By Emmanuel Umohinyang
The greatness or otherwise of every being is always a reflection of where he stands at very critical moments of national history.
Whether in the advanced nations or developing ones, people who dare the odds, no matter the challenges, though few, usually stand out.
This is because their deeds stand them out of the crowd because they never fail to seize the moment to showcase their God-given potentials at every opportunity. That is why Nigeria can never be ignored because there is incontrovertible evidence globally that despite its battered image in the recent past, it has men and women who are global brands.
Have you bothered to ask yourself why President Muhammadu Buhari is showered unprecedented love by the poorest of the poor in Nigeria and are still yearning to vote him for second term despite the challenges facing the country?
Have you asked yourself why there was no in-fighting in his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in an attempt to succeed him when he was receiving treatment abroad like we had under the Yar’adua presidency.
This only confirms that truly perception matters in human relations because people judge you the way they perceive you.
Indeed, for the inspector-General of police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris, events of the last few years has given him the rare privilege of writing his name in gold. Perhaps, realising that the office of the IGP had almost been a subject of scandals in the recent past, Idris from day one dared to be different.
He did this by returning the police to the part of professionalism by ensuring its return to its core values of being a truly professional security institution.
Realizing that this cannot achieved with a wave of the hand, the IGP has in the last few years motivated his officers and men for improved performance.
Under his leadership, the police force has recorded an unprecedented promotion since it was created to boost the morale of its personnel.
Recently, the salaries of police personnel was increased following the approval granted by president Muhammadu.
It is to the eternal credit of IGP Idris that this was achieved under him, though the idea could have been started by his predecessors.
For the first time, Nigerians can attest to the fact that they are seeing an institution that now treats them with respect and courtesy.
This is in line with the vision of the number one cop who believes that the police must be a friend of Nigerians and vice versa. Recall that unlike in the recent past when cases against police personnel were swept under the carpet, the IGP has dared to be different.
He has done this by making sure that communication channels between the police and the public have been widened to ensure better policing.
Thus Nigerians can now deal with the commissioners of police in their respective states, even as IGP’s personal telephone lines are public knowledge.
Aside this reported cases of erring officials are being swiftly handled and appropriate punishment meted to those found wanting
In Lagos State for instance, a top official who killed an official of LASTMA was dismissed posthumously and an apology tendered to the family.
The police under this IGP was also at the home of a Nigerian who was killed in the cause of duty.
Furthermore, there is no gain saying that IGP Idris has restored credibility to the office he currently occupies by being above board.
Though he has his own short comings like everybody, there is no gain saying that perhaps for the first time in a very long time, this IGP has not been involved in any financial scandal.
Even those who tried too rubbish his reputation have since kept their mouths shut because they have since found Idris a hard nut to crack.
Under him, the police as an institution has no doubt been above board in the discharge of its duties.
Everywhere he posted, he was garlanded for excellence in the performance of his duties.
Those who know him are therefore not surprised that he has brought sound, workable and credible reforms to the police.
Though his tenure as IGP may have ended, the consensus among those who truly love this country is that we still need his services especially at this time.
This no doubt in the best birthday gift President Buhari can give to the hard-working patriot as he clock 60 on Tuesday January 16, 2019.
I join other Nigerians in wishing him happy birthday on this milestone.
*Umohinyang, a social commentator, is based in Lagos