From John-Abba Ogbodo (Abuja), Isa Abdulsalami (Jos) and Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna)
THE meeting was devoid of the usual exchange of banters. From his mood at the parley at the Force Headquarters yesterday, the police chiefs present if they had not appreciated the magnitude of the task before them, must have known better after the drilling by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar.
It was a meeting that may have also revealed the burden the police boss bears and his fiery side.
Once the meeting started, the IGP told the officers that the number one on the agenda of the security meeting was restoring peace in Plateau State without further delay and tackling immediately the security challenges in the country.
To underscore his position, Abubakar told the police chiefs that they have till August 10, 2012 to present to his office the new strategies they have evolved to curb criminality in their jurisdiction.
Turning to the police chiefs in Plateau State, the IGP ordered them to within two weeks, submit to him novel policing techniques that will bring lasting peace to the troubled state.
Abubakar, who specifically addressed the officers by their names, told the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) for Zone 4, Mike Zuokumor and the Commissioner of Police in Plateau State, Emmanuel Ayeni, to within two weeks work out new security arrangements that would lead to the end of the crisis in the state.
The only time Abubakar praised the police officers was when he hailed their conduct during the July 14, 2012 governorship polls in Edo State and a recognition of some policemen, who had upheld the best traditions of the force.
After that, he returned to the business of the day with a warning to henceforth sanction any commissioner of police who failed to apply modern techniques in crime prevention and detection in their areas.
“I must reiterate our commitment to the ongoing security arrangements and other efforts aimed at restoring peace in Plateau State. The Plateau State Command and all police personnel deployed on special duties to the troubled parts of the state must gear up to the challenges of security in the state and see that normalcy is restored as soon as possible.
“To this end, I now direct the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 4 Command, AIG Mike Zuokumor and the Commissioner of Police, Plateau State, CP Emmanuel Ayeni, to immediately commence efforts targeted at restructuring and evolving effective security strategies to address the security challenges in Plateau State. Such efforts must illustrate practicable and realistic solutions as well as specific and holistic designs on a short, medium and long-term with time frames for their realisation. You must let me know before the close of work on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 what new things we must do to restore permanent peace to Plateau State,’’ he charged.
All state commissioners of police and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), he said must improve on their crime prevention and detection efforts by working out new strategies and warned that he would not spare any commissioner who stuck to traditional methodologies without results.
Abubakar said: “Let me charge you all to step up your operations and crime prevention activities in all states of the federation. Our policing strategies must be subject to constant review as criminals evolve new methods of committing crimes. I will, therefore, not take kindly with commissioners of police who stick to traditional policing methodologies, which no longer yield desired results without taking new initiatives to combat emerging trends of criminal activities. Neither will I tolerate lukewarmness, docility, incompetence and lack of capacity to drive the reform agenda of this administration, by any command commissioner of police.’’
Abubakar reminded the officers that bail is still free and warned them against subjecting Nigerians to bail conditions outside those statutorily allowed by the law. He charged the senior police officers to take the message to all police formations in the country and get back to him through signals not later than Friday, August 10, 2012.
He noted that the peaceful conduct of the Edo governorship election was a testimony to improvement in policing in Nigeria and pledged that the force would replicate the feat in subsequent elections in the country.
Also yesterday, the Senate President David Mark charged security operatives to improve on their strategies against the challenges facing Nigeria.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, Mark noted that the security situation had become intolerable and called for collective action against the menace.
Mark gave the admonition when he decorated the police outrider in his office, who was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mr. Isah Usman.
Mark also described as unkind the attack on the Zaria residence of Vice President Namadi Sambo and urged the perpetrators of the act to have re-think.
He empathised with Sambo on the incident and reminded all aggrieved citizens that the doors of the Federal Government were open for dialogue.
The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has also condemned the attack by gunmen on Sambo’s house and the multiple bomb blasts in Sokoto and Kano states. It said the situation called for sober reflection by both the suicide bombers and other Nigerians on observing the sanctity of the Ramadan.
In a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the group said it received with shock the orchestrated multiple bomb attacks and gun shootings in Sokoto and Kano states, and also Zaria, Kaduna State,” saying “these call for sober reflection on our actions and inactions in Nigeria.”
Aliyu said it was sad that at Ramadan, some persons were bent on causing chaos and unrest to Muslims and prayed Allah to grant quick recovery to the injured and forgive those who lost their lives.
Similarly, Governor Jonah Jang has urged Nigerian leaders to be nationalistic and unbiased in their approach to the fight against terrorism. He frowned at the divisive tendencies among various ethnic groups in the country, saying they were inimical to national unity.
Jang told members of the North Central Caucus of the House of Representatives, who were in Jos to commiserate with him over the recent killings in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local councils, where Senator Gyang Dantong and the House of Assembly Majority Leader, Gyang Fulani, died to review the 1999 Constitution to meet the expectations of the people, noting that the present document was a military constitution.
While decrying terrorism in the zone, the governor lamented that all the persons caught for funding terrorist attacks or taking part in them had never been made to serve jail terms.
He said without taking such stringent measures, “no reasonable success would be made to address the thorny issue of terrorism in the country.”
Meanwhile, the Plateau State Police Command has said that it had not gone to sleep because of the relative peace in the state.
The command’s Police Public Relations Officer, Abuh Emmanuel, said the policemen had been placed on the alert to arrest any untoward situation.
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