By: Editorial

Kayode Egbetokun, the Inspector General of Police’s order withdrawing Mobile Police Force personnel attached to Very Important Persons including ex-governors, former ministers, lawmakers, and men/women of means in the country is commendable but needs political will on the part of the topmost cop in the country to see to fruition.

The nation’s Number One Cop’s directive, reportedly conveyed through a police wireless message from Mopol 45 Force Headquarters, Abuja, is good but remains an overflogged news to the ears of Nigerians.

Egbetokun’s order listed names and past designations where necessary, of affected persons. Amongst mentioned designations and names include former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Daura Buhari, brother to former President Muhammadu Buhari as well as immediate past First Lady, Aisha Buhari’s siblings, among others. To us, this is quite courageous.

It’s however important for us to recollect that former IGPs in the country made similar pronouncements during their tenures but failed because of lack of political will to effectively implement the laudable initiative. And now, not many, especially among the officially contemptuous privileged class, in and outside power, to which Egbetokun belongs, will take his ambitious but desirable initiative serious. He needs to prove them wrong.

Theliberationnews believes that Egbetokun’s police VIPs’ withdrawal plan, if fully implemented, will allow the police force take back its statutory pride of place in the internal security architecture of the country.

Theliberationnews takes notice of, and will hold Egbetokun to his promise at a meeting he held with Squadron leaders and Tactical Commanders on June 26, 2023, in Abuja. The thrust of the meeting is that he would “effect the withdrawal of PMF personnel from VIP escort/guard duties.” At that meeting, he also acknowledged the fact that “… is imperative we realign our priorities to address the escalating security challenges faced by the nation as a whole….it’s by relieving the PMF of VIP escort and guard duties that we can redirect their focus and efforts toward addressing critical security concerns that affect our communities at large.” The IGP should endeavour to keep to his aversions at this meeting.

Though Egbetokun has very short time to his retirement next year, he can still leave a lasting legacy by creating a security architecture that gives all Nigerians relatively equal protection, irrespective of societal standings. The current policing reality is used by the privileged class to unduly oppress on a daily basis the hoi poloi in the country.

Theliberationnews believes that the foregoing initiative can only be achieved, if under Egbetokun’s policing stewardship of the country, only those statutorily allowed police personal protection are accorded such official privilege. These categories of Nigerians including the president, vice president, governors and deputies, local council chairmen, legislative principal officers in states and federal levels, magistrates and judges should not be allowed to abuse this privilege by extending it to their extended family members, friends and associates of different hues.

More importantly, Theliberationnews believes Egbetokun needs the buy-in of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to achieve the desired results regarding this long overdue VIPs withdrawal policing policy. We call on him to ask the president for support and he shall be given. Nigerians are watching to see if this initiative will work this time around under a president that espouses ‘think and do’ as a state policy.