By Kelvin Adegbenga
“Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness” – Napoleon Hill
The position of the Police Service Commission is vacant due to the resignation of the former Chairman. There is a vacancy for the exalted seat and it needs someone with integrity, ingenuity, and sagacity to turn around the PSC.
These are attributes the retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni has and he will put to use if appointed the chairman of the Police Service Commission.
Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni is made of sterner stuff, little wonder he was able to manage the herculean responsibility of overseeing some 1300 police stations, 370,800 men and women, 36 state commands, 12 Zones, and 7 administrative organs with effortless excellence as though he was born for the job.
He is the first former Inspector General of Police in Nigeria’s history to publicly declare his assets. He even received a commendation from the Code of Conduct Bureau for complying with the Asset Declaration regulations.
Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni served credibly in the United Nations for eight years. Making him the foremost police officer in Nigeria with a wealth of experience and polished policing with utmost credibility. When a coalition of civil society of Nigeria fighting against corruption led by HRM Goodluck Obi (Convener Civil Society Interface with IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni) paid a courtesy visit to the then IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni on December 9, 2016, to mark the United Nations Anti-Corruption Day, the IGP said and I quote “In United Nations, you declare your assets on yearly basis, so throughout my 8 years in United Nations, I declared my assets. So I did not hesitate to declare my asset when I was appointed and confirmed as substantive Inspector General of Police.”
Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni was selected from among the eligible senior police officers because he was the only one who passed the integrity test secretly conducted by the presidency. He completely repositioned the force to arguably the most efficient police force in our recent history.
Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni launched a move of “Change Begins with Me” in all the Police commands across the country. Making training of all Police personnel his priority. The Nigeria Police personnel have received training on human rights and police-citizen relations, anti-corruption within and without the police force, and several other pieces of training in the 12 Zones of Police Command.
The last time policemen were seen as heroes was when men of the force arrested Lawrence Anini, a bandit who terrorized Benin in the 1980s along with his side-kick, Monday Osunbor. A crack 10-man team led by Superintendent of Police Kayode Uanreroro, on December 3, 1986, brought the menace called Anini to an end.
Exactly 30 years after retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni by the instrument of witty and well-polished policing brought one of the world’s most notorious kidnappers to his knees and his reign to an end, Chukwudi Dumeme Onuamadike, popularly known as Evans.
In February 2017, the IGP Special Squad freed, Professor Peter Breunig, a German Archaeologist kidnapped by bandits in Southern Kaduna, and his associate, Johannes Burger in what was a major success in the fight against kidnapping. The Police also secured the release of Major General Alfred Nelson, the Deputy High Commissioner of Sierra Leone to Nigeria who was kidnapped by men of the underworld.
The capture and killing of armed robbery kingpin, Henry Chibueze who terrorized the South East region of the country from his den in Imo State is another landslide achievement of the IGP
Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni provided security cover for air travelers to and from Kaduna, during the temporary closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. He deployed 350 policemen to ensure the security of passengers along the Kaduna-Abuja expressway and aerial surveillance by police helicopters which assisted in checking criminal activities in the area during the period.
He ensured that police checkpoints scattered across the country are taken down. This order has since taken effect and has affected all the states except checkpoints within states where extraordinary measures are still in place in response to attacks blamed on the Boko Haram sects, recurring herdsmen/farmers clashes or the menace of kidnapping. This he did to put decency and order to national policing, Regular patrols by well-motivated police personnel have effectively replaced these checkpoints.
The lawlessness of detaining suspects in the police cell without charge for more than 24 hours has been discontinued while the law on detention of persons is currently being strictly applied; these also accrue to the retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni.
Another thought provoking achievement of this great IGP is the leading role he played in establishing inter-agency cooperation to make Nigeria more safe and secure. He has strengthened the relationship between the police force and other sister security agencies through courtesy visits to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Chief of Air Staff (CAS), the Comptroller General of Customs, Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other relevant organizations.
Moreover, the retired Inspector General established the Eminent Persons Group across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT with a view to engaging all relevant stakeholders; traditional rulers, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), Market Women Association, National Union of Road Transport (NURTW) and many others to make inputs into how society can become safer and more secure.
Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni is the first Inspector General of police to create the stage for mutuality/ cordiality between the police and civil society (Both parties are traditional rivals who never saw eye ball to eye ball and had lived largely like lion and hyena over time) through his program “Civil Society interface with IGP”, the first meeting took place on the 20th of February 2017 in Ikeja of Lagos where HRM Goodluck Obi led the civil society to one of the most celebrated meetings between both parties.
“We are building a new police that is owned by Nigerians. We want a new strategy that will define policing from a different paradigm. It’s a challenge, but we are up to the task, retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni said.
Consequent upon this meeting the IGP has introduced continual training of officers on Human Rights, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Anti-corruption to enhance the capacity of the Nigeria Police Force, this is periodically done across the 12 police zonal command in Nigeria, the first was held simultaneously across the 12 commands on the 19th – 21st October 2016.
The retired IGP as a trained, polished and intelligent police officer held on to the value of on the job training he became the first ever IGP in Nigeria to introduce police security summit periodically in various region of Nigeria. 4th August 2017, Lagos State for South West, theme: Providing Strategic Solutions Emergent Security Challenges, The Essentials Of Synergy Among Security Agencies And The Civil Populace. 3rd October 2017, Akwa ibom State for South-South. Theme: Insecurity: Socio-Economic Impacts And Conflicts’ Resolution Perspective. 8th February 2018, Kaduna for Northern zone, theme: Nation Building: Security Challenges And The Need For Inclusive Approach.
Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni was not oblivious to the loyalty of his officers and men, consequently he placed high premium on their welfare as a way of encouraging them to do more. He commenced the Police Housing and mortgage projects in many States through PPP arrangements for the construction of affordable mass housing for the officers and men of the force. Unlike in the past when policemen went on strike over their entitlements, officers got their salaries and allowances as and when due.
The Police Trust Fund Act was the brain child of Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni. The Police Mortgage Bank was also his idea.
Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni as a gender friendly Police officer, ensured the posting of Female Officers in Command Positions in States and it is boosting the morale of female Police officers.
Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni as IGP then, operates Open Door Policy; he received different groups across the country on courtesy like irrespective of tribes religion and ethnicity.
Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni in his keynote address on Tuesday January 30th 2018 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during the 9th General Assembly of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, said his “successes” in the police was because of a code of conduct for police officers, which he said he successfully “institutionalised”.The code is otherwise called ‘Our Creed’.
“This code of conduct for police officers has succeeded in eliminating all forms of illegal and unlawful conducts that are not in conformity with the principles of democratic policing…” The then IGP Idris said.
With the above achievements, there is no doubt that Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, NPM, mni deserves to be appointed as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission.
I will end this write up with the words of Dr. Anil Kumar Sinha – “When you reach your goal, move onto the next one without pausing and reflecting on what you’ve accomplished. After all achieving a goal is a major accomplishment. It’s a big deal. Allow yourself the time and space to acknowledge the feeling, Celebrate and then get ready for your next challenge”
Kelvin Adegbenga is a public affairs analyst based in Abuja.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter @kelvinadegbenga