Remarks By IGP Solomon Arase, During The Handing Over Ceremony
It is with total reverence and appreciation of the Almighty God, the Perfector, that I address you all on this day which marks the formal transfer of leadership of the Nigeria Police Force from out-going IGP Suleiman Abba NPM, NPOM, mni to my humble self.
Aside being a vastly experienced police administrator, IGP Suleiman Abba is known to be gifted with exceptional leadership qualities which have manifested in his trademark comportment, humility, and the respect and courtesy with which he treats members of his Management Team throughout his tenure. In addition, IGP Abba is a true team player who differs to articulate and informed arguments without demonstrating that he is the boss. Even more elating is that he is a unique motivational leader that demonstrated genuine passion for the welfare of officers and men of the Force. As IGP Abba exits the Force, I call on you all to join me in celebrating one of the greatest policing icon of our time and to put on record our immense appreciation of his laudable contributions to the Nigeria Police Force.
Taking over responsibility of guiding the largest Police Force in Africa to attain its constitutional Mandate is undoubtedly an arduous task. However, it remains a fact that the Force is blessed with some of the finest officers anywhere in the world that are not only intellectually gifted, but professionally sound. These officers, some of whom are seated here today, can hold their own among their peers, and have consistently distinguished themselves in complex national and international engagements.
The Force is also been blessed with professionally-excellent leaders who have over the years drawn on their rich experiences to provide quality leadership for the Force. It is my firm conviction that if the quality manpower potentials of the Force are blended with purposeful and motivational leadership at strategic level, the lost primacy of the Force within the internal security architecture of our beloved country can and will be restored. 5. My dear officers, the task of blending our acclaimed quality human assets with quality leadership is the main challenge ahead of us, but it is one I am convinced we can surmount.
In so doing, however, we must resolve both individually and collectively, to hold our duties sacred, perform our functions with pride, and exhibit the highest level of professional excellence in all our official engagements. Above all, we must resolve to appreciate that we remain accountable to the citizens and hence, must relate to them as true public servants with courtesy and within the dictates of rule of law. On my part, I can assure you that I will provide the highest possible level of professional and responsible leadership, while trusting that you shall march hand in hand with me as dependable professional colleagues, to advance the fortunes of the Force.
Let me use this opportunity, ladies and gentlemen officers, to quickly remind you that aside our routine operations, we have within the short term, two major national assignments where our professional expertise and commitment will once again be subjected to national and international scrutiny. First is the conduct of governorship elections in areas where they were declared inconclusive by INEC in Imo, Abia and Taraba States. The second is the delivery of hitch-free Presidential, Governorship and National/State Assembly inauguration ceremonies at Federal and State levels. While with your support, I am confident that we have the operational capacity to ensure the success of both exercises, I am not unmindful of the possible security threats that some lawless individuals may attempt to pose during the make-up elections.
Consequently, while the unique intelligence assets of the Force will be deployed to proactively support our operational plans, there shall also be massive deployment of men and materials to the affected areas in order to assure the law abiding citizens, prevent social disorder, and create a secure environment for the qualified electorates to exercise their franchise.
I must, however, re-emphasise that as a nation, we have had enough of electoral violence. Therefore, under my leadership, we shall work closely with INEC and other strategic stakeholder to ensure that such acts will not only be defined as intolerable, perpetrators will be identified, isolated and brought to deserved justice to act as a deterrence. To the unrepentant felons that may want to put our common will to test, therefore, the message is being relayed here loud and clear that in securing the law abiding, we shall also not hesitate to deploy our potent assets to deal firmly and decisively with deviants.
In addition, I will ensure that the AIGs and CPs that will be deployed for the election duties are empowered enough to ensure the success of their operations. However, in line with the principle of ‘to whom much is given, much more is expected’, such senior officers should be prepared to be accountable for their actions while the exercise lasts. In calling on political actors to assist the Police and other law enforcement agents in sustaining the gains recorded in our democratic journey, they should always remember that politics is a game guided by rules and it behooves them to play the game by the rules.
Let me end this inaugural address by assuring the citizens that I am mindful of their yearnings for a policing system that will not only assure them of their safety, but treat them with civility and hold their human rights sacred. While I promise on behalf of officers of the Force that I will provide leadership to meet this deserved aspirations, I also call on the citizens to change their mind sets and be prepared to work with their police in the interest of community safety and national security.
Towards this end, a Strategic Police Vision document which encapsulates intelligence-led policing, community partnership, restorative justice, re-assurance policing, and healthy respect for human rights will be developed in due course. Also to be developed are Policing Protocols to address the challenges of high-level crimes and ensure police’s professionalism in the investigation and prosecution of such cases. When unveiled, these documents will regulate our conducts and act as yardstick for evaluating our efficiency.
Once again, on behalf of the Nigeria Police Force, I immensely thank our amiable out-going IGP Suleiman Abba for his professional service to our Fatherland and wish him a very fulfilling future engagement. I can assure you that much as you are leaving the police institution, we shall not allow you leave the Police Family as we shall continue to disturb your retirement in order to draw from your rich fountain of professional knowledge. To my officers, I call on you to continue to support me with prayers so that this journey we are commencing together today shall lead us to a desired destination.