By: Okosun Dennis
The Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba narrowly escaped been hurt at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja on Wednesday as a heavy rainstorm with turbulent wind wrecked havoc, damaged vehicles and pulled the canopy under which the IGP sat before it collapsed it on the chair he was sitting.
IGP Baba who had arrived the police headquarters about 1340hours after about four hours delay in what was described as courtesy visit to the Oba of Lagos and the Governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Swiftly after he took the salute at the Quarter Guard, he proceeded to the Commissioner of Police’s office, CP Hakeem Odumosu.
About half an hour later, he arrived the well decorated stage where he was expected to address the men and journalists that had thronged the place. Minutes after he took the national anthem than the sky began to change and became cloudy.
Within splits of seconds, the weather had changed and the rain began to drizzle followed by torrential rain that turned the beautifully decorated platform into a complete mess
Fortunately, his body guard were able to whisk him away into safety in the Commissioner of Police office.
After over an hour of heavy downpour, the platform was rearrange for the IGP Usman briefing to commence.
Addressing the over 500 policemen consisting of officers and the rank and file, IGP Usman Baba intimated them with the thrust of office to include professionalism and the need to maintain standards in the force noting that the Nigerian Police job is not like the vigilante work that permits a lot of unprofessional conducts.
“You must be professional in checking crime; be thorough and be concerned about details when it comes to investigations.
“You don’t punish as a police officer. You must separate punishment from prosecution. Importantly, while carrying out your responsibilities as a policeman, be mindful to drive human Right aspect of policing. Avail the suspect some rights as much as permissible.
“We should adopt intelligence led investigation. You have to key into modern technology or native intelligence in your investigation. Always access the situation very well before you carry out any raid. Carry out extensive intelligence through the use of technology or otherwise.
“However, I don’t like armchair policing. Involve yourself in getting adequate intelligence before going on patrol to avoid an ambush,” IGP Usman explained.
On community policing, he lauded the efforts of the Lagos State as having the largest number of community policing but observed that they should be restricted to the community where they came from.
On welfare of Police officers, IGP Usman explained that he was vigorously working towards having a robust welfare package for them and ensure that their pensions would be enhanced when they leave the service.
“We are using the police trust fund to take care of those aspects including logistics. We are doing everything within our powers to procure sophisticated equipment.”
While emphasising the need to be disciplined which constitute a veritable platform to excel in the service, IGP Usman was quick to say that he would during his administration deemphasize godfatherism and special promotion for any officer, adding that anyone that did well deserves to be rewarded but could be done through others ways apart from promotion.
“If you don’t have discipline in the service, you will have problem. Where we need to reward, we would do and where we need to punish, we will punish. You motivate if you reward. However, we would not transfer you as a means of punishment during my administration.
“Special promotion brings indiscipline. It is not a reward but has become Godfatherism. You will not see us doing it,” he reiterated.
Maintaining his ground on the ban on road block across the country, he emphasized that despite the benefit of serving as a veritable platform to check crime and criminality, it has been abused hence it has to stop.
“Road block is a good means to prevent crime and criminality but it has become unpopular as it has been abused. Under this government, we don’t encourage road block. “Stop and Search” is also been abused.
“Stop and Search” has nothing to do with checking vehicles particulars but must follow the guidelines strictly. It is still not a veritable way of crime prevention.
“Keep your local training and stimulation exercise very important. We may not have enough facilities and the money to effectively carry out training but live within your local training.
“We have time to guard people and pursue money but have no time for training. Police work is not about the English language you can speak or how much you can express yourself but strictly based on professional prowess. Police work is a profession, therefore, you must improve yourself,” IGP Usman added.
IGP Usman Alkali Baba, is on a three days working visit to Lagos. He will continue his assignments in Lagos State tomorrow Thursday 10th June, 2021and departs the state to Abuja on Friday 11th, June, 2021.