A Well-Deserved Honour To An Unsung Hero: The Untold Story Of Usman Alkali Baba

By Olumuyiwa Adejobi,

The very first time I came across the phrase “unsung hero”, I did not attach much weight to it perhaps, because I was still limited in the knowledge of the idiom both in sense and practice. I know better now! Thanks to education and my professional career cum experiences.

One of such beautiful experiences I had when I was in Abeokuta, Ogun State. I had been invited to a dinner event organized by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, a professional body to which I am a member, to honour some individuals who have been outstanding in their respective career fields.

One of such individuals was a female Traffic Warden, Anifat. Mrs. Anifat was a committed and dedicated officer who enjoyed controlling traffic within Abeokuta metropolis. At the event, tagged “The Unsung Heroes Award”, the phrase reechoed itself in my head especially as Anifat and other indigenes of Ogun State filed out to receive their meritorious Awards of Excellence.

This memorable experience helped lay a veritable foundation for a better understanding of ‘unsung heroes’ and to better appreciate honouring dedicated workers, publicly. Interestingly, this immutable experience lends credence to this piece which seeks to eulogize a visionary leader, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, whose immeasurable strides in repositioning the Force are self-evident.

The 21st Indigenous Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba was born into a humble family on 1st March, 1963 in Gaidam Local Government Area of Yobe State. He attended and graduated from the prestigious Bayero University, Kano, where he studied and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree (Political Science) in 1985. He equally holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from University of Maiduguri, Borno State.

On March 15, 1988, he was appointed as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police and was trained at the Nigeria Police Academy. Upon conclusion of training, Alkali Baba commenced active service and has served over the course of his sojourn in the NPF in Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Kaduna, Police Staff College, Jos, Police College Kaduna, Ogun, FCT, Ebonyi, Lagos, Edo and Delta States.

In the course of his Policing career, the IGP Alkali Baba has traversed the length and breadth of the country, and holds a record as one of the few officers who have had the privilege of serving in various capacities across all the six geopolitical zones of the federation.

As a versatile officer, his Policing and traveling experiences put him in a good position to clearly understand the socioeconomic, political and cultural factors driving crimes and criminality in Nigeria, and this has undoubtedly equipped him adequately to tackle them.

On the 6th of April, 2021, the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed IGP Usman Alkali Baba in acting capacity, to oversee the operational command and control of the Nigeria Police Force. His appointment was unanimously adjudged to be in the best interest of the Force as his previously held positions have shown him to be a performer with integrity, a fact which clearly points to his name-giver as a prophet.

The IGP’s names – Usman Alkali Baba, have effectively described his character and shows clearly that he was prophetically named. They equally lend credence to the power of names. Usman means “wise, most powerful, intuitive”; Alkali means “a judge”; while Baba is another name for “Father”.

The IGP has clearly exemplified each of these qualities in his wise policies and judgments, alacrity to duty, intuitiveness in decision making, and his fatherly role towards all police officers under his command. Upon his appointment, IGP Alkali Baba hit the ground running. For example, he immediately set forth the development of a new policy mission and vision for the Nigeria Police Force with a theme, “To protect with courage and serve with compassion”.

This encompasses the mission of restoring police primacy and bequeathing to the nation a modernized, citizen-led, rule of law-guided, professional police force that Nigerians can truly trust and depend on, to achieve the policing mandate as enshrined in Sections 4 and 5 of the Police Act 2020.

Also included in his vision is the integration of cutting-edge technology and intelligence-driven policing. It gives a full effect to the concept of citizen-led policing and strenghtens inter-agency collaborations as a pathway to attaining the internal security mandate of the NPF.

This laudable policing agenda emphasizes respect for human rights, training and human capacity development, restoration of professional standard, and the enhancement of the anti-corruption drive. A litmus test has confirmed so far that, the Police under the able leadership of IGP Alkali Baba is achieving its mandate which is to protect the lives and property of all Nigerian citizens.

The catalysts include, but is not limited to – deployment of operational, intelligence, and ICT-based apparatus to tackling and stemming the tide of crimes and criminality; maximization of the Force Intelligence Bureau – Intelligence Response Team (FIB-IRT) and the Special Tactical Squad (FIB-STS). Others include the digitalization of emergency contacts via ‘NPF Rescue Me’ Application for emergency response at the push of a button, both on android and ios; upgrade of NPF Crime and Incident Database centre, which is to handle the registration of lost or misplaced valuable items, thereby making it easier to find them if they get missing after confirming the item’s ownership before purchasing them; the INTERPOL Cybercrime Reporting platform at incb.npf.gov.ng for 24/7 reportage of cybercrime-related complaints.

The NPF has engaged in a vigorous deployment of operational assets including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), etc. as well as operational personnel from the PMF, CTU, EOD-CBRNE, for special operations such as Operation Restore Peace, Operation Sahara Storm, and other operations which has actively decimated major bandit/terrorist activities across the nation. Similarly, regular aerial surveillance patrols particularly in areas affected by the activities of violent criminals is being massively carried out.

The IGP has embarked on massive construction of vital structures for the NPF as well as renovation/remodeling of existing ones. A total of 198 projects have been completed nationwide. Similarly, existing structures – barracks, training colleges/schools, etc. have been remodeled in line with contemporary standards. Since assumption of office, the IGP has vigorously followed up on the welfare needs of personnel of the Force to provide a befitting work environment for police officers.

This has led to increment in salaries and allowances and stoppage of Tax deductions for Rank & File effective from January, 2022; issuance of uniforms, kits, and accoutrements to all Inspectors and Rank & File, which will be continuous; review of the NPF Housing Policy to provide affordable housing units for police officers, especially the junior ranks; issuance of body armor to all Inspectors and Rank & File in heavy operational areas and strategic locations across the country; approval for prompt payment of allowances for personnel on special duty; acquisition and distribution of operational trucks by the Inspector-General of Police with donations by the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, Ministry of Police Affairs and other stakeholders.

Under the IGP’s administration, attention has been placed on the need for professionalism and adherence to extant laws by Police Officers in the discharge of their lawful duties. This has prompted the need to look into the various complaints against police action via social media and the meting out of sanctions on violators of laws regulating the actions of police officers.

Specialized Units of the Force such as the Force Provost Marshal (FPM), IGP Monitoring and Mentoring Unit (MMU), Complaint Response Unit (CRU), and the Public Complaint Bureau (PCB), receive complaints physically & virtually, investigate and sanction incorrigible officers whose unprofessional conducts negate policing values & negatively impact the drive to smoothen partnership with the citizens. Though the task of policing a multi-faceted nation like Nigeria is enormous, a lot has been achieved and a whole lot will be achieved still.

With the salient steps taken so far by the IGP, there is no doubt his administration is poised to bequeathing to Nigerians enviable policing services. The numerous great feats achieved by IGP Usman Alkali Baba, in barely over a year in office, have caught the attention of the Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammad Buhari, GCFR, who has decided to honour the 21st indigenous Inspector-General of Police with a national honour of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR).

A well-deserved honour to a selfless leader and hero.

Congratulations to the IGP Usman Alkali Baba.

Long live the Nigeria Police Force.

Long live the Mr. President.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Olumuyiwa Adejobi, mnipr, mipra is a Chief Superintendent of Police and the Force Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police Force. 08037168147 princemoye@gmail.com; Twitter: @princemoye1

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles