Police Affairs Ministry talks tough on withdrawal of personnel from VIPs


L-R: Representative of the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Head of Conflict and Security Programme (Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin), Mr. Annup Vyas; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Police Affairs, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo; Minister of State for Police Affairs, Hajia Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim; Minister of State for Police Affairs, Hajia Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim and Executive Secretary, Nigeria Police Trust Fund, Abdullahi Bala Sokoto during a two-day retreat for Directorate cadre in the Ministry of Police Affairs, Abuja

Minister of State for Police Affairs, Hajia Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim has said that the ministry was ready to execute the directive of President Bola Tinubu on the withdrawal of police personnel from certain categories of Very Important People, VIPs in the country.

Sulaiman-Ibrahim, who disclosed that this is one of the key mandates of the ministry under the present administration, listed others as developing and implementing a harmonized police reform report, amending the Police Act, and developing a community policing strategy.

She spoke at the opening ceremony of a two-day retreat for the Directorate cadre with a theme: “Re-Envisioning the Ministry of Police Affairs for Effective Internal Security: Strengthening Administration and Management Functions for Resilience and Efficiency” holding in Abuja.

The minister stated that the mandates are not mere tasks, but transformative initiatives that can enhance internal security in Nigeria, noting that the two-day management retreat will inspire a collective commitment to align efforts of the ministerial mandate to contribute to the realization of Mr. President’s vision for a renewed, highly effective Nigeria Police Force, NPF.

She recalled that the NPF finds itself at a critical juncture, and currently struggling with the consequences of decades of neglect that have hindered its ability to fulfill its constitutional mandate.

“The Ministry of Police Affairs has also not been spared. However, given Mr. President’s commitment to reforming the Nigeria Police Force, the ministry is now positioned at the forefront of the Police transformation agenda, and it must rise to the challenge.

“The ministry must bear this weighty responsibility of ensuring coordination and creating the enabling frameworks to steer the Nigeria Police Force towards improved technical and operational effectiveness,” she stressed.

Sulaiman-Ibrahim opined that the management staff must demonstrate unwavering commitment and the will required to yield tangible results adding that the Police Inspectorate Department, in particular, should evolve its operations to focus on robust monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning.

She said: “Reports must be factual, practical,evidence-based, and serve as critical tools for enhancing police performance.It must champion the review of the curriculum of the training institutions to ensure they are reflective of the evolving landscape of law enforcement, incorporating contemporary practices and international standards”.

The minister charged the Police Service and Planning, Research, and Statistics Department to ensure administrative optimization and relevant policies as well as procedures for the Police to be up to date, adoption of cutting-edge technology, intelligence-led, technology-driven, inclusive, and community-based Police Force in Nigeria.

“Fostering partnerships with renowned research institutions and staying current with global trends, this department will play a vital role in shaping evidence-based strategies for the Nigeria Police Force,” she added.

In his goodwill message, the representative of the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, who is also the Head of the Conflict and Security Programme (Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin), Mr. Annup Vyas said that the United Kingdom is committed to Nigeria’s Police reforms and ready to do more in the spirit of partnership, adding that they are interested in the plan for the future, how to adapt and identify new opportunities that will help the need of Nigeria system.

Also, the chairman of the Police Service Commission, Dr. Solomon E. Arase said that the NPF is fundamental to the ministry, as to the commission, adding that the principal mandate of both organizations is to ensure the smooth functioning and effectiveness of the Force.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Police Affairs, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo stated that the retreat was targeted at improving efficiency and enhancing performances of the service, in the face of the current global dynamics.

He added that to avoid current false alarms being raised by criminals, the ministry and NPF would be guarded with evidence-based statements on issues in the society.

The federal government, through the Acting Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, had in July this year withdrawn the Mobile Police Force personnel attached to VIPs, including former governors, former ministers and lawmakers, vowing that there’s no going back on the policy.