Published On: Wed, Sep 13th, 2017

IGP vs Misau and the rest of us

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WEDNESDAY Column By Israel A. Ebije

ebijeo5@gmail.com or @ebijeisrael

It is no longer news that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Idris Kpotum Kutigi was alleged to have pocketed bribe amounting to N10bn on monthly bases to “post commissioners of police to juicy places”. The allegation drew flaks against the police boss even before any call for inquiry was contemplated. Already some people have imagined how much he must have made since he assumed office in acting capacity, June 2016.
While I am deeply rooted in any action or policy aimed at unraveling corrupt practices, it is indeed instructive to tease out some facts. We must understand that there are some underlining negative energies that might engineer careless throwing around of allegations. We must realize that N10bn is a huge sum of money to be cornered every month from commissioners of police regardless of how juicy their postings are. The monies will likely come from banks and be sent to another bank of final destination. If the monies are ferried every month, then the whistle blower policy would have been instructive for either bank officials or “hungry” police officers who are likely to be charged with the responsibility to escort it.
It is not certain how Senator Isah Misau got intelligence on the alleged N10bn scam, it is however curious to know that there are some police officer billionaires. I have taken out time to ponder over how much multinational companies are willing to pay for security or how much the police gets in terms of bribe monies. Chairman Police Service Commission (PSC), Mike Okiro intimated that it is not out of place for the police to be paid for extra security services, the propriety of a continuous flow of alleged sum is indeed instructive to study against the backdrop of business as a going concern.
It is not surprising to find many Nigerians asking for the resignation of the IGP over the allegation. Some people are not interested in any other opinion or counter narrative that may dispel the allegation. The case of stereotypes of police officers and men is indeed acting on people’s judgment in this case. It is also worrisome, the way some people are taking the matter to a regional battle ground. Already some are of the opinion that Idris is not from the core north, hence surreptitious plans to discredit and remove him for a more preferred “core northerner”.
Another critical observation on the side of the police since the allegation broke out was attempts by the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood who came up with submission of forged signatures, absconding and participating in hemp business against senator Misau. All these accusations further placed the leadership of the force at disadvantage, making critics entrench themselves against the IGP. A call for investigation would have sufficed, then sundry issues can naturally evolve. The decision of Moshood to take the extreme shots did not make good case for the police in the public court of variant opinion especially when Misau was vindicated on the issue of resignation.
It is imperative to look into the matter no matter how puerile the humongous monthly windfall might be. The image of the force and the credibility of the man at the helms of affairs are paramount. It is however instructive to understand that once the entire ugly affair is not properly managed, the image of the force may dip all time low on account of perception tilted towards a saying which goes, that “once the head is rotten, the body is too”. It is indeed sad that in Nigeria, people do not think police is friendly. It is indeed unfortunate that most of the men of the force are poorly paid, they live in squalid environments, which forces them to take bribes, act mindlessly and sometime are in cahoots with criminals.
While we are seeking some truths, which is ordinarily a very normal thing to do, it is necessary to understand that since the emergence of the IG, the police has reformed, repositioned to perform optimally. The area of compensation for fallen officers in the line of duty, the case of motivation through promotion and punishment for bad conducts among myriads of other strategies aims at changing negative orientation of an average police officer. Already results are seen across the country of ceaseless service delivery in security management.
Since assumption of office, IGP Kutigi has displayed commitment in dealing with mountains of security issues he inherited across the country. The issue of kidnapping, armed banditry, ritual killings have plummeted to a bearable level. It is therefore needful to deploy unbiased lens to screen through the tissues of allegations to unravel the truth.
We should constantly remind ourselves that the image of the Nigerian police like anywhere in the world is endlessly assaulted either on account of mischievous elements sponsored to discredit their worth to fester crime. It is therefore our core duty to ensure that officers and men of the Nigerian police force get the respect they deserve through positive projections of their laudable efforts across the country.

Ebije lives in Abuja. Can be reached via: ebijeo5@gmail.com or @ebijeisrael

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