday that Buhari had appointed Adamu as the new IGP.

Indications that the president would not extend Idris tenure emerged last week when Buhari told Arise Television that he was not afraid of Idris and would take action on him. LEADERSHIP learnt that Idris met with Buhari on Monday evening at the Presidential Villa to thank him for considering him fit to serve the country in that capacity.

Idris, who also spoke on his tenure yesterday, declared: “I want to inform Nigerians that today (yesterday) I am 60 years and I think I have reached the pinnacle of my career. So, I am going to handover to my successor, the incoming Inspector-General of Police. “He is an officer I know very well. We knew each other in the past, we have worked together and I wish him success. “The piece of advice I will give is that just like in our time, he should try to go round the country and adopt measures to ensure that the Nigeria Police Force give maximum protection to life and property,” he said.

Parties Set Agenda For New Police Chief Meanwhile, political parties, especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) have charged Adamu to immediately commence the re-engineering of the Nigeria Police to restore professionalism and adherence to rules of engagement in the force. The PDP berated his predecessor for allegedly destroying professionalism in the police and compromised the security of Nigerians. PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, urged the new police boss to learn from the mistakes of Idris by immediately setting up the process of re-orientating and insulating the NPF from partisan politics and subjecting it to the tenets of democracy and the rule of law.

He also appealed to Adamu to remove all templates of election rigging allegedly contained in the hand-over notes. Ologbondiyan said: “The new IGP must also urgently take steps to address the bastardisation of promotion in the police under the last IGP, where officers due for promotion were denied and only those endorsed by a cabal or who have enough money to buy their way through were promoted. This is in addition to immediately setting up a process that guarantees proper welfare of officers and men of the Nigeria police.

“He must note that the whole world is watching him and we urge him not to fail the nation, which he owes his allegiance,” the PDP said. Similarly, the CUPP demanded the immediate release of all political detainees, including Senator Dino Melaye and rights activist, Deji Adeyanju, to reduce tension in the polity.

CUPP spokesperson, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, told a press conference in Abuja that the new police chief needs to stop the indiscriminate posting of police commissioners ahead of the 2019 general elections. He further appealed to Adamu to reverse the deployment of Kayode Egbetokun, former chief security officer to ex-Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who was recently posted to the state by Idris. Ugochinyere appealed to Adamu not to follow the footsteps of his predecessor by desisting from indiscriminate arrest of opposition figures as well as curb the violence being unleashed by suspected All Progressives Congress (APC) members on the family of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in his home state of Kwara.

He said: “We call on the new IGP to commence immediate actions to review the cases of all political prisoners held in the various police cells across the country with a view to releasing them forthwith including Mr. Deji Adeyanju who was acquitted by a court of law and is now in prison because someone does not like his political views, Senator Dino Melaye, which allegations against him in the media by the police are different from the charges filed in court and several other political detainees.

“The new IGP must as a matter of urgency, distance the police from the murky waters of partisan politics and shield his office and officers from being annexed by the outgoing APC.

“Our demand for neutrality of the police is in the interest of the nation.

The police owe every citizen protection and must not be seen as supporting and aiding any political party.

“The reports in the media where police aided thugs of the ruling party on a destruction spree in Kwara State must not be heard again. We also condemn the decision of President Buhari to visit Kwara State for political campaigns without ever condemning the violence by his Kwara supporters or expressing his sympathy with the Saraki dynasty.

“The notorious reports of police turning a blind eye when members of the APC commit crimes while at the same time descending heavily on opposition elements just for their political views should be thing of the past just,” he said.

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