Acting Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, yesterday asked commissioners of police in the 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to immediately commence dismantling of all non-security checkpoints within their areas of responsibilities, and arrest violators for prompt prosecution.
He also gave commissioners of police yet to establish the complaints reponse units, CRU, three weeks within which to do so in their command headquarters to combat corruption.
Speaking at a strategic meeting with DIGs, AIGs and command CPs, Egbetokun assured that the Police would provide adequate security for the governorship elections coming up in three states of the federation, saying there was no need for worry.
He said: “We are aware of the challenge posed by the continued presence of unauthorized persons on the various highways around the country, in the guise of revenue collection, who constantly constitute nuisance on the highways by obstructing the flow of traffic, and engaging in mischievous activities, such as the seizure of vehicles, collection of fines and other unlawful activities.
“With just three states having their gubernatorial election, the Police are not burdensome because there are proper and adequate personnel on ground for the election.
‘Just as we have seen in other isolated elections, we have availability of more men in number than the one of the general elections. I have no fear about how safe and secure the election which is going to take place on November 11 2023, will be.
“Its very convenient for us to deploy. Nobody should entertain fear about the security of the November election. We have prepared. We are ready and very soon, we will start deployment.
“We deliberately decided to take this year’s Police conference and retreat to one of the states we are having the election. The conference and retreat iarecoming just less than two weeks to the election.
“So, it is deliberate and not by accident that we chose the venue and date. It is also to show to the public that we are ready for the election. So, there is no fear for the coming election.”
He, however, called on the electorate and politicians to play by the rules of election, and shun any form of violence.
On the annual police strategic managers conference and retreat for the year 2023, slated for between October 29 and November 2, 2023, in Owerri, Imo State, the IGP stated: “This conference and retreat serve as a paramount platform for knowledge exchange, strategic planning, and the strengthening of our collective resolve to enhance policing in our nation.
“To bolster accountability and transparency within the force, we have taken steps, such as reinforcing the IGP monitoring unit and the complaint response unit, CRU, based at the Force Headquarters, and efforts are ongoing to establish CRU offices in all states.
“Directive have earlier been given to all state commissioners of police to establish CRU offices in their respective state command headquarters, as part of our commitment to combatting corruption and improve professionalism in the Nigeria Police Force.
“Those command commissioners of police who are yet to comply are, hereby, given a deadline of three weeks from today to do so.”
On the kidnapped eight National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members abducted on their way to Sokoto from Akwa Ibom, the IGP said: “In light of recent distressing events, we must not forget the abductions of eight NYSC members in Zamfara state.
”The safety and well-being of all our citizens, particularly our young NYSC members, remain of utmost importance to us. We are firm in our commitment to intensify our efforts at ensuring the safe rescue of these abducted Corp members and all others still in captivity of criminal gangs in any part of the country.
“Currently, we are actively engaged in the sharing and analysing intelligence gathered thus far, while also exploring collaborative efforts with other security agencies to secure the unconditional release of these individuals as swiftly as possible without harm.
“It is imperative to note that rescue operations generally demand a careful, tactical and deliberate approach, conducted with the utmost caution to avoid unintended harm to the victims.
On the beheaded DPO in Rivers State, Egbetokun said: “The tragic killing of a Divisional Police Officer, SP Bako Angbashim, in Rivers State is another event which serve as a stark reminder of the multi-dimensional challenges we face in maintaining security and order across our nation.
“We have mobilized efforts to ensure the perpetrators of the mindless killing of SP Bako Angbashim are brought to swift justice, while we sound a note of serious warning to those who have penchant for killing our officers to desist.
“The slain officer was known for his courageous exploits against vicious criminal elements terrorizing the communities where he served. His gruesome murder and subsequent mutilation of his body are unacceptable to us.
“The perpetrators of this heinous crime have murdered sleep and they obviously will sleep no more. They will be hunted down with all resources at our disposal. Never again shall we be ordinary in our response to the killing of our officers. These murderers will pay dearly for their callous acts.”