Recently, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, ordered the withdrawal of all police officers attached to very important persons, VIPs, across the country, with immediate effect.

The IGP, however, exempted those attached to government houses, the Senate President and the Speaker House of Representatives, from the order.

The new directive came barely ten days after the police authorities disbanded the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, following the nationwide protests against the squad for its high handedness and extrajudicial killings.

Before the October 21 directive, in March 2018, former Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris ordered an immediate withdrawal of all police orderlies attached to private individuals and companies.

Despite lacking adequate workforce, feeble attempts have been made to withdraw police officers from VIPs in the past by successive IGPs but was unsuccessful.

For instance, the elites believe that having a police officer around for security has become a status symbol for many of them.

Thus, granting them such privilege has left few officers for core police duties like investigations and patrols, as such, most Nigerian communities are at the mercy of criminals.

In other countries, the practice is for VIPs to retain the services of private security guards.

Since the ex-governors, former ministers, businessmen, politicians, entertainers and clerics desirous of extra protection can afford this service, they should be made to get it from private guards without putting undue pressure on the overburdened police system.

The fact that over forty percent of its officers and men are attached to VIPs and unauthorised persons, has made Nigeria grossly under-policed.

Additionally, there are several ills bedeviling the Nigeria Police Force that make it so ineffective in discharging its core duty of maintaining law and order.

The country is yet to meet up with the United Nations recommendation of one police officer for every four hundred and forty citizens ratio, this huge gap has led to increase in crime and criminal acts like armed robbery, kidnapping, gangsterism, cultism, rape and terrorism.

Insecurity has assumed monstrous dimensions around the country while Nigerians are groaning under the yoke of kidnapping and armed robbery.

This pragmatic approach of withdrawing policemen from VIPs will free more officers to face squarely the duty of protecting lives and property of all citizens.

To this end, the action would allow the Nigeria Police to discharge their civic responsibility without any form of distraction.

Rasheedah Makinde


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