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Who succeeds Okiro, who will clear his mess in the Nigeria Police Force?

June 11, 2009

Image removed.Dear Editor: I have watched with keen interest the on going debate on who should take over from the present Inspector General of police Mike Okiro. I am an insider and I work at the Force Headquarters. First and foremost I must state that I have been at the Force headquarters since 1999-- posted in and out 3 times and I am back again. With all sincerity, Okiro is the worst IG Nigeria Police has ever produced, 

this is largely for the fact that he was not prepared for the job and when he was given this mantle, he couldn't remove  his business instinct from police administration. Okiro has mortgaged the Nigeria Police Force. If you ask him what his achievements are, he will quickly tell you housing- but what he will not tell you is that he is buying dilapidated and defective houses from his friends at exhorbitant prices, he will give it to police officers first as barracks accommodation and later the officers will be told they are to buy the house or pack out. To appreciate the good work of the officer in charge of the Housing charade, he has been promoted a Deputy Commissioner of Police over and above his seniors, and Ribadu's promotion was deemed illegal.

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Also Ahmadu Alli who was reduced to DC alongside Ribadu has equally been promoted CP and what is baffling is that this officer ought to have been boarded medically because of his bad leg, he can not wear uniform or attend parade-- whatever it is, he has found favour in Okiro and must be promoted. It may also interest you to know that despite billions of naira allocated for barracks accommodation, no single barracks has been renovated by okiro, and its only himself and Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Works that can account for this.

  Under Okiro, postings and transfers are now matters of who you know or how rich you are. Some CPs are now veterans as State police commissioners while others are better in the office. Okiro bastardised Mobile Police (MOPOL) units to satisfy his friends, politicians have hijacked the postings of Squadron commanders. They dictate who stays where and because of his tenure elongation plans, he readily obliged them to the extent that over 10 new squadrons have been formed when the existing 46 are ill-equipped. The training schools are in a state of disrepair and recruits are being made to pay for their feeding in the police training schools across Nigeria--do we then expect them not to collect bribes upon completion of their training, No, they must recoup their investment.

  The biggest illegality of the century is happening right under the nose of Okiro. His Principal Staff Officer (PSO) ought to have retired alongside his course mates but he is still in the office without any official approval of same. He  still superintends over a bunch of indiscipline and empty vessels called "staff officers". Presently, they are over 35 in the secretariat doing nothing. They have sat over foreign courses. In the last one year, the secretariat has taken over 80% of the slots for foreign courses leaving 20% for the remaining 450,000 officers and men to manage. There is no transparency in the selection mode. Presently, some officers are slated to attend a training program on community policing in the UK and US but curiously and sadly, there is no single officer from the community policing unit on the list, the secretariat alone has 6 out of the 10 slots and when they come back they will not be posted to where the training will be useful to the police. This is in sharp contrast to when DC Arase was the PSO when he used to send signal to all the state commands to send nominations. I am aware of this because in 2006 when 100 officers were sent to the US, all 37 police commands and specialised units had at least a candidate each and if I am right only one person from the secretariat made the list, but now , every foreign course belongs to the secretariat.
    The staff officers are so undisciplined that they flout all orders given to them. They have placed themselves over and above all the DIGs. There was an order that officers below CSPs should pack their cars outside the headquarters, even a common ASP in the secretariat brings his car in and when challenged the order, they all said that the IG has exempted them. Another example is the Monday parade,  not a single staff officers to IG has ever  attended the parade, claiming they are too busy to obey an order given by the IG and being obeyed by DIGs. They consider themselves lords of the manor. It may interest you to know that despite the cry that there should no longer be special promotions, 3 ASPs staff officers have just been promoted DSPs recently and we learnt that 60 names including all the  staff officers have been sent to the police service commission which seems to have compromised its principles for special promotion whenever Okiro is leaving office.

 These officers have benefited more than any other police officer in Nigeria yet they are being recommended for promotion for doing nothing. Its interesting to know that 4 officers in the IG secretariat are on a police sponsored study leave in the US and UK.
   The race for the seat of the IG is becoming interesting with the Igbos lining up behind Onovo and claiming that no Igbo man has ever been an IG, so where is Okiro from. Okiro's profile shows that he is from Imo state, is Imo state in SS or SW? Until Okiro is charged and jailed for perjury, the Igbos as far as I am concerned have had their share. Nonetheless, I am against zoning in this arrangement, let the most competent and intelligent officer take over. All the present DIGs who have outlived their usefulness should  be retired with immediate effect, let a competent AIG or CP  be appointed but be made to face the national assembly and lets see if we can get our own Sanusi who will criticise the policy of the man who nominated him for the CBN job. Onovo has missed his opportunities and has refused to help the Nigeria police move forward by not criticising his coursemate because he wants to succeed him.  By and large, we need whoever will have the will and the courage to clean the mess of Tafa, Ehindero  and this unfit Okiro, no matter his or her geopolitical zone. Police should be removed from the claws of politicians for us to move forward.


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