OPENING SPEECH BY IGP MOHAMMED A. ADAMU, NPM, mni, DURING CONFERENCE WITH SENIOR POLICE OFFICERS HELD ON 3RD OCTOBER, 2019 AT THE IGP CONFERENCE HALL, FORCE HEADQUARTERS, ABUJA.
I am delighted to welcome you all to the monthly Conference of strategic police managers drawn from the 12 Zonal Police Commands, the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT. The constant engagement of senior police officers occupying strategic administrative and operational portfolios across the country has been one of my management traditions.
It is my firm believe that, in doing this, we shall be able to jointly re-evaluate the internal security outline of the country with a view to assessing which strategies have produced desired outcomes and those that need to be tinkered with to meet national policing requirements.
I am again pleased to note that the national crime profile of the country continues to decline in relation to the previous quarters. This trend is indicative of the effectiveness of our policing strategies which are based on community partnership practices, application of cutting-edge policing technologies and crime management solutions, the engagement and integration of intelligence-led policing standards to our functions at all operational and investigative levels, and an enhanced inter-agency collaboration orientation.
In furtherance to these, the trust gap between the citizens and the Police have been significantly narrowed and the bond to fight and reclaim our communities from the criminals who are our common enemies has been strengthened. In addition, the commitment and capacity of the Nigeria Police to re-dominate the public space and deny criminals the liberty to manifest their heinous crimes has been appreciably boosted.
In consequence, between August 2019 to date, a total of one thousand, one hundred and fifty-one (1,151) high profile suspects have been arrested nationwide. This includes four hundred and seventy (470) armed robbery suspects; two hundred and sixteen (216) kidnap suspects; three hundred and thirty-five (335) suspected cultists, and one hundred and thirty (130) murder suspects.
Furthermore, two hundred and twenty-eight (228) firearms of various descriptions and calibre were recovered in various police operations across the country within the same period. Aside this, two hundred and thirty-one (231) kidnapped victims have been safely rescued and reunited with their families while seventy-five (75) stolen vehicles were also recovered from criminal elements.
We are challenged by these achievements to sustain our tempo. This calls for constant re-evaluation of the dynamics of crime and the re-alignment of our strategies accordingly. In so doing, I am to note that there are still some security challenges which currently require our professional attention and which will constitute part of our discourse during this Conference. In this context, I encourage you all not to relent, but to roll up your sleeves with renewed vigour in the fight against crimes in the country.
The Nigeria Police under our watch, will not only continually emplace strategies that are potent enough to deal with the emerging trends of crime, we are determined to attain this mandate within the dictates of rule of law, uncompromising respect for human rights, and best global policing practices. In this regard, it will be recalled that I have at various fora confirmed our determination to adopt less-lethal approaches and equipment in our policing duties. This is with the intention of ensuring that the sacred lives of the citizens whom we swore to serve and protect are not endangered in the line of our duties.
It is in furtherance to this that I initiated actions towards the acquisition and deployment of electro-muscular disruption technology-based weaponry which is commonly known as Taser or Stun Guns for low-risk police operations. This is with the intention of addressing public concerns on misuse of firearms by the Police with its attendant consequences on lives and effect on the attainment of our community policing vision.
In addition, special trainings are being organised for the Special Units of the Police including the Police Mobile Force, Special Forces, Counter-Terrorism Unit, Anti-Robbery detachments, Anti-Kidnapping Squads and the Criminal Investigation Operatives. This is with the intention of equipping them with the right orientation for policing in the 21st Century and to align their operations within the expectations of the law and the citizens.
In order to situate our vision in this regard to the standards of democratic policing, which is hinged on the protection of fundamental human rights, it is considered expedient that Force Order 237 which defines our Rules of Engagement (RoE) be reviewed, standardised and simplified.
I am delighted to announce that with the support of our local and internal partners, we have successfully completed the process of reviewing the document and today, we shall be formally launching the Revised Force Order 237 (RFO) which is not only comprehensive and modernised but simplified for ease of comprehension by all members of the Force. The launch of the first two thousand (2,000) copies of the document will be undertaken in the course of this meeting.
We are immensely grateful to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Swiss Government, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and AIG Austin Iwar (rtd) among others who collaborated with the Nigeria Police towards achieving this feat.
The upcoming elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States will again put our professionalism and doggedness to test. Let me seize this opportunity to assure all citizens and stakeholders, including the international community of our determination to work with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in creating conducive and enabling environment that will guarantee the peaceful conduct of the elections.
While assuring law abiding citizens and stakeholders of their safety during the elections, let me warn all political actors who may want to adopt undemocratic and illegal means to achieve their aspirations to bury such thoughts now or be prepared to face the consequences, as they will be identified, isolated and made to face the wrath of the law.
Therefore, parents and guardians are strongly advised to caution their children and wards not to allow themselves to be used to undermine the democratic process in the two States. Politics is a game and it should be driven by service-orientation, patriotism, and overriding national security interest rather than unrestrained narrow and desperate individual considerations. All political actors and stakeholders are, accordingly, admonished to play the political game in accordance with the law and democratic norms.
The year is gradually running down and as the lead internal security agency, I must remind you all of your critical role in projecting and strengthening the security architecture in your Commands towards ensuring that anticipated security threats are prevented in the most professional manner.
While this shall form part of our discussion at this meeting, my charge to you is to return to your Commands and evolve strategies and implementation plans that will be based on the broad framework to be reviewed here today and submit your End of the Year Security Operational Plans to my Office through the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of Operations. To complement your efforts, I can assure that we shall soon re-launch and deploy new fleet of patrol vehicles under the Safer Highway Scheme to highways and other identified vulnerable points in your Commands.
Overall, I am encouraged by your commitment to duty and your determination to align with my leadership vision in relation to the adoption of community-led and intelligence-driven policing standards in the attainment of our internal security mandate. The idea is directed at preventing crime before it is manifested or developing and deploying our unique capacity to detect and mitigate such should they become manifest.
In this regard, I recognise and commend the commitment of the Commissioners of Police in Katsina, Zamfara, Kano, Niger and Kaduna States who have been providing quality professional leadership and making great sacrifices for their commands in the war against bandits, kidnappers and other heinous criminals. There efforts have stabilised the security situation in their Commands to a commendable level.
I also, particularly, commend the efforts of the Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command, CP Danmallam Mohammed and the State Anti Kidnapping Squad for their professionalism, dedication to duty and for imbibing the doctrines and practice of intelligence-led policing. CP Danmallam has been exceptional in his ability to key into our policing vision of utilising actionable technical intelligence towards preventing and cracking several high-profile crimes in his Command. Through this, he has succeeded in proactively arresting several terror elements, kidnappers and armed robbery syndicates with significant recovery of firearms.
I encourage you all to use this forum to undertake professional peer review and draw on the strategies and experiences of these officers towards strengthening your operational efficiency. This represents the major objective of a forum of this nature.
On our part, we shall continue to provide the requisite guidance, logistics, broad strategies, and other forms of professional support that will motivate you and your personnel to sustain your sense of commitment to duty. It is in furtherance to this that we have approved the establishment of a Nigeria Police Skills Acquisition Centre (SAC) in Kaduna State to equip serving and retiring officers with vocational and business skills they can utilise in their post-service lives. I can assure that more welfare-oriented policies shall be emplaced in due course with a view to addressing concerns that distract serving personnel from optimal professional service delivery.
Let me conclude by expressing my deep appreciation to the citizens of this country for their relentless support, trust, encouragement and cooperation. There is no doubt that as we continue to join hands together as a formidable team in confronting our common enemies, victory is assured against those who are bent on assaulting our cherished tradition of peace.
I thank you all most sincerely for your attention and pray that Allah (SWT) continues to guide and protect you all in the service to our great nation (Amen).