Posted by Tee Leo | 18 September 2015 | 3,189 times
Nearly every Inspector-General of Police picked since the advent of the 1999 democracy in Nigeria was like a warlord lumped onto the police and Nigeria in general. The kind of tough cynical pragmatist who believes he who shouts loudest gets the notice. Possessed by this stunting quality, they acted almost the Hitlerian way to dominate and subdue their subordinates, thereby operating the Nigeria Police like one man against all and seeing any fancied advice like an encroachment upon their idea, no matter how useful and productive the advice. Some of them made virtue of ignorance and regarded ideas not generated by them as a direct challenge to their managerial virility, thereby making Nigerians have a poor perception of the Nigeria police in an ever-declining form.
In all of this appointment, neither merit nor experience was followed. It only helped to enthrone mediocrity in the Force as less qualified people with backing from the corridors of power were decorated as IGPs, where many of them became square pegs in round holes as very many of them have neither the education nor experience to hold such exalted position. The consequence was better imagined than discussed, as it brought consistent dissatisfaction amongst the top brass who thought it would have gone through due process.
According to Assistant Commissioner of Police, Olabisi Kolawole, “Police all over the world is the mirror of the society. Corrupt societies strive because they parade a corrupt police structure. The police by world best practices are the measuring gauge of the life of a nation and therefore the choice of the headship of the police organisation must be carefully and incorruptibly chosen.”
It may be discussed in several quarters for years to come that former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan did not do enough for Nigeria in his many years of leadership, but to my mind, GEJ, as the former President was known did enough to safe the best for his last. It’s like Dr Goodluck Jonathan saw that the cohesion needed for proper policing of Nigeria has been lost to poor appointment of IGPs and in order to truthfully hand over the
country to President Muhammadu Buhari, appointed Solomon Arase as an
Inspector-General of Police on the eve of his departure from the Government House.
Solomon Arase exhibits the confidence of a team player. To ensure that his regime move away from our politicians delusion of manipulating the police, he is in constant touch with his lieutenants to see to the eradication of a perceived intractable rot that was of the Nigeria Police. Today, there seems a magic success formula by these men, which seemed to have eluded police leaders before them. It’s like this crop of leaders are better selected, more vigorously connected to one another and intimately serious about the changing trend in our body polity.
It seems there’s a mystery about the performance of IGP Solomon Arase since his appointment as Inspector-General of Police. He waited for his due time to come, so that he can put into practice his wisdom, knowledge and experience, having served about four Inspectors-General of Police as Principal Staff Officer, a position that schools one effectively for the job of leading a police organisation, and has seen many years of adequacies and inadequacies of the police under these several IGPs. He has always been
a gentle cultured police officer who prefers standing alone from the frenetic power play of some of his ambitious colleagues and friends.
Arase radiates the calm senatorial dignity of a professional cop. Since he appeared on the saddle of leading the Nigeria Police Force, he has clearly shown his vision of leading a national, professional and efficient Nigeria Police Force ready to provide safety and the needed security of all Nigerians, protect and respect human rights, promote community partnership in order to prevent and control social disorder in our system. This wisdom
has made his officers and men distinguished themselves from seeking the advises of godfathers and some incompetent politicians who wine and dine with corruptions to use the police as shields and turn around to pass suffocating blames on the same police they have so used.
It is true that every organisation has its own myths and the police is no exception, but judging by the endless ovation that greeted the recently concluded National Security summit organised under the Arase regime as the Inspector-General of Police, there is no doubt that there was an insatiable demand for a man of vision, initiative and direction, a man capable of revitalising the Nigeria police which was on the edge of precipice.
With the approach of IGP Arase on every issue concerning the Nigeria Police, there is no gainsaying the fact that, given the supports the police need, our police will before any, experience the changing pattern that Nigerians want in policing. Arase from all intent and purpose is a prepared leader who is ready to change the colonial methodology of policing Nigeria in the 21st century to meet International policing style.
Mallam Musa Dabigi said, Solomon Arase works wonders, “the man has not spent long in office, but you can see positive signs of an enterprising police in the country. This shows that he was building himself for a time like this.”
Policing a complex society like ours requires cultivating a kind of professional anonymity while at same time taking care to conform to all the tribal rituals and unwritten laws that could make you achieve your set target. To see that Nigeria gets the best of the police in this era of Change, IGP Arase says: “It is necessary to acquire the art of keeping my
head down and my shoulders to the wheel – an uncomfortable position though, but one that will pay off in the end.”
Though he towers above all in the force, Solomon Arase keeps his ego firmly in check and this is one reason he seemed preferred above his predecessors, some of whom arrived with a bang and left with a whimper.
•Tee Leo writes from Abuja.
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