Achieving Integrity Policing Through Credible Leadership: The IGP Kayode Egbetokun Example

By Olufemi Lawson

In the annals of Nigeria’s law enforcement history, the appointment of Mr Kayode Egbetokun as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu a year ago stands out as one of those pivotal moments. This appointment was a political manoeuvre and a strategic decision to revitalise the Nigeria Police Force through credible leadership. Over the past year, IGP Egbetokun has demonstrated a deep commitment to integrity, discipline, and anti-corruption measures, setting a new standard for policing in Nigeria.

IGP Kayode Egbetokun’s career progression within the Nigeria Police Force is a testament to his dedication and excellence. He has steadily climbed the ranks, serving in various capacities with distinction. His early years in the force were marked by a rigorous approach to law enforcement and a keen eye for justice. As a young police officer, Egbetokun’s leadership was characterized by operational efficiency and community engagement. His tenure as Area Commander, Deputy Commissioner and the Commissioner of Police further highlighted his capability to manage complex security challenges, earning him accolades for reducing crime rates and fostering police-public cooperation.

The journey of IGP Egbetokun is not just about personal success but also about the significant impact he has made in every role he has undertaken. His tenure as the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations was particularly noteworthy for the strategic initiatives he implemented to improve police operations across the country. His comprehensive understanding of the nuances of Nigerian policing has been instrumental in shaping a more responsive and effective police force.

Since assuming office as the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr Kayode Egbetokun has embarked on a mission to instil a culture of discipline and zero tolerance for corruption within the police force. One of his significant actions was to expose the corruption that tainted the last recruitment of Police Constables by the Police Service Commission (PSC). This bold move not only highlighted his commitment to integrity but also sent a clear message that corruption would not be tolerated under his watch. His efforts have led to a more transparent recruitment process, ensuring that only qualified and deserving candidates are enlisted into the force.

Under his leadership, the police management team has taken significant steps to entrench a culture of accountability and discipline. Egbetokun has initiated several reforms aimed at improving the welfare and professional conduct of police officers. He has also reinforced the importance of community policing, encouraging officers to build trust and cooperation with the communities they serve. These initiatives have started to yield positive results, as evidenced by the increasing public confidence in the police force.

The fight against corruption has been a cornerstone of Egbetokun’s tenure. His zero-tolerance policy towards corruption within the force has been uncompromising. Several high-profile police misconduct cases have been investigated and prosecuted, demonstrating his commitment to purging the force of corrupt elements. This has not only improved the internal discipline of the police but has also enhanced their public image.

The challenges facing Nigeria’s security landscape are vast, ranging from insurgency to banditry and urban crime. IGP Egbetokun’s strategic approach to these challenges has involved a combination of intelligence-led policing and community engagement. His leadership has brought about a more proactive and preventive policing model, which is essential in addressing the root causes of criminality.

As Nigerians, we must rally behind the police in this ongoing battle against criminality and other security challenges. The efforts of IGP Kayode Egbetokun and his team need our support to succeed. By fostering a collaborative relationship between the police and the public, we can create a safer and more secure Nigeria.

No doubt, IGP Kayode Egbetokun’s first year in office has been marked by significant strides towards achieving integrity policing through credible leadership. His career progression and track record of excellence provide a strong foundation for his current role. The reforms and initiatives he has implemented exemplify his commitment to a disciplined, transparent, and accountable police force. As we look to the future, it is clear that under his leadership, the Nigeria Police Force is on a path to becoming a more effective and trusted institution.

Olufemi Lawson is the National Secretary of the Campaign for Democracy (CD).

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