Police shake-up coming to stem rising crime wave

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A massive shake-up is imminent in the police, it was learnt yesterday.

News of the re-organisation was broken at a three-hour meeting of Acting Inspector-General (IG) Mohammed Adamu with senators at the National Assembly.

IG Adamu was invited last weekend by the Senate to brief the Red Chamber on what the police have done to stop killings, kidnapping, banditry, terrorism and other crimes.

The police boss was said to have told the senators that the recent redeployment of top officers were part of efforts to tackle insecurity.

“The IG explained the new postings. He said the nation should expect more postings in the ranks of Deputy Inspectors-General (DIGs), Assistant Inspectors-General (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police (CPs) in few weeks,” a source told The Nation last night.

The source, who pleaded for anonymity because he was not allowed to talk to the media, went on: “The IG spoke on logistics. He solicited the cooperation of all Nigerians in the fight against crimes, particularly kidnapping.”

A senator, who gave an insight into the police chief’s visit, said he was bombarded with questions on the grave security situation.

The senator said: “Two issues agitated us as senators. These are the Boko Haram insurgency and the spate of kidnapping across the country. We asked him to give an assessment and he explained in details. He told us that he is still new as IG and we understood that.”

For about three hours IG Adamu was on the spot at the upper chamber.

The briefing was held behind closed doors “due to the sensitive nature” of the issues under discussion.

Expectedly, the apparent breakdown of law and order in some parts of the North topped the exchange between the lawmakers and the police boss.

A source that was part of the discussion described the presentation of the police boss as “grim”.

The source who said that “it was a session of reality for us”, insisted that “those at the helm of affairs must act fast to rescue the country from looming danger.”

“Questions were asked and answered by the police chief to the best of his ability, I suppose,” the source said, declining to give further details.

He said: “Because the issues are so grim to be discussed on the pages of newspapers. It is a matter of taking steps to address teething security challenges confronting the health of the nation and its security network.

“You can see how the Senate President spoke about the appearance of the police chief. We have to play safe because it is a security matter.

“One thing that must be done and done urgently is that action must be taken where necessary to rescue the nation from the stifling grip of kidnappers and armed bandits. There may be no time to waste.”

The invitation of the police boss followed a motion by Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central), who spoke of increasing cases of banditry and kidnapping, especially on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway.

Immediately the IG arrived at the National Assembly around 11.22am, he was ushered into the chamber around 11.25am by the Clerk to the Senate in the company of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Affairs, Senator Ita Enang.

Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan moved that the Order Paper should be rearranged to enable the Senate take the briefing of the IGP first.

The prayer was unanimously adopted. The briefing lasted till 2.45pm.

Senate President Bukola Saraki, who presided, said: “The Senate, in a closed door session was briefed by the acting IGP on armed banditry, kidnappings, robberies, terrorist activities and other security challenges in the country.

“The police should ameliorate the situation and the challenges. We hereby hope to address the menace squarely.

“He (IGP) promised to address the areas that have to do with discipline of officers that have been found wanting. Efforts will be taken to improve on the situation, particularly on the Abuja-Kaduna axis and also on areas of intelligence and technology.

“The Senate also promised and is committed that it is ready at any time to give assistance to provide adequate funding that is required in order to make the police to be able to combat the necessary threats to our security.”

Adamu told reporters after the briefing that the police would soon recruit 10,000 officers.

He also assured that any policeman found culpable in the alleged raping and molestation of women arrested at various nightclubs will not be spared.

Adamu said: “We are putting in place a strategy that works. The Senate has appreciated what we have presented and they are willing to enhance the strategy. The Senate has agreed to support all our activities to make the country secure.

“Policing is dynamic. The number of personnel we have can never be enough. But the government is trying to recruit every year. This year, we have 10,000 to recruit. We will meet up with the required number.

“The information you got about giving N100 billion to herdsmen to stop killing is from the social media. There was no discussion like that. The source of that information is not yet known. It is somebody’s imagination.

“The raiding of nightclubs in Abuja was done by FCT Task Force. They came out to do their job and they reached out to police to support them and we did that. Women were arrested and convicted. It means that they committed an offence.

“The allegation that some policemen raped and molested them, we will set up a panel to investigate the issues. Anybody caught will face the law.”

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