The present Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Adamu by all standard is a complete gentleman whose training at both the training schools of the Nigerian police and abroad further cemented his gentleness, civility and world outlook. In the last 34 years of his service in the police force, IGP Adamu has never been found wanting or found exhibiting any feeble character traits or untoward behaviours in the discharge of his duties.
At relatively middle officer cadre up to his elevation to the position of IGP, IGP Adamu remains a fine officer of the Nigerian Police who younger ones look up to for guidance. His appointment as IGP by President Muhammadu Buhari on 15th January, 2019 was purely on merit. The commendations widely received by President Muhammadu Buhari from Nigerians of various shades when he appointed him as IGP are clear demonstrations of the capability and ingenuity of Muhammad Adamu.
It beat my imagination when I read an opinion piece written by one Alade Fawole which appeared in The Nation Newspaper of October 19, 2020 titled: “This IGP cannot reform Nigeria Police”. Reading through the entire write up, the impression one gets is either that the writer does not live in Nigeria and so not fully conversant with happenings in this country or is naïve in both his thinking and world outlook, or simply trying to be mischievous.
Mr Alade Fawole started his piece by shooting himself in the foot, so to speak, when he stated: “Let me state my position upfront: it is delusional to imagine that the current Inspector- General of Police can reform the Nigeria police. The IGP is a product of the rotten, deprived, psychopathic, corrupt and anti-people police force which the departed colonialists had purposely created for the subjugation of the people to the will of foreign predators, and was eventually bequeathed to independent Nigeria in all its pristine essence”
By coming up with the above position, Mr Fawole has exhibited his shallowness on matters affecting the Nigerian police. Now if the present IGP is a product of rotten, deprived, psychopathic, corrupt and anti-people police as Mr Fawole would want us to believe, then who among the former IGPs or current IGP’s colleagues or other officers that would come after IGP Adamu cannot be classified and seen as such?. Besides I am yet to see any institution or individual heading any government institution who is not a product of our colonial master. Is the western education which Mr Fawole brags about not a colonial legacy? This is where Mr Fawole shoots himself.
Of course, the anger of Mr Fawole and many who are now protesting against defunct SARS and police brutality in general is fathomable. Yes, the Nigeria Police have their excesses which are uncivilized and against international best practices, but to single out the present IGP and condemn him as being incapable of bringing about the desired reforms in the Nigeria Police is unreasonable and mischievous to say the least.
All what Mr Fawole talked about in his write up geared towards bringing about desired reforms in the police force IGP Adamu has already marshaled them out and in implementation stages.
The new police Tactical Team codenamed “SWAT” designed by IGP Adamu to replace SARS which training of selected personnel commenced on Monday October 19, 2020 addresses virtually all the issues and points raised by Mr Fawole.
According to the statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, the training will involve young, smart, and energetic officers with seven years work experience and clean service records with no pending disciplinary matters and no record of violation of rights of citizens or misuse of firearms.
Furthermore, Mba said that the selected officers shall be subjected to physical fitness test, medical and toxicology screening amongst other screenings, adding that the training would be conducted within very high professional and ethical standards, rule of law and dictates of best international policing practices.
Mba also stressed that resource persons at the training and materials will be provided by International Committee of the Red Cross and other development partners, saying that topics at the training will center on humanitarian laws, police conduct in conflict situation, human rights standard especially in the use of force and firearms, arrest and detention, amongst others.
Indeed, with these lofty plans on reformation of police by IGP Adamu, what else does Mr Fawole or EndSARS protesters require? From the unfolding events, it is clear that the EndSARS protesters, their sponsors and apologists in the media are not after police reforms rather, they are after the fall of President Buhari’s government; If not, what is the rationale behind the continuation of the protest since government has accepted all the demands put forward by the protesters?
Police brutality did not start with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. Uncivilized acts by the police is a worldwide phenomenon as hardly a day passes by without the media reporting one form of brutality or the other by police personnel around the world. America considered as bastion of democracy is not without police brutality. The case of George Floyd is still fresh in our minds. Police viciousness has become a global trend requiring global approach.
What is required of us at this material time is to rally round our leaders since they have already signaled their intension to carry out massive reforms in the police force under the leadership of IGP Adamu. All these show off in the name of EndSARS protests will not take us anywhere. Bitter experience of the Arab spring still lingers in our memories.