The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, on Monday ordered an immediate withdrawal of police officers attached to some political office holders and very important personalities, VIPs, in the country, citing the security challenges facing Nigeria as reason.
Recall that the IGP had stated that the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, has perfected plans to withdraw its mobile personnel attached to important personalities in the country back to the barracks. During an interactive session with a group of civil society organisations under the auspices of, “The Situation Room’’ in Abuja last June, Idris had stated that the measure was intended to bring the police closer to Nigerians.
The police boss, who announced the latest development during a conference with senior officers in Abuja, stated that the directive also affected private businessmen, multi-national companies and other corporate organizations who are enjoying special police protection.
He explained that a task force has consequently been constituted at the Force headquarters under the command of ACP Mohammed Dankwara to ensure compliance to the directive while state commissioners of police are to replicate same at their commands.
Announcing his plans to withdraw the policemen on private guard duty, the IGP said, “In view of the current security challenges in the country, it has become expedient for the Nigeria Police Force to streamline the deployment of its personnel attached to political and public office holders, aimed at enhancing effective and efficient policing of the country.
“To this effect, a memo will be forwarded to the President for approval which will serve as a guideline or template for deployment to VIPs, political and public office holders in the country. Accordingly, a directive for withdrawal of all police officers deployed to VIPs, political and public office holders with immediate effect, is hereby given.”
The police boss however explained that businessmen, corporate organisations and individuals who required special police protection and “are found worthy,” would be considered by the Special Protection Unit of the force on application for re-validation through the state Commissioners of Police where they are resident.
“By so doing, I am charging the Commissioners of Police with the responsibility of supervising such official deployment and thereby holding them accountable,” the police chief informed his audience consisting of senior police officers.
Idris bemoaned the abuse of police Supernumerary number plates and the illegal use of siren and covering of vehicle number plates by motorists and warned the culprits to desist.
He directed the holders of the police SPY number plates to return them to the Force Transport Officer and apply for re-validation.
The IGP also asked the Commissioners of Police in the states to enforce the directive and arrest violators, adding that the list of task force teams that would ensure compliance to the order should be sent to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Operations, by March 31, 2018.