Saturday, 5 August 2017

IGP warns officers to stop taking pictures with Nnamdi Kanu, reveals why Kanu, Arewa youth are yet to be arrested

The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris yesterday gave reasons when the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, is yet to be rearrested.

Idris, who spoke during a working visit to The Nation’s corporate headquarters in Lagos, also said the Arewa youth are yet to be picked up based on the decision of the National Security Council.

He said, “We have the National Security Council in place chaired by the Acting President. We have been meeting and analyzing each of these threat messages from separatist groups. We have to analyse the pros and cons. As you are aware, the police are on top of the situation.

“As an organisation, what we take as paramount is the maintenance of law and order. There was a time we ordered the arrest of the leaders of groups making threat messages. Then, leaders of various ethnic nationalities came to the villa for a meeting with the Acting President.

“The agreements reached at the meeting made the police to relax on the arrest order. We believe there are certain situations needed to be managed very carefully, so that you don’t bring up tension. We believe the security and safety of Nigerians is paramount. We are assuring Nigerians that there is no person or group of persons that can deny them their rights to free movement in any part of the country.”

Speaking further, he revealed the plan of the force to send 100 marine police officers to the Navy for special training on counter kidnapping and  militancy.

‘‘We have strengthened our officers and boosted their morale in combating crimes,” he said.

The IGP hailed Nigerians for assisting the police in combatting crimes, citing the recent arrest of suspected kidnap kingpin, Evans Onwanmadike.

He said, “Evans terrorized people in this country for many years but now we have the notorious kidnapper in our custody.

“The police deserve some credit from the public. Give me up to a year, I assure  you that Nigerians would see a different police working to ensure their safety in every nook and cranny of this country.

‘‘When this kidnapping crime was unbearable on Kaduna-Abuja highway, I went to the National Assembly and I told the lawmakers to give me a week. Within five days, our men arrested 58 suspects, who confessed to the crimes.

“More of the suspects were arrested and paraded on Thursday, bringing the total to 77. All we want from the public is support. The police require support and encouragement, because we are human beings too.’’

He added, “We cannot blame the police for the causes of crime. As I speak to you now, I can confirm that we have over a thousand suspects in detention for kidnapping and ritual killings. Then, we should ask why we still have these crimes when we have dozens of suspects? I think we should focus on the causes of crimes and its symptoms, not the agents of reaction.

“We have plans to develop the marine police. We are going to dominate the riverine areas.

“When I became the IGP, the first state I visited was Delta State, precisely Tompolo’s hometown. I discovered that our presence on the creeks was minimal. I believe we can succeed in dominating the creeks if we have certain things put in place.

“We need to train more marine police officers with modern techniques and gadgets. We need to buy more patrol gunboats and we are making progress in this respect. Already, we got an offer to train about 100 policemen in marine security and a promise of 10 gunboats.

“By the time we get this done, we are going to start deployment from Lagos because of the rate of crime in riverine communities.

“We have been making efforts to secure these riverine communities from militants. This progress is achieved due to the activities of the marine police. We are training the marine police to perform better. We are liaising with the Navy in the training of our marine officers. We are going to train more officers in continuous succession.”

On the IGP’s team were Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Operations, Joshak Habila, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of zone II, Musa Ibrahim, and some state Commissioners of Police, including, Fatai Owoseni, Ahmed Iliyasu, David Folawiyo, Shola David, Warren Bassey and Celestine Ogbuenyi, among others.

The IGP has also warned officers to desist from taking photographs with the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, stating that the action will not be taken with levity.

Idris expressed disgust over the attitude on Thursday in Lagos where he addressed officers.

“We will not take it with levity. There should be no double loyalty to Nigeria. No matter your rank, your commitment to the country should be absolute,” he said.

“Nationalism is key. Some officers were taking pictures with Nnamdi Kanu and this is someone that is challenging the unity of this country.

“We are changing the face of policing in Nigeria, policemen that are people-oriented with the satisfaction of the citizens as the primary focus.

“As policemen, you must be committed to unity, leadership and authority of government of this country. No double standards are allowed.”

Idris also announced that 88 additional area commands would be created to boost operational efficiency.

“We are waiting for approval from the PSC for the 88 new area commands and by extension, this means we are going to have more assistant commissioners of police,” he said.

“This will also create room for more chief superintendents of police to be promoted. Do your best in your duties and you will be promoted.”

He commended the officers for their commitment to duty, adding that they are important to the day-to-day policing activities.

“You are important for this job. We depend on you.”

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