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Why IGP Ibrahim Idris Is Nigeriaís Best Inspector General of Police

An Interview With CP Danmallam Mohammed

 

IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, Nigeriaís Inspector General of Police is one man who has the capacity to generate strong emotions in people. In May 2018, the Nigerian Senate declared him an Ďenemy of democracy,í who is not fit to hold public office in Nigeria and abroad. Prolific English author, Edmee, Elizabeth Monica Dashwood, commonly known as E. M Delafield once said, ď Every penny piece that's struck has two sides to it.Ē This means there are two sides to every story. Whatís the other side to the story of IGP Idris? Should Nigerians go with the Senateís description of him? From the perspective of Enugu State Commissioner of Police, CP Danmallam Mohammed, Ibrahim Idris is not only a wonderful leader, he is also Nigeriaís best Inspector General of Police. But is this police boss of Nigeriaís Coal City State a credible voice? Born 1963, in Katsina, Katsina State, Danmallam Mohammed is an alumnus of the prestigious Nigeria Defence College and holds several degrees including a Master of Science in Strategy, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science among others. He joined the Nigeria Police Force as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police in March 1990, and has served the Police Force in various capacities, such as Aide Camp to Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, worked with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission - EFCC, Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department, and until his posting to Enugu State, was in charge of Community Policing at the Force Headquarters. In this candid encounter with Frontpage Nigeria, the firebrand police officer postulates that IGP Ibrahim Idris is a leader that should be celebrated by Nigerians. He went further to describe him as Nigeriaís best Inspector General of Police:   

 

You have the picture of the Inspector General of Police as your WhatsApp profile picture, and you inscribed 'Vote of Confidence' on it, what do you mean by that?

You mean our amiable leader, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim K. Idris, MPM, MNI, a very honest, a very good patriotic citizen, incorruptible, a very hard working officer, the most detribalized police officer in Nigeria, a crime fighter, a distinguished fellow of the Institute of Management Studies, Bukuru, Jos. He is a very honest man, he is my role model. What he achieved within two years people will celebrate him when he leaves office. Remember, before he took over as Inspector General of Police, we know what the situation was in terms of crimes and criminality. Today, he single-handedly beat the activities of kidnappers to a very low level. For example, what is happening in Enugu State now, when people praise me, I tell them it is part of the tutelage from the IGP. Through his support, guidance, and supervision, we are able to reduce the activities of kidnappers, armed robbers and other criminals to the lowest level. Look at the activities of kidnappers along Abuja-Kaduna road, today, it is history. He also succeeded even in bringing down the issue of this Fulani herders/farmers clashes. He has achieved a lot and he deserves the commendation of all the good citizens of this country.

 

While this is not the subject of this interview, I want you to comment on his relationship with the political class because he's had several clashes with them.

When you look at him, you will find out that he is a very interesting personality. He doesn't have any problem with the political class, rather, he's having problems with criminal elements within the political class who want him to compromise on so many issues and he refused, nothing more than that. He has a very excellent cordial relationship with the executive, he has an excellent cordial relationship with the judiciary, he has an excellent cordial relationship with members of the public, so it is only a certain group of people who want him to dance to their tune and he said no, nothing more than that. As far as I am concerned, he is a very interesting person, he has achieved a lot, that is the reason why God Almighty has kept him and is still keeping him in that office up to this moment. If he is a bad person, it would have been over by now.

So you are saying the Government should keep him, the fear is towards 2019 elections, do you think Nigerians should have confidence in him?

What is the fear?

 That he could compromise. Nigerians need an IGP that stands for free and fair elections, that has no political interest.

Remember he is the same Inspector General of Police who supervised the election in Ondo State, in Anambra, Ekiti, and Osun State. No break down of law and order. The election in Ondo State was adjudged as one of the fairest election ever conducted. The same vote of confidence was given to him for providing adequate security for ensuring that there was a free and fair election. So, as I rightly said and I have no regret for saying it, anybody who is opposing the IGP has criminal tendencies. The good citizens of this country, patriotic citizens of this country are behind him hundred percent, and we are behind him and God willing, the 2019 election will come and pass. It's going to be peaceful. It's going to be free and fair. One interesting thing about our amiable IGP is that he has zero tolerance for corruption. He is incorruptible.

He encourages us that whatever case we investigate, we should charge to court. This is because as the police, we have limits. You know the IGP is a lawyer, If you are handling any case, he follows up. He would ask you about the case to know how far you have gone. He understands that we are police officers, we canít decide a case. It is the court that decides. But some people who are against him will tell you stories because he has refused to do business as usual. They are not happy, they will sit down somewhere and cook stories against him. That is why I am telling you that he is a very interesting person.

 Quote me anywhere, no Commissioner of Police will tell you that he has collected money from him. You see, some people are not happy with him because he is not corrupt. He is a typical embodiment of what is good in the creation of the Almighty God. And that is why because God knows his heart, Nothing people say will affect him. Quote me.

He will go far. Something about him - you can't approach him and give him money. He will not accept. This is the same attribute with one of our greatest African leader, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhhamadu Buhari. Because today, our great President is saying no to corruption, he is saying no to impunity, some criminals are ganging up against him, telling all sorts of lies. In Nigeria today, we are no longer talking about bribery to get a contract. Nobody is saying, bring a percentage for Mr. President or this Minister. Just do your work and get paid.

Remember, for the first time, a President is coming, met projects on the ground which is not part of his own programmes, yet, he's implementing them. A typical example is this issue of the Second Niger Bridge, road constructions and other projects. This man believes in continuity when things are done right. But because some other people have discovered that it's no longer business as usual, they are not happy.

 

What about the Treasury Single Account which has blocked all the leakages where government money was going into wrong hands and wrong accounts? They are not happy. What about the tax invaders who are making billions upon billions every year? This government now has stopped that trend. They are not happy. Sometimes, I ask myself, which kind of leader do you want if we are accusing the current president? Do you want the same leaders who will sit down every day to share Nigeriaís money? Something is wrong with that. This is one single person who is saying no to previous impunity. People are criticizing him because of the economy. They forget that we depend on oil. The price of oil crashed. During the previous administration, it was between $100 and $125 per barrel until 2014. The time Buhari took over in 2015 it was about $40 per barrel. How can you compare this when the influx of money into government account reduced drastically? Our currency was also devalued. But even at that, look at the money he saved in the foreign reserve. Look at the ongoing contracts, look at the bailout funds to state governments.

Is it the issue of security? The facts are there. Mischief makers give false figures deliberately and confuse innocent Nigerians. They tell you about thousands of people being killed here and there under this administration. They make wrong comparative analysis.I challenge them. How did they arrive at these figures they are deceiving people with? I have made my own research and very soon I'll publish it. I did a comparative analysis. Even before the issue of terrorism and insurgency, we had the problem of ethnic/religious crisis. You know how many people died? Let me give you an example, Boko Haram attacked Baga on January 3, 2015. In a single day, about 2,000 people were killed.

It was reported by Amnesty International. They said 2,000 people, they said people, they didn't say Muslims, they didn't say Northerners, they said 2,000 people were killed in one day. See what is being reported today, that between January and June this year a total number of 1, 758 Christians were killed by Fulani Jihadist. What of the 2,000 killed in January 2015? They don't have a religion, they don't have an identity, they are not people? But the ones killed from January to June have an identity, they are Christians.  I ask, those 1,758, if you are sure they are all Christians, give us their names and addresses. Then again, we want the people parading these figures to go back and check the records of those 2, 000 killed in a day. We need their names, we need their fixed addresses, we need their religion. Let us compare and see. Remember the year 2000 Kaduna riots where about 5,000 people were killed. People so easily forget. What about the attack in Central Mosque in Kano by Boko Haram? In just one day over 2,000 people were killed. Why didn't they report that Muslims were killed? They just said worshipers were killed.

Somebody somewhere is trying to increase or to fuel a number of religious crisis in this country to make sure they destroy the good image of this country, but God Almighty who loves Nigeria will never allow it. All they are doing is in vain. Nigeria is a blessed country. We need each other to survive. My best advise is - Letís live together in peace, love, and harmony.

Let us pray for this President who is working so hard to make this country a better place, who is working so hard to make sure that the values of righteousness and integrity are restored in governance.  Look at the road project going on in this part of the country. Look at the issue of the Second Niger Bridge. There is continuity, there is no abandoned project.

This is why I am telling you that I am passionate about incorruptible leaders. I am passionate about leaders who do the right thing. I try to emulate them. When I took over here as the Commissioner of police, I told my Area Commanders that I donít need anybody to bring money to me. As a commissioner of police, you are my junior, you are not supposed to give me money. I am supposed to give you. And this is part of the secret to my success here. It is part of my strategy, they donít have any pressure.

What I demand from you is to do your job. My amiable leader is against corruption. Iím against corruption. You should be after criminals. Donít terrorize members of the public. Do police work passionately. Do your work, the money will come in a good way with blessings, even if it is N1 you get with blessings, it is better than the N1 million you get with pain and cursing.

I am at peace with little money than have millions with curses and tears from someoneís eyes.
That is why my DPOs know that if they mess up, I will remove them. My best friends are the ones who are doing the work.

Under your watch as the police boss, crime has declined, it is said that Enugu is one of the safest states in Nigeria today, whatís your strategy?

It's very easy. Security is everybody's business. Through the concept of community policing, we are in touch with various stakeholders in the state.We partner with them to give us useful intelligence about criminals and their activities. This has helped us a lot in checkmating the activities of criminals. That is one aspect of it. These stakeholders include, but not limited: the traditional rulers, that is the Council of Traditional Rulers, we are in touch with them, we are in touch with the student leaders, their various unions from different institutions, the religious leaders, the market union, transport unions including motor park unions. We have a good partnership with them in the fight against criminals.

The second aspect of it is synergy with other security agencies. Enugu State is lucky. We have the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army here, We have the 533 Air Force Base, we have the 103 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, the DSS, and other security agencies. We meet periodically to review the security situation in the state. This has helped a lot in bringing down crime level to its lowest level.  When you talk also about the issue of visibility policing, our men and officers are deployed to various strategic places throughout the state. And we are also having a good synergy with the State Government under the able leadership of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who is a good friend to the Police, who is supporting us financially, morally and otherwise. So you can see policing in Enugu is unique.

The issue of HerderĖfarmer conflicts used to be prevalent in Enugu State, but it is now a thing of history, what magic wand did you use to eliminate this conflict which has become a great impediment to Nigeriaís peace and security?

We are in constant touch with both the Miyetti Allah organization, the Igwes, the representative of the farmers, we have the forum where they usually meet and review issues when they arise. For instance, if there is an issue of herders destroying farm crops, the committee will look into it and they will tabulate, they will know the amount involved and the herders have to pay. We all agree with that, and in a situation whereby the locals or the natives rustle cows of the Fulani herdsmen, we also assess and force them to pay compensation.

This method has helped a lot in solving this issue of Herders/Farmers clashes and we also advise the herders to always rear their cows under the supervision of adults because we discovered that most times they send small children to go on this rearing of cows. And also the issue of Intelligence -Led Policing has helped a lot in checking crimes and criminality in the state. There are other security measures which are not for public consumption because of security reasons.

The issue of Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria is so much on the front burner, since you have recorded success in eradicating this conflict that was like a recurring decimal here, do you think your strategies should be replicated in other states in Nigeria to help solve the problem?

I don't understand this your question. You mean that in Nigeria, herders/farmers clashes are on the increase, my strategies here should be used?

Yes. Since you have been able to solve that problem here in Enugu State, it's not been solved in Plateau, it's not been solved in Benue, donít you think the method you applied here should be used in other states with this vexing conflict?

Let me just say that the truth will resolve the conflict. People are economical with the truth of what is actually causing the clashes. There is a reason for it.

What is the reason?

When you look at what is happening in Benue and Plateau, it's beyond Fulani Herdsmen and Farmers Clashes. Some criminal elements are hiding under it to commit more heinous crimes. We all know that there is the issue of militia groups in Benue and Plateau, and they have their political sponsors. Nobody is talking about that. When you look at other states where the political leaders are truly in charge of their states, all these issues are not there. Take Enugu State where I am as a typical example The political heads and other groups of eminent personalities are all working towards peace, and that's the reason why we are enjoying peace.

When people come to me and say, 'Ahh, CP you have brought peace in Enugu', I say to them, ĎIt's not me, it's the good people of Enugu because they are ready for peace and we are enjoying peace. So my appeal and advice to those states you mentioned are for them to do away with evil, for them to do away with any issue of impunity and work towards peace, they will get peace. This is why I want to express my appreciation to members of the public. They are the most important stakeholders here. Without their support and cooperation, we will not have the peace we are enjoying here. They are behind us, we thank them for the support, we thank them for their confidence in us. Without them we cannot achieve, we cannot reach the level we are reaching. The Governor and other stakeholders are behind us. Here, I enjoy a huge support from members of the public. They have accepted me as their son, as their friend, as their partner in fighting crime and I'm happy to say this any day anywhere. The good people of Enugu State are very wonderful.

Have you received any chieftaincy title so far?

I donít need any chieftaincy title. But you can turn behind your back there and see awards from different organizations within one year. Chieftaincy titles have their own rules and regulations. We are public servants. You don't just go and receive chieftaincy titles, But many have offered me, and I told them to keep it. Time will come for it. For now, I am completely focused on doing my work, making sure that criminal elements are flushed out, that the good people of Enugu State continue enjoying the peace and tranquility they deserve.

We have been talking about your amiable leader, letís come back to you. Who is CP Danmallam Mohammed?

Simple. I'm a police officer, a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, nothing more than that. And why did you become a Police Officer?

Why didn't you go for any other profession?

I want to serve my fatherland and the best place to serve is the Police. You know that in this our work, we are like medical doctors. We save lives. This is one of the reasons why I joined the Nigerian Police Force - To save lives.

Have you had any sad moments since you came to Enugu?

No sad moment.

You have not had a sad moment? Okay, can you recount your greatest achievement?

My greatest? For me, they are many, but let me summarize- Farmers/ Herders crisis is over here. Today, there is sanity in Enugu State. When I took over, the issue of car snatching was rampant, In a day we used to record about 5 to 7 cases of car snatching. Car snatching is now history in Enugu metropolis. Let me put it this way- it gives me great joy that there is peace in the state, that we are able to preserve law and order, protect life and property, make sure criminals are off the streets, that Enugu is one of the safest states in Nigeria today.
 

 

(C) Planet Leadership  Resources, 2018