IGP Usman Baba: 'Our best in the police wasn't good enough, I'll improve things'
Nigeria's new police chief has promised to enshrine a police culture that respects human rights.
Kidnapping, terrorism and banditry have all but subsumed the land, with Nigeria's police force famed for aiding and abetting crime than fighting it.
Baba was appointed acting police chief on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari, with Mohammed Adamu who has been IGP since 2019--and whose tenure was extended in February of 2021--fired while reading the riot act to terrorists who masterminded a jailbreak in the southeast state of Imo hours earlier.
Speaking after Adamu handed over the reins to him on Wednesday, April 7, Baba said Nigerians should expect some widespread improvements in policing.
He admitted that the best from the police hasn't been good enough.
“You will see improvement on where my predecessor has left. I came in at a very challenging time. I know it. I recognise it and I will work on how to improve from where my predecessor has left.
“I have been a member of the management team. We have tried to do our best, but it’s not enough. There is room for improvement.
“Nigerians should expect improvement on the security situation. And Nigerians should also collaborate and cooperate with us. With all the inadequacies we have, we still require everybody to be part of policing in this country,” Baba said, hours after he was decorated with his new rank by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
He also promised to build a police force that will respect human rights.
“Much as the challenge of leading the force to address these threats in the shortest possible time frame, restore security order, and return our beloved nation to the path of national unity may appear daunting, I am inspired by the fact that from my extensive years of service, I can confidently say that the Nigeria police is endowed with some of the finest, courageous and patriotic officers who, undoubtedly, shall support me to advance the internal security vision of Mr. President.
“I am also encouraged by the fact that the outgoing IGP has laid a solid foundation and entrenched a culture of professional efficiency in the Force.
"These will stimulate me in my capacity as the new acting IGP, to strengthen our strategies and provide the requisite leadership that will change the narratives in relation to our operational approach to the current security threats,” he said.
58-year-old Baba from Yobe State is Nigeria's 21st Inspector General of Police.
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