“When I took over, there were no vehicles. I discovered that the last IG went away with 24 vehicles, including two BMWs. The DIGs took seven, others eight. And they left me with an old vehicle. Even the one I follow the President with the last time I went for an engagement, the President asked what I was doing with that kind of vehicle.“
The above were the words of Nigeria’s new Inspector General of police, Ibrahim Idris.
While Nigerians have serious issues they wish to be urgently reviewed as relates to the handling of national security, including terror herdsmen, Boko Haram, Niger Delta militants and other forms of terror, Nigeria’s new IGP has other initial concerns: my official car; my delayed promotions.
That the new Police Chief did not know or properly find out that the cars were actually being serviced for his own comfort according to media checks, is not even the crux of the problem. While the nation is obviously in jeopardy with a police chief who could not duly figure out where the force had kept the cars, that the priority of the chief is his own personal comfort and history of personal promotion grouses is troubling to say the least.
The IGP who made an unprecedented leap to get to his current position, kicking into retirement dozens of his superiors, is more concerned as he lamented, with his past disenfranchisement than with that of Nigerians at large. He demonstrates to be more worried about his bullet-proof BMW than with the dilapidation of the Nigerian police as a whole and the investigation and probe as to why Nigerian police live in squalor in unsightly officers quarters across the federation.
Nigeria’s police have been relegated to no more than a role as boy scouts. The duty of the “force” has been usurped unconstitutionally by the Nigerian army who now police the streets and proceed ahead and in stead of the police in addressing civil disturbances and crime. The dismissal of the police force and its replacement by the army has led to mounting cases of gross violations with the application of deadly force in civil matters and the use of bullets and bombs instead of handcuffs and batons. Nigeria’s police carry AK47s unlike their pistol carrying peers abroad, but cannot prevent and combat militants and rustlers.
Nigeria begs for a capable and competent police leadership that can restore the department to intelligently investigate crimes, find missing items and persons and secure life and property.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigerian