IG Expresses Readiness for 2019 Elections

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  • Says herdsmen clash has been ameliorated
  • Akiolu says Ambode’s second term bid uncontestable

Chiemelie Ezeobi

The Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, has said the force under his watch is ready with both manpower and logistics support for the forthcoming 2019 general election.
The IG made the disclosure yesterday at the launch of his book ‘Security and Justice: The Pathway for Peace and Reconciliation in Nigeria’, held in Lagos.

He said: “We are prepared for the election. We have the men and we have the materials (logistics) to conduct a successful election come 2019.”

On the ongoing farmers-herdsmen clashes, he said: “The challenges we are having with this herdsmen have gone down. In Benue State, we have 15 units on ground and I have been monitoring their successes.

“I was in Benue and we have been having stakeholders’ meetings and we have been discussing. Based on that, people have been coming openly to state their problems and it’s through that we can understand each other and reconcile our differences.

“The role of traditional rulers in this reconciliation process cannot be over-emphasised because most of them have the ears of their people. When you have political disagreement in these communities, these traditional rulers are handy.”

On his book, he said: “I guess many of you will be wondering what a serving IG will be discussing in a book. The answer is not far-fetched.

“The police, the nation’s core law enforcement agency, which I superintend, has the responsibility to prevent and detect crime, apprehension and prosecution of offenders, preservation of law and order, protection of life and property and enforcement of all laws and regulations.
“My experience therefore as a police officer over the years in Nigeria and the United Nations headquarters in New York, with peace keeping operations in other countries and above all as the IG has taught me firstly that internal peace is a pivotal element for instituting and sustaining democratic government.

“Secondly, that is justice is most needed as an instrument of reconciliation and conflict management and thirdly; that the role of the judiciary and security agencies in dispensing justice is imperative in ensuring peace in any country.

“I have watched with troubled heart the security challenges confronting this country. The challenges of Boko Haram in the North-east, the challenges of kidnappings and armed robberies, cattle rustling and militancy in virtually all parts of Nigeria.

“The farmers/herders clashes, the challenges of assassination for various reasons, the challenges of conflict among the divergent communities which often times take dangerous dimensions and occur along the fault lines of ethnic, religious, regional and political differences between the divergent groups and communities.

“These challenges if not properly managed at the pace we are going, coupled with inflammatory and inciting statements will tear this country apart and drag us into an unending crisis.

“As the IG, it’s my responsibility to put sufficient security architecture in place to manage the challenges aforementioned. I can say with confidence that the emplaced preventive and detective strategies have been largely successful in managing the situation based on my achievement so far.

“However, I have realised that the issue is beyond apprehension and prosecution of offenders. There has to be speedy dispensation of justice and the protection of rights and interests of the suspects and victims of crime.
“This is the only way people must have a sense of justice, peace and reconciliation, hence, the title of the book.

“It is my conviction that when there is security, justice, peace and reconciliation in any nation, civil strife will be avoided. The civil war of 1967 to 1970 perharps turns out as the first major and catostrophic crisis in the record of our national experience”

The paramount ruler of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, said they envisaged the problem of insecurity bedeviling Nigeria about 20 years ago.

He also blamed the infiltration of herdsmen clashes on the porous borders with grown forests that are left unattended to.

On the forthcoming state government ele
ction in Lagos, he said: “Nobody should waste his time to contest against the incumbent Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode because he is the governor we want and he must be allowed to complete his tenure.”

On funding for the police, he said, “The police will do well if they are given the wherewithal to perform their duties. The IG has not been given all that is necessary to do his job.
“I watched him on television one day where he requested for about three trillion naira but that won’t even be enough to tackle the security challenges in Nigeria. “

He also harped on the need for the police to checkmate the rank and file as some of them are bad, adding that with constant training however, they will change.

In his welcome remarks, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Edgal Imohimi, said the topic was apt and germane to national discuss because security challenges in Nigeria is trying to tear the fabric of our national existence.

He said: “The author of the book has preempted the security situation in Nigeria and has proffered solutions to the myriad challenges.”

Former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, called for an urgent need to improve the state of security and justice in the country, in order to prevent friction.
Former IG, Sunday Ehindero, in his speech, kicked against the call for state police, adding that Nigeria was not yet matured for it.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the occasion, Adeyemi Makanjuola, commended the IG for writing the book what should be done to ensure peace and justice in the country at a time of security challenges in the country.