Criminal records point to a significant rise in crime following the conclusion of the general elections. While some security experts have attributed the trend to the disengagement of the criminal elements from politically-related activities for which they might have been engaged during the elections, others have attributed the trend to socio-economic factors.
While the debate on the cause of the upsurge in crime could be a subject of debate or academic conjecture, what remains undebatable is the fact that the primary and statutory duty of the Nigeria Police as the lead agency in internal security framework, is the prevention and detection of crime and the maintenance of our internal security order.
This places on us the responsibility of assuring the citizens of their safety and security without any form of excuses. It also challenges us to rededicate ourselves to our statutory duties, constantly review our law enforcement strategies and re-order our policing priorities towards stemming the tide of crime. It is within this context that this meeting was summoned.
In this regard, let me emphasize that as strategic police managers, your professional competence is measured by your capacity to dissect the trends and patterns of crimes within your Area of Jurisdiction, develop and modify crime management strategies and deploy your human and material assets towards achieving a stable security order.
While some of you have demonstrated a very high and commendable level of professional competence which has manifested in the moderation of crimes in your commands, unfortunately, the professional proficiency and sense of commitment to duty of some others are being called to question in the face of inappropriate response to threats of crimes in their jurisdictions. The current security realities in the country have made this trend intolerable.
Consequently, I charge you all, as you return to your various commands, to renew your sense of commitment to duty and demonstrate requisite professional leadership needed to roll-back the current unacceptable trend of crimes in your commands. In so doing, you must have the knowledge to see things differently, wisdom to think differently and courage to act creatively. Because as noted by Albert Einstein, you cannot be ‘doing the same thing over and over and expect different results’. The dynamics of crime should task you to evolve new thoughts and new approaches to crime management. Your ability to this is what defines you as a professional and an experienced police manager.
You must therefore, return to your commands to evaluate and coordinate actions directed at overhauling your current crime control structure and strategies being conscious that the current security challenges represent a test on your leadership ability. You must learn to crime-map your jurisdiction and harness the strength within to neutralize all forms of crimes and security threats.
The only way we can stay ahead of criminals is to continually generate actionable criminal intelligence to support our anti-crime functions. This can only be achieved if we cultivate citizens’ partnership and confidence by returning policing to the people. Consequently, in reviewing your current strategies, you must fully engage the two core policing policies of the current police dispensation which are built on community policing and intelligence-led policing values. While we at the apex leadership level will strive to support and motivate you, we shall, henceforth, not hold back in sanctioning any officer whose dereliction or weak leadership capacity continually occasions increase in crimes.
Indeed, it is in furtherance to our commitment to complementing you that Operation Puff Adder was conceptualized and launched on 5th April, 2019 to address in the shortest possible time the threat of kidnapping, armed robbery and armed banditry in Kogi, Niger, Zamfara, Kaduna, and Katsina States as well as the FCT. It is gladdening to note that this initiative has recorded remarkable achievements. Between 5th April, 2019 (when the operation was launched) and today, the initiative has recorded the following achievements:
i. No. of kidnapping suspects/armed bandits arrested – 46
ii. No. of Suspects killed in operations – 10
iii. No. of victims safely rescued – 2
iv. No. of firearms recovered – 18 (9 AK 47 rifles and 9 other locally fabricated/automatic weapons)
v. No. of live AK47 ammunition recovered – 1300
vi. No. of live cartridges recovered – 28
vii. No. extra rifle magazines recovered – 10
I expect you to replicate this strategy in your various commands in order to restore order in the public space and enhance public confidence in the Police. Let me reassure all citizens of our renewed commitment to emplacing effective strategies towards addressing the current security challenges. The threats might appear challenging, but I can assure that they are surmountable and we shall provide the requisite leadership needed to address them. We, however, cannot do it alone. We seek the citizens support and we trust that you shall all partner with us to present a common front in the war against criminal elements that are bent on re-ordering our national values and testing our common will.
On this note, I welcome you all to this conference and I look forward to a professionally rewarding outcome.
– Brief remarks by AG. IGP Mohammed A. Adamu, NPM, mni, The Inspector General Of Police At Meeting With Strategic Police Managers On 11th April 2019 At The Force Headquarters, Abuja