IGP Mohammed Adamu’s Giant Strides On Police Reform

By Adewole Kehinde

Before I take on the giant strides of the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, I will like to talk on his biography.

Mohammed Abubakar Adamu was born on 17 September 1961 and enlisted into the Nigerian Police Force in 1986, after graduating from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with a Bachelor’s Degree (Hons) in Geography. He also holds a Master’s Degree in International Criminal Justice System from the University of Portsmouth, England.

Between 1983 and 1984, Adamu had his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Wamba, Nasarawa State and taught Geography at Government Teachers College, Wamba, Plateau State, during the one-year service, then in 1984 — 1986, he was appointed as Geography tutor and later promoted to Vice Principal at Government Day Secondary School, Gunduma, Keffi, Plateau State, but presently in Nasarawa State.

Few years later, he joined the Nigeria Police Force as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police in 1986, and trained at the Police College in Ikeja, Lagos State where he worked as the Divisional Crime & Administrative Officer at the Mgbidi Police Station in Mgbidi, Imo State. He served at many levels such as Officer in charge of General Investigation at the NPF Zone 6 Headquarters in Calabar.

Adamu also has extensive international experience, he worked at Interpol’s NCB in Lagos from 1989-1997. He was the first Nigerian to be seconded to Interpol General Secretariat, Lyon in 1997 where he served as Specialized Officer in Economic and Financial Crime, Sub-Directorate from 1997- 2002. He became the first black African to be appointed Assistant Director in charge of African Sub-Directorate from 2002-2005. He was again the first African in the history of INTERPOL to serve as Director when he was appointed Director of NCB Services and I-24/7 Development from 2005-2007.

When he returned to Nigeria, he appointed as Director in charge of Peace-keeping and Training at the Nigeria Police Headquarters, Abuja. Between 2013 and 2015 he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police and Commissioner of Police in Enugu State Command.

He was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on 15 January 2019 replacing Ibrahim Kpotun Idris (rtd) of Niger State. Mohammed Adamu hails from Lafia, in Nasarawa State.

He brings into the office 33 years of unbroken record of service experience gained from both here in Nigeria and at the Interpol Headquarters at Lyon, France where he spent more than a decade representing Nigeria. His Resume, professional dexterity and performances and impeccable character easily convinced Mr. President that he is the right person to wear the Cap of the 20th IGP.

The policy and operational environments under which Adamu took over from the former IGP Ibrahim K. Idris changed slightly from that time to the present.

Some of the key policy changes that took place include the re-establishment of the Ministry of Policy Affairs and appointment of Minister of Police Affairs, the passage of Policy Reform and Police Trust Fund Bills by the National Assembly and their Assent by President Muhammadu Buhari and the introduction and gradual implementation of Community Policing Strategy by IGP Adamu.

These key policy changes were made to provide the right enabling environment for effective and efficient operationalization of Policing Reform Agenda of this administration; in search for an enhanced and robust provision of Police services in the country to address the myriad cases of insecurity facing the country over the years.

Thus, one of the many operational challenges that IGP Adamu confronted was the issue of conducting the 2019 General Elections with just 38 days to the start of Nigeria’s most highly engaged Presidential contest and other levels of general elections across the country.

These include Gubernatorial, Senate, House of Representatives and States Houses of Assembly. Subsequent supplementary inconclusive and off-Season elections were similarly successfully conducted according to their respective schedules established by the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC).

These elections were not without security breaches and challenges perpetrated by political thugs under the sponsorships of politicians here and there. But, nevertheless, progress was made in dealing with those challenges.

These herculean tasks were all accomplished by the IGP Adamu with his team and in collaboration with other National Security Services within the then existing policy and operational environments vacated by the former IGP Ibrahim Idris.

Having successfully completed the conduct of the General Elections, IGP Adamu focused on confronting the other security challenges especially those posed by rural armed bandits on the one hand; whereby armed bandits continue to terrorize rural folks – particularly farmers and herders. Very sad situations whereby, rural settlements are raided; people killed, kidnapped, raped and maimed and properties destroyed and stolen, cattle rustled and billions of naira collected as ransom money by the bandit kidnappers.

On the other hand, he was similarly confronted with the nefarious, barbaric and deadly activities of well-armed highway and urban kidnappers and robbers. These are all in addition to the activities of the dreadful Boko Haram and other organized militants, cults and regionally-biased armed terror groups.

Confronting these multifarious groups of insurgents was already being done by the combined forces of the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Police and other paramilitary agencies pooled together; under various operational task forces and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Advisor to the President (ONSA).

IGP Adamu unfolded a grand policy and strategy for dealing with these internal security challenges head-on. He pronounced Community Policing as his preferred policy framework of tackling the various domestic security challenges facing the country. Similarly, he put in place Operation Puff-Adar as his operational strategy.

Hence, he toured the country to intimate and enlighten his operational command officers, police formations, the general public and key stakeholders across the nation’s socio-cultural, religious and political landscapes of this policy and the strategy of accomplishing it.

He particularly sought the support and understanding of his then Minister of Internal Affairs, Retired Lieutenant-General Abdulrahaman Dambazzau, the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the leaders of the National Assembly.

All things being equal, IGP Adamu was not unmindful of the grim fact that the NPF faces severe problems of inadequate funding, inadequate number of police personnel and operational equipment; vehicles, aircrafts, boats, communication gadgets and training and general welfare of the officers, men and women; including poor salary and inadequate office and residential accommodation facilities etc and equally, the indiscipline prevailing in the NPF itself.

Addressing these soft challenges necessitated the re-establishment of the Ministry of Police Affairs by President Muhamadu Buhari when he reconstituted his cabinet on August 21, 2019

Hence, a Minister of Police Affairs was equally appointed in the person of Alhaji Muhammed Maigari Dingyadi from Sokoto State. This masterstroke by Mr. President provides IGP Adamu the much needed political leverage for moving his reform agenda of the NPF to the next-level of sustainable implementation and delivery; to the great expectations of the Nigerian populace.

All these developments could not have been possible without the generous support and confidence being received by IGP Adamu from President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly, the Nigerian public and the international community.

The seeming friction between the Police Service Commission (PSC) and Force Headquarters, office of the IGP particularly on the issue of police recruitment exercise was finally resolved through judicial intervention in favour of the Office of the IGP.

This healthy development further creates favourable enabling environment for the two important arms of the management of the Police affairs, together with the newly re-established Police Affairs Ministry to work in a seamless, cordial and collaborative manner; each working within its statutory mandates for the overall benefit of enhancing the internal security of the nation.

All the accomplishments in office by IGP Adamu were made possible largely as a result of the new solid enabling policy, institutional reform and leadership acumen brought and put in place bythr IGP.

These also could not have been possible without the ample support and confidence provided to him by Mr. President and other key stakeholders during the period in review. This is a great feat indeed.

Building on the strength of the progress made thus far, there is the need to further deepen the holistic reform initiative and its agenda in order to address some of the emerging issues that cropped up recently.

Also, building on the strength of the progress made thus far, there is the need to extend the tenure of IGP Muhammed Adamu.

The extension will afford him to hasten the full rollout of the Community Policing mode of establishment and operation across the country without further delay.

Using the Electoral Ward Units as the basic geographical or spatial units of organizing Community Policing is the surest way of preventing it from being hijacked by politicians with inordinate ambitions of turning it into something else different from its intended purposes.

Furthermore, it will enable him to put the necessary organizational and other structures for the immediate take-off of the Police Trust Fund Bill signed into law by Mr. President.

Doing this will go a long way in providing the much needed money for implementing the lofty Police Reform agenda in all its ramifications.

Lastly, although IGP Mohammed Adamu will be clocking 35 years in service by February, 2021 and will be due for retirement in line with the tradition of the Force, but since President Muhammadu Buhari had recently extended the tenures of the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Boboye Oyeyemi; the Comptroller -General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede and the Commandant-General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Muhammadu Gana, it will be appropriate the tenure of the Inspector General of Police, IGP Muhammad Adamu.

Adewole Kehinde is the Publisher of Swift Reporters based in Abuja and can be reached via 08166240846