FORMER Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mike Okiro has described the new Acting Inspector General of Police as a change agent needed at this time to turn around the Nigeria Police and restore the confidence of Nigerians in the security organisation.
Okiro who lamented the spate of insecurity in the land noted that his successors failed to continue from where he stopped in the fight against terrorism. He assured that the new IGP would restore the confidence of Nigerians that had hitherto lost in the Police.
His words: “When I left office as the IGP, I had expected my successors to continue from where we stopped, but they abandoned our projects and started pursuing their own projects, and that is the problem we are facing in the country.
“I formed the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) during our time, because I saw terrorism creeping into our land. I observed that other parts of the world were having their own share of terrorism and reasoned that it might soon come to Nigeria.’
“As a pro-active measure, we formed the ATS, took some of our men abroad for training and set up the unit, but when I left, equipment were not provided for the squad, the idea was abandoned, they did not equip the men with modern anti-terrorism tools. Not long I left, there was the first bombing in Maiduguri.”
The former police boss lauded the new IGP whom he said started on a good note by fortifying security at the Police Force Headquarters and expanding the car park at the headquarters.
“Abubakar had continued from where his predecessors stopped. I first observed him as a very hardworking and diligent officer when he served under me as the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Lagos State. Whenever I give him any job to do, I go to sleep because I knew that Abubakar would deliver it, unlike other senior officers whom you would give a job to do and you would chase after them until the job is done.
“During my time as CP Lagos State, I expanded the Police officers mess and Abubakar came as a CP and completed the project. It was then I took note of him and knew he would get to the zenith of his career, so I am not surprised he is the IGP. People call me from the Force Headquarters and tell me the tremendous progress he is making within the short time he took over,” Okiro said.
On the security challenges facing the new IGP, Okiro urged him to focus on fight against insecurity, corruption in the police and welfare of officers and men.
According to him, “Abubakar has come at a time that the Nigeria Police is facing so many challenges. He has to regain the confidence of Nigerians in because Nigerians have lost confidence in the Police, which is very sad. If you lose confidence in someone who is going to protect you, it is sad. There is a saying that you cannot give what you don’t have. If you cannot protect yourself, who then do you protect? He has lots of work to do to check crime, terrorism, the sagging morale in the Force and the confidence Nigerians have lost in the Police. He has a tall order and I pray for him and wish him well. He has started on a good note.”