The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the immediate withdrawal of Police Officers who are attached to all Very Important Persons (VIPs) across the country. The Police Officers exempted from this directive are those attached to Government Houses; the Senate President; and the Speaker, House of Representatives.
According to media reports, the directive was contained in a police wireless message dated October 21, 2020, that was sent virtually to Zonal Assistant Inspector General of Police and State Commissioners of Police with reference number, CB:4001/DOPS/SPU/FHQ/ABU/VOL./ORDER.
The statement said, “Any commander who violates this order will bear the consequences.”
This new directive comes barely 10 days after the police authorities disbanded the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), following nationwide protests against the squad for high handedness and extrajudicial killings.
The signal, which was signed by the AIG POL, Protect, Force Headquarters, Abuja, partly read, “Any protect personnel found escorting or guarding any VIP with or without a firearm is deemed to be deployed by the Commander and the Commander will be sanctioned.”
It further directed the affected personnel to report to their respective command Commissioners of Police.
It can be recalled that successive IGPs have issued similar orders in the past, which were barely implemented.
In another development, the IGP has sent emissaries to the Chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC), Musiliu Smith, in a bid to have a smooth working relationship with the retired police boss.
It was gathered that two former IGs, Mike Okiro, and Suleiman Abba, visited the PSC Chairman at his office in Abuja on Wednesday, following Smith’s refusal to meet with Adamu on several occasions.
A source explained that Okiro and Abba spent over three hours trying to persuade Smith to reconcile with the IG, who has been at loggerheads with the PSC over the recruitment of constables into the Nigeria Police Force.
What this means
This appears to be part of measures aimed at kick-starting the much talked about reforms in the Nigerian Police Force. The full implementation of this order will make more police officers available to provide security to Nigerians, as a huge number of the force provides security to private individuals and companies in a country that is greatly under policed.