Adamu: The Quintessential Super Cop By Nwadiukwu Daniel
When President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Mr. Mohammed Abubakar Adamu as the Acting Inspector General of Police on January 15, 2019, to replace Ibrahim Idris ,the development does not come as a surprise especially to those who were privileged to work with him closely in the previous years .To such officers, the President has made the best choice at a time in which the Nigeria Police needed a reformist ,a man of courage prepared to match his words with action .
To many among these officers ,Adamu is a thoroughbred officer whose intellect and hard work through the years, had equipped him to be a repository of knowledge and a guide in whom many looked after for direction in their quest to excel within the Nigeria Police Force.
Prior to Adamu’s appointment ,hundreds of Nigerians were not happy with the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) established by his predecessor . The squad was accused of alleged arbitrariness and high handedness in their dealings with Nigerians.Thus, a week after his assumption of office and deeply concerned by the yearnings of many Nigerians calling for measures to be taken against SARS,Adamu disbanded the squad which gave many a huge sigh of relief and rekindled their confidence in the Nigeria Police Force .
Perhaps it was this act within that period and the professional manner in which he handled multifaceted crisis that requires multidimensional approaches to solving them, that his full appointment as the 20th indigenous Inspector General of Police was confirmed by Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President of Nigeria on the 23rd of May, 2019.
Nigeria like many countries in the world has for many years ,been grappling with the problem of insecurity and various forms of criminality .With a population of approximately 200 million, the number of police personnel in the country has remained grossly inadequate .The United Nations in an analysis in 2006 indicated an approximate median of 300 police officers per 100,000 inhabitants.Only 9 countries disclosed values lower than 100 officers per 100,000 inhabitants .Earlier statistics had shown that Nigeria in 2012 had 187 per every 100,000 inhabitants.There is no significant improvement in this statistics till date making the police inadequate.
With this scenario ,policing in Nigeria as in similar countries ,would definitely require good strategy ,innovation ,careful deployment of manpower and prudent management of resources to achieve target goals .Adamu as IGP was not caught in the euphoria and glitterati of his new office but immediately swung into action to deal with an increasing spate of kidnapping, banditry and other forms of criminality in the country .Through the Operation Puff Adder which was in line with his vision,the police is not only able to tackle insecurity such as kidnapping‚ armed robbery, cultism and banditry but also prevent the influx of criminal elements as the operation is on ongoing in Kaduna, Nasarawa, Taraba and many states across the federation .
For instance,Zamfara has hitherto,became synonymous to a killing field as hundreds of locales were killed and maimed by bandits intermittently .However, when the Nigeria Police launched operation PUFF ADDER in the state ,it within record time brought banditry, kidnappings and other criminal activities in the state to a lower ebb, just as in other parts of the country.
IGP Mohammed Adamu ,who cautioned the security operatives to be more professional in their operations, had assured that police would no longer allow banditry continue to destroy lives and properties in the state.He however,sought for support from the communities and intelligence information that would help the personnel in identifying the criminals.
Operation PuffAdder under the Inspector General, has manpower drawn from the Police Mobile Force (PMP), Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU), Special Protection Unit (5PU), Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), State Intelligence Bureau (SIE) ,State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.To the credit of Mr.Adamu, crime has in comparative terms ,reduced considerably since he occupied the number one seat at the force headquarters as could be testified by a senior police officer in the country.For instance , according to the officer, kidnap cases along the ever busy Kaduna-Abuja highway has reduced to the barest minimum under IGP Adamu’s watch .
A social affairs analyst, Dr.Bello Mohammed said ,”basically, the IGP is trying his best since he came on board. Some of his innovative initiatives include, but not limited to brandishing the police to become people orient, proactive, purposeful, and a force with the niche to provide service par excellence, with the aim of protecting lives and property of our citizens. He has also make great heights in the area of curbing the menace of kidnapping, armed banditry and other social vices bedeviling our society among others. “
A security expert, Mohammed Garba Potiskum described IGP Adamu as a gentleman who is calm, cool tempered and calculative in his approach.He said the IGP has strategic approach to strict police duties in this democratic dispensation . “ He is highly proactive and extremely careful with Nigerian politicians,” he observed.
The police has intensified the battle against Kidnappers and other criminal elements .Forests which served as hideout are raided and arrests are made.Many kidnap victims are freed and tons of armament recovered .
Similarly , Mr.Daniel who currently serves in the force was full of commendation for IGP Adamu especially for ensuring that allowances and other emoluments due to serving officers reach the officers promptly .This he said,is a great source of motivation to them and has in no small measure ,make them ever ready to serve their fatherland .
He said IGP Adamu broke the jinx by ensuring the payment of election allowance to police officers through the bank thereby curbing corruption in the system.
Adamu who in 2015 emerged best Commissioner of Police in community policing has embarked on the recruitment of 40,000 community policing officers (CPOs)nationwide which will go a long way towards making Nigeria crime free.According to him, the officers will act as liaisons between the Police and their communities.@These 40,000 community policing officers as part of its community-focused policing architecture,will be deployed to complement the NPF in law enforcement functions within their localities by performing low-risk and non-sensitive duties.’
The recruitment of the officers, according to the IGP, will free up Police personnel to perform conventional functions and enhance manpower profile in relation to deployment to frontline, operational duties.”The CPOs will be recruited from within the communities where the prospective applicants reside and average of fifty (50) CPOs are to be engaged in each of the 774 Local Government Areas.
The implementation of the Community Policing strategy is expected to bridge the gap between the Police and the citizens in a manner that will enhance optimal, cost-effective, and sustainable law enforcement service delivery.
As part of achievements over the period,Adamu over 4,187 criminal suspects were arrested nationwide by the Force since January 2019.Also,506 kidnapped victims were also safely rescued from kidnappers.1,181 firearms, of various descriptions and calibre, and 389 stolen vehicles were also recovered from criminals nationwide.
Baring unforeseen circumstances that might obstruct the smooth implementation of its strategies in making Nigeria not habitable for criminal elements, the Nigeria Police under Mohammed Adamu is poised to reposition the force and ensure that it remains a force to reckon with.It’s positive impact is already felt as many Nigerians now traverse the country without any fear molestation.
Before his appointment as Inspector General of Police, he was an Assistant Inspector-General of Police in Benin City, Edo State and was responsible for the overall management and operations of the NPF Zone 5, comprising Bayelsa, Delta and Edo State police commands.
Born on 17th September, 1961, he enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force in 1986, after graduating from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with a bachelor’s degree (Hons) in Geography. He also holds a master’s degree in International Criminal Justice System from the University of Portsmouth, England.
Between 1983 to 1984, Adamu had his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Wamba, Nasarawa State and taught Geography at Government Teachers College, Wamba, Plateau State, during the one-year service, then in 1984 — 1986, he was appointed as Geography tutor and later promoted to Vice Principal at Government Day Secondary School, Gunduma, Keffi, Plateau State, but presently in Nasarawa State.
Few years later, he joined the Nigeria Police Force as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police in 1986, and trained at the Police College in Ikeja, Lagos State where he worked as the Divisional Crime & Administrative Officer at the Mgbidi Police Station in Mgbidi, Imo State. He served at many levels such as Officer in charge of General Investigation at the NPF Zone 6 Headquarters in Calabar.
Adamu also has extensive international experience, he worked at Interpol’s NCB in Lagos from 1989-1997. He was the first Nigerian to be seconded to Interpol General Secretariat, Lyon in 1997 where he served as specialized officer in Economic and Financial Crime, Sub-directorate from 1997- 2002. He became the first black African to be appointed Assistant Director in charge of African Sub-Directorate from 2002-2005.He was again the first African in the history of INTERPOL to serve as Director when he was appointed director of NCB Services and I-24/7 Development from 2005-2007.
When he returned to Nigeria, he was appointed as Director in charge of Peacekeeping and Training at the Nigeria Police Headquarters, Abuja. Between 2013 to 2015 he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police and Commissioner of Police in Enugu State command.
President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him as the Acting Inspector General of Police on January 15, 2019 and was confirmed by the President as substantive IGP on the 23rd of May, 2019.
*Daniel writes from Abuja,Nigeria.