*Loyalty to foreign country
*Setting illegal paramilitary outfit
*As Police Recruit 40,000 Community Police Officers
By Hassan Zaggi
Pledging loyalty to foreign countries, unauthorized blocking of public highways, setting up of a para-military guard known as ‘HURRAS’, provocative preaching and hate speeches aimed at inciting members against non-members, are some of the many ‘sins’ of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known Shiites that led to its proscription few days ago, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has said.
Speaking at a Conference with the senior police officers in Abuja, yesterday, IGP Adamu further explained that IMN in Nigeria led by Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, has over time, “evolved to constitute a grave threat to national security, law and order, socio-religious harmony, peace, good governance and the sovereign integrity of the country”.
The IMN, he noted, “has over the years manifested its penchant for launching attacks on Nigerians and the symbols of State authority”, stressing that since 2018 till date, the IMN has engaged in coordinated and organized violent protests within the FCT.
According to IGP Adamu, the members of the IMN have engaged in extreme radicalism, series of terror-related activities, violence and other unlawful activities which are inimical to the national security interest, good governance, and the corporate existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Adamu further recalled that: “Two weeks ago, the IMN extended its violent protest on July 9, 2019, to the National Assembly in the course of which they violently attacked and fatally injured security operatives in an attempt to overrun the National Assembly and threaten the nation’s democratic order.
“ On July 22, 2019, the IMN members again launched another vicious cycle of violent protest around the Federal secretariat during which they set a sub-station of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) containing a truck and ambulance on fire. A Deputy Commissioner of Police, Usman Umar, in charge of Operations at the FCT Police Command, and Precious Owolabi, a National Youth Service Corp member in the FCT, were killed and several others injured, with many properties destroyed by them”.
The IGP regretted that the recent activities of the IMN constitutes what he described as “glaring defiance and/or rebellion against the Nigerian State, calculated efforts to plunge the nation into an ethno-religious war, intimidation of citizens and security agents, disrespect for Nigerian laws and the authority of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
“Their activities also clearly and consistently negate Section 1(2)(A)&(B) of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013 and Section 2(1)(A)(B)(C) of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act of 2013 and hence, justify their proscription in overriding national security interest.”
However, in an effort to contain the rising insecurity in all communities in the country, the Nigeria Police Force has announced plans to recruit 40,000 personnel christened Community Policing Officers (CPOs).
The CPOs will be under the coordination of the Nigeria Police towards evolving a community-focused policing architecture.
This is to also sustain the achievement recorded by Nigeria Police in recent times.
The CPOs, the IGP said, will be recruited from within the communities where the prospective applicants reside and that an average of 50 CPOs will be engaged in each of the 774 Local Government Areas of the country.
The IGP further disclosed that, 1,300 CPOs will be drawn from professional bodies like the academia, road transport unions, artisans, traders associations, religious bodies, women unions, and youth organisations among others in order to ensure diverse representation.
“The CPOs shall be deployed to complement in law enforcement functions within their localities by performing low-risk and non-sensitive duties. They will also act as liaisons between the Police and their communities.
“This policing architecture will free-up conventional police personnel that hitherto perform such functions and enhance our manpower profile in relation to deployment to frontline, operational duties.
“When fully implemented, the Community Policing Strategy will bridge the gap between the Police and the citizens in a manner that will enhance optimal, cost-effective, and sustainable law enforcement service delivery by the Police,” IGP Adamu, explained.
On the successes so far achieved in the fight against criminal elements in the country, the IGP Adamu disclosed that from January to July, 4,187 high profile suspects have been arrested nationwide.
This, he said, included 1,629 armed robbery suspects; 1,053 suspected kidnappers; 1,023 cultists, and 482 murder suspects.
“In addition, 1,181 firearms of various descriptions and calibre including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and rocket launchers were recovered in various police operations across the country within the same period. 389 stolen vehicles were also recovered from criminal elements, while 506 kidnapped victims have been safely rescued.
“It is pertinent to mention that of the rescued victims, 300 were secured in Zamfara State alone with 249 of this number rescued between July 9-23, 2019 from bandits and militias operating in the forests in and around Zamfara State”.