Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked Usman Alkali Baba, Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), to justify the confidence President Muhammadu Buhari has in him.
Buhari had on Tuesday approved the appointment of Baba.
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The Vice President, while speaking at the event where Baba was decorated, said the acting IGP assumed office at a turbulent time.
He said police officers currently work in “extremely difficult conditions” facing the threat of physical harm by terrorists and hostile non state actors while in the line of duty.
The Vice President, who highlighted areas that should be of interest to the new Acting IGP, said the appointment of Baba as most the senior qualified and eligible officer would give him access to other contemporaries with vast experience.
He said: “IG, you are assuming office at a very turbulent time in the life of our people. There are multiple threats to law, order and public safety. The role of law enforcement and particular that of the police force as primary agency charged with maintaining law and order has never been more important. The police is our institution of first resort, the first line of defence against crime and anarchy and the first sign of the strength of the state.”
“The challenges before you are indeed onerous and will test your mettle, the organisation you are leading is one that is itself facing several challenges. Your officers work still in extremely difficult conditions. And some face the threat of physical harm by terrorists, hostile non state actors while in the line of duty but they have lived up to expectations.
“There is no question at all that there is a lot that needs to be done. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. Under your leadership, the police must now rebuild in some ways, the broken bridges of trust to the public and regain the confidence of the citizenry. This is an ongoing challenge, an ongoing task that the police force and all of the senior members of the police force must take on as a responsibility, that of the continual process of building trust to the Nigerian people.
“One of the ways you can do this is by implementing the community policing policy which had already taken off and reconceptualizing policing as a task carried out in partnership with local communities and by officers who are members of these localities.
“Under your leadership, the force must live up to all of the highest standards of professional conduct and compliance with the rule of law. It must significantly improve the welfare and working conditions of its officers. While rapidly scaling on its forensic, logistical and operational capacities to meet today’s challenges.
“You must stamp out the excesses and abuses and the culture of impunity, demonstrated by some elements of the force which provoke public outrage against institution. In short, your mission is nothing less than the restoration of dignity and high repute of the policing professional and the continuous oiling of that machinery of the police force that enables it to be one that is respected by the populace and by the international community.
“The testimony of your pedigree and your career thus far is that you are up to the task. The administration stands ready to work with you to reposition the NPF and take it to unprecedented height of professionalism, competence and excellence.
“I therefore welcome you as a key partner to this administration’s comprehensive programme of reform aimed at repositioning the Nigeria Police Force as a modern, responsive and citizen centred law enforcement service. We all expect that you will justify the confidence that Mr. President has reposed in you, enable you to lead the force in these times. I congratulate you once more on behalf of Mr. President, and his cabinet. I wish you all the very best in your tenure.”