In the just concluded week, the acting Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, in line with the security reforms ordered by the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo in August 2018, took more comprehensive action to re-organize the chain of command of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) by placing the unit in each State under the state Commissioners of Police and the unit at the Force Headquarters under the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.
He also disbanded all quasi-investigation and operation outfits which include, the Special Investigation Panel, Special Tactical Squad, IG Monitoring and Intelligence Teams among others. The IG promised complete overhaul of the Police Mobile Force, Counter-terrorism Unit and the Special Protection Unit handling its investigative, intelligence and special operations works, in order to enhance the capacity of the Police towards citizen-centered and intelligence-led policing.
Ahead of the forthcoming election, he ordered that a Special Election Investigation Team (SEIT) which will investigate and prosecute electoral offenders should be set up. In a related development, the United States and the United Kingdom threatened to impose visa restrictions on anyone and prosecute such individual under international law, especially the politicians, who promotes and perpetrates violence during Nigeria’s forthcoming elections.
The international countries stated that the visa restrictions could be extended to the family of the perpetrator and that close attention would be given to people’s action as well as the democratic process. Elsewhere, at the first Council of State meeting in 2019, which comprised the current and past Presidents and Heads of State, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), leadership of the National Assembly, State Governors amongst others, approved N27,000 as minimum wage for all Nigerian workers.
However, Federal Government (FG) added N3,000 to its workers pay to increase theirs to N30,000. Nigeria Labour Congress had disagreed with the kind gesture expressed by FG on its workers, stating that the National Council of State does not have jurisdiction on the issue of minimum wage and that only the agreed amount by the tripartite committee will be adopted.
Meanwhile, the new Minimum Wage Bill had passed second reading in both federal legislative houses. Members of the House of Representatives also aligned themselves with the NLC, insisted on N30,000 for all workers while the Senators adjourned plenary to February 19 after Presidential and National Assembly elections. We commend the bold move by the new IG to make the operations of the police force citizen-centered and intelligence-led.
Maintaining the tempo on the implementation of the planned strategic reforms, we expect, will ease the heightened insecurity in the country. Also, with the creation of the SEIT by the IG and the keen interest shown by the international community in the forthcoming elections, politicians are likely to improve on their behaviour, thereby reducing the risk of post-election violence, thus, boosting investors’ confidence.