By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor
The recent announcement of the nomination of former Inspector-General of Police, Sir Mike Mbama Okiro, to head the Police Service Commission, (PSC), was received with wild jubilation across the length and breath of the country. In fact, the joy was more pronounced in police formations across the country as both the rank and file openly commended the choice made by President Goodluck Jonathan even when the relevant bodies are yet to endorse it.
From all indications, this singular appointment should be recorded as one of the rare appointments made by the present administration that received the loudest acclamation and commendation from the start.
However, it is not surprising that the nomination is raising such a jubilant dust going by the track record of Okiro even before he ascended the throne as the number one police man in the country in 2007. His excellent performance as the police helmsman in the city of excellence, Lagos, was a pointer to what he did at the police headquarters in Abuja.
His era in Lagos typified an unprecedented crackdown on all sorts of crime and criminality that bedeviled the city then.
Particularly, he was able to checkmate the then dreaded Oodua Peoples Congress, (OPC), which was on the rampage, perpetrating all kinds of atrocious acts against residents of Lagos State.
Okiro’s tact and mastery of the combat readiness of his men and the professional wizardry which he brought to bear on the battle to flush out the group culminated in the outright ban and total clampdown.
It is on record that he, as the Commissioner of Police,was embarking on night patrols with a view to fishing out not just criminal elements, but also the indolent members of the force who could not do their job well. These tasks, he glowingly accomplished, to the admiration of many in the city and beyond.
Then came the era of his
holding sway as the Inspector-General of Police. It is on record that amongst the numerous successes he recorded, he was able to, for the first time in the history of policing in Nigeria, provide monthly allocations directly to Divisional Police Officers in their respective formations without hindrance.
He also embarked on laudable housing projects which, unfortunately, was later sacrificed on the altar of dirty politics instead of being the succor which it’s initiator earlier projected. Better still, the draft and action plan for the present peace being enjoyed at the Niger Delta area of the country was initiated and single-handedly presented to the Federal government, which led to the amnesty granted the militants in the area.
Aside his numerous other achievements, Okiro was able to galvanize efforts and infuse better policing tactics in the members of the force.
Passing out parade
His achievements were so loudly acclaimed to the extent that during his passing out parade, both members of the force, market women and men including the academia and members of other security agencies fought over each other at the parade ground to honor him.
Now that he has been elevated to a greater height, it calls for better understanding of the onerous responsibilities entrusted unto him.
There is no doubt that a more purposeful Police Service Commission will definitely contribute to a better police force in Nigeria. He cannot afford to fail this time around and the only way to achieve commendable success is to, urgently, delve into those areas where his predecessors failed and come out with new agenda that will transform the force. He should also consolidate where they achieved results. That is why it is very apt to conclude that his nomination has made the chicken to come to roost because it is a terrain he knows very well. Failure will, definitely, be catastrophic.