It is with total reverence of the Almighty Allah (SWT) and deep appreciation of President Muhammadu Buhari, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who considered me worthy of appointment that I humbly address you today as the 20th indigenous Inspector General of Police. My appointment represents a call to duty and a charge to restore the dwindling primacy of the Nigeria Police Force within the internal security architecture of our beloved country.
2. Ladies and gentlemen, commanding the largest Police Force in Africa, particularly, at this crucial time that the country is faced with multi-faceted security challenges and at the peak of preparations for the general elections, is undoubtedly an arduous task. However, it remains a fact that the Force is blessed with some of the finest officers anywhere in the world that are not only intellectually gifted and exceptionally dedicated, but professionally sound enough to surmount these tasks if the right leadership is provided.
3. Amongst you seated in this hall today are some of such thorough-bred and passionate professionals who can hold their own among their peers and have consistently distinguished themselves in complex national and international engagements. All that you desire, from my experience, is a transparent, responsive, motivational, accountable, and knowledgeable leader who will not only treat you with the dignity you deserve in your line of duty, but who is sensitive to your welfare, needs and fair in the manner your promotion and other reward regimes are addressed. The absence of this level of leadership has always been the missing link in policing in Nigeria
4. It is my firm conviction, therefore, that if the quality personnel potentials of the Force are blended with purposeful and motivational leadership at strategic levels within the organizational hierarchy of the Force, the lost glory of the Nigeria Police Force which remains a concern to governments at all levels, citizens, human rights groups, the international community and indeed well-meaning officers and men of the Force shall be restored.
5. With my appointment and assumption of duty, i am determined to draw on my national and international policing leadership experience to bridge this missing link. I assure you on this day that I will provide the highest possible level of professional and responsible leadership for you while trusting that you shall march hand-in-hand with me as dependable professional colleagues, to advance the fortunes of the Force. I demand that you henceforth resolve to abstain from conducts that will drag the Police into disrepute and put your career in jeopardy, and join me in the common course of changing the narratives of policing in the country for good. In giving effect to this, in the coming days, I shall unfold before you and the nation the strategic focus of my leadership.
6. In the interim, let me use this opportunity, ladies and gentlemen, to quickly remind you that aside our routine operations, we have within the short term, two major national assignments where our professionalism and commitment to duty will once again be subjected to national and international scrutiny. First, is the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections on 16 February, 2019 and second is the Governorship, State Assembly, and Federal Capital Territory Area Council Elections on Saturday 2nd March 2019
7. These national engagements are of immediate priority to my leadership and, hence, in the next few days, the nation shall witness concerted police deployments and other activities which will all be directed at ensuring quality election security service delivery by the Police, being the lead agency in election security management. While with your support, I am confident that we have the operational capacity to ensure the success of both exercises, i am not unaware of the possible security threat that some misguided political actors and their followers may attempt to pose during the general elections.
8. To such elements, I must sound a note of warning that as a nation, we have had enough of electoral violence. Hence while the Nigeria Police under my watch shall work with the Independent National Electoral Commission and sister security agencies in guaranteeing a peaceful and secure space for all political parties and the citizens to freely exercise their electoral rights, we shall not hesitate to identify, isolate and bring to deserved justice any person or group that attempts to threaten our sacred democratic order
9. To the unrepentant felons that may want to put our common will to test, the message is being relayed here loud and clear that in securing the law abiding citizens during the elections, we shall not hesitate to deploy our potent assets to deal firmly and decisively with electoral deviants. Consequently i call on political actors to assist the Police and other law enforcement agencies in sustaining the gains recorded in our democratic journey. They should always remember that politics is a game guided by rules and it behooves them to play the game within the dictates of such rules. On our part, we assure the nation of our determination to play our roles fairly but firmly towards guaranteeing a peaceful electoral process and a credible outcome.
10. Let me end this inaugural address by assuring the citizens that I am mindful of their yearnings for a policing system that will not only assure them of their safety, but treat them with civility and hold their rights sacred. While I promise on behalf of officers of the Force that their deserved aspirations will be met henceforth, I also call on the citizens to work with the police in the interest of community safety and national security
11. I am similarly not oblivious of the concerns of the Federal government on the Nigeria Police. I am mindful of the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari is desirous of bequeathing a citizens-friendly, operationally efficient and ethically-guided police system to the country. His Excellency envisions a Police Force that will take the lead in internal security operations engage intelligence-led, technology-supported and community driven policing principles in the attainment of its mandate, and play an active role with the Armed Forces in restoring civil authority in the North East. I assure the country that I will provide the requisite leadership for the Nigeria Police to meet these expectations and address the concerns.
12. Finally, on behalf of the Nigeria Police Force, I immensely thank our out-going IGP Ibrahim idris for his professional service to our Fatherland and wish him a very fulfilling future engagement. I can assure him that much as he is leaving the police institution, we shall not allow him leave the Police Family as we shall continue to disturb his retirement in order to draw from his rich fountain of professional knowledge. To you, my officers and men, I call on you to continue to support me with prayers and informed pieces of advice so that this journey we are commencing together today shall lead us to the desired destination.
13. I thank you all and pray that may Allah (SWT) continue to protect you, the officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force, as we rededicate ourselves to the service of our Fatherland