Three weeks after he was appointed Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, has been confirmed the substantive Police boss.
The Federal Government, through the Police Council, chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan, confirmed Arase yesterday during the Council’s meeting in Abuja.
The confirmation came shortly after the Police Council met with the Council of State.
Arase confirmed to journalists that, “I have just been confirmed” and pledged to ensure that no Nigerian suffers injustice from the hands of police officers and men under his command.
The government also gave explanation on the sack of his predecessor, Mr. Suleiman Abba. It said the former IGP was fired barely nine months after his appointment for indiscipline in the Force.
The explanation clears speculations that Abba was sacked for not manipulating the 2015 presidential election in favour of Jonathan. Some Nigerians had also alleged that Abba had “brazenly” switched loyalty to President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari immediately after the polls.
Former IGP and Chairman of the Police Service Commission, PSC, Mr. Mike Okiro, told newsmen yesterday that President Jonathan disclosed that ‘indiscipline’ was the reason for Abba’s sack.
Okiro said: “I may not attempt to answer that question because I’m not part of the Presidency that removed him, so I cannot give adequate answer. Though at the meeting (the President) tried to explain to members, based on the question raised by one of the governors that Nigerians may want to know why the former IGP was removed. The President, in a very brief way, said during the period of the former IGP, a lot of indiscipline was noticed among the rank and file of the police and as such he felt that a new IG should come and try his luck. That is what he said, though I cannot give details.”
Arase told State House correspondents after the meeting that he would dedicate his elevation to improving the welfare of men and officers of the force for effective civil security.
“I have just been confirmed,” he said.
According to him, members of the Council deliberated extensively on the state of security in the country and strategies that need to be taken to addressing them.
“We talked about the security challenges we are having and our strategic responses to addressing those challenges. I can assure Nigerians that we are going to address these issues.”
Arase explained that in tackling the challenges of insecurity, the Police under his watch would ensure that crime is brought to at least a tolerable level.
“I don’t think it is the worst security situation we are facing. There is no society that is actually crime-free but we are trying to ensure that it is within tolerable level. It is not as bad as the public’s perception” he said.
He said: “To my men, I will tell them that their welfare will be number one on my cardinal responsibilities. You don’t motivate a workforce except their welfare is paramount. I’m going to ensure that their welfare is going to be put on the front burner.
“To Nigerians, I know that their expectations are high but I can assure them that no Nigerian will suffer any injustice by my inaction or action.”
According to him, the police are also putting measures to ensure strict compliance with his order on ban of roadblocks across the country.
“We already have an enforcement policy in place. Sixteen teams have moved out across the length and breadth of this country to ensure there is strict compliance to that order” he added.
Okiro had also told reporters that issues that border on security were discussed at the meeting and how to ensure that Nigerians live in peace in order to ensure that their security are assured.
Arase was appointed in acting capacity immediately Abba was removed and was yesterday confirmed the 18th indigenous IGP. His confirmation was also one of the fastest, coming exactly three weeks after his appointment.
Abba was appointed on August 1, 2014 and was not confirmed until November 4, a clear three months after he succeeded Mohammed Abubakar.
Nigerian Pilot recalals that President Jonathan had on April 21 fired ex- Abba with immediate effect and appointed Deputy Inspector-General of Police, DIG Solomon Arase as Acting Police boss.
Presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati announced Abba’s sack in a statement that reads: “President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has relieved the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba of his appointment and duties with immediate effect. President Jonathan has also appointed Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase as Acting Inspector-General of Police, also with immediate effect. Until his appointment as Mr. Abba’s replacement, Mr. Arase was the Head of the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department. Mr. Arase holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Law, as well as Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Political Science and Strategic Studies. He is also a Fellow of the Nigerian Defence College.”
Arase, on assumption of office acknowledged high level corruption in the Nigeria police Force, and therefore vowed to rid the Force of the monster, even as he promised a human rights-driven policing in order to address citizens concern for custodial violence, which include abuse of power of pre-trial detention, poor and inhabitable custodial facilities, violations of rights of detentions, forced confessions, misuse of firearms among others.
The police chief, who made the pledge during his inaugural conference with strategic police managers, also promised a police-community partnership.