The Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Baba, has raised concerns over threat posed to the country by terror elements, bandits, kidnappers, and other highly organised, and violent criminal syndicates.
This is as the police boss has blamed the increased security threat on increasing rate of arms trafficking and proliferation, which he said had occasioned the recent attack on the Correctional Facility in Kuje during which some high-profile criminals escaped.
Speaking at a meeting with senior police officers, Commissioners of Poluce and above, Wednesday, at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, he however acknowledged the compliance level of strategic managers on identifying vulnerabilities at custodial facilities in their respective areas, and complementing the Correctional Service in upscaling security in and around such facilities to forestall further security breaches.
IGP Baba directed all strategic police managers to commence an immediate special visibility policing operation across all commands and formations taking into cognisance crime mapping, and massive deployment of operational and intelligence assets and manpower.
While charging police officers to ensure that they maintained and upheld the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and also the oat of their offices as anything below that would not be tolerated, vowed to punish any erring police officer.
He said: “For the avoidance of doubts, much as the law has bestowed on us certain powers and authorities to aid in the attainment of our law enforcement mandate, the exercise of these powers and authority is not absolute and you shall at every point of the misuse of such, be held accountable.
“My covenant with Nigerians and our service oath is to uphold the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is built on the projection and protection of the rights and well-being of all citizens.
“I must, therefore, sound out this warning loud and clear that under my watch, any police officer that betrays his or her Service oath and tramples on the rights of citizens he or she has sworn to serve and protect, will be identified, isolated and dealt with promptly, firmly, transparently, and in a manner that will leave neither the citizens nor the police personnel in doubt about my determination to separate the bad officers from the professional ones in the interest of the Force.
“It is in furtherance to this that approval was given some days ago for the dismissal and de-kitting of ex-Inspector Richard Gelle who was caught in a viral video dignifying and justifying extortion of members of the public.
“Some other of such viral videos including that of a police operative that was physically and violently assaulting a citizen with cutlass in Cross River state are being reviewed and I can assure that similar prompt disciplinary action will be initiated against the erring officers and the outcome made public in due course.”