IGP Alkali: Responding to distress calls

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The Nigeria Police have been in the spotlight as security situation in the country continues to deteriorate in the second tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari. Because of this, many Nigerians have come out tocriticise the police for not taking proactive measures against crimes and criminal elements in the country.

But when IGP Baba Usman Alkali entered the centre stage of the Nigeria security outfit, his compatriots began to witness a decrease in crimes that had pervaded the country like a malevolent rainstorm.

Under IGP Alkali, Nigerians have every reason to regard the police as their friends, as officers and men of the force respond to theirdistress calls promptly because work tools had been provided to them by the IGP and other state governments.

Taking into consideration inadequate facilities available to the personnel, the shrewd crime expert, IGP Alkali, stressed the importance of equipping the force with modern working tools. No wonder he says when anyone is criticising the  police due to the general insecurity in Nigeria, there is need to consider what provisions have been made to create an enabling environment for its officers.

“It is often easy to stand behind the glass house, or stay in our comfort zones to criticise the Nigeria Police.

“The question we need to ask ourselves at this stage in our nation’s evolution is, ‘What have we contributed towards adding value to ourpolicing and security of the people?”

IGP Alkali stated this in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital, at the inauguration of a new operational base of the special protection unit of the police donated by the Akwa Ibom state government.

Alkali said the efficiency of the police could truly be questioned “only when leaderships at all levels of governance in this country play their supportive roles in relation to the advancement of our internal security interests through the provision of (an) enabling environment for the police”.

Before Alkali assumed duty, security situation in the country continued to deteriorate on a daily basis. There had been indiscriminatekillings and abduction for ransom in the six geopolitical zones and in the 36 states and FCT.

Police facilities and personnel have been the target of deadly attacks mainly in the South-east by armed Biafra agitators, or IPOB. In the north, bandits and terrorists made life unbearable for residents, but some state governments thought security management was only for federal government. But Alkali, and expert in crime fighting, reminded the other tiers of government that Nigerian Constitution stipulates that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”

To achieve success in the fight against violent crimes, kidnapping for ransom and other criminalities, the IGP made a powerful collaboration between the various security agencies in the country. He said thestrong collaboration between the police, armed forces and other security agencies led to the “Improved security situation in thecountry.” And that is true.

The Police Force, under Alkali’s leadership, is doing its best to sustain peaceful coexistence between the various nationalities in thecountry. IGP, in his remarks during the weekly briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team in Abuja, said the force was reviewing its public safety strategies in order to address what hedescribed as “isolated cases of crime in some parts of the country”.

True to his words, the security situation in the country has been significantly stabilised, even though we are still experiencing isolated cases of crime and threats to public safety, peace and security in some parts of the country had returned.

“The Nigeria Police Force is however unrelenting in rejigging its public safety strategies to adequately contain prevailing and emerging crime trends across the country,” Alkali reassured.

The new spirit of collaboration between the Nigeria Police, the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Department of State Security and othersecurity and intelligence agencies in the country has indeed spurred acommon front in reducing crime and criminality nationwide. This fact is not contestable.

To achieve this feat, IGP Alkali had deployed a “well-coordinated intelligence operation to tackle banditry, kidnapping and other formsof insecurity bedeviling the country.

“We are expanding well-coordinated intelligence led operations to confront bandits, kidnappers and armed secessionist groups byenhancing intelligence gathering efforts and utilising capacity.

“Enhancing intelligence sharing through strengthening inter-agency collaboration with the military and other security agencies is also an aspect that is being pursued,” he said.

Police under Alkali had deepened community engagement deliberately to weaken recruitment drive by secessionist groups, like Boko Haram and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). They also improved public relations and regaining the trust of the citizens through improved community engagements and enhancing ethical policies in the fight against corruption.

Furthermore, to block escape routes for international criminals and their accomplices, the police, under Alkali, has instituted a strongcollaboration between its personnel and foreign counterparts in a bid to tame crimes across the Nigeria’s borders.

Fighting crime in the 21st century requires the use of modern technology. Alkali therefore, engages modern technology to aid the fight against crimes and criminalities in every nook and cranny of the country.

“The Nigeria Police National Command and Control Centre, Nigeria Police Crime and Incident Data Base and the Nigeria Police Crime alAnalysis Centre are technology driven outfits that are used to detect and tackle criminals and are also available for the public to use for what we call ‘Rescue me’, and once you download the app and use it appropriately, wherever is your position, request or complaint, it will directly hit our control room within minutes and we will respond to your request,” IGP said.

Kaugama writes from Dutse, Jigawa state.

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