IT is no longer news that Nigeria’s no nonsense, fearless and incorruptible Police Officer, an Inspector General of Police (AIG), Joseph Mbu is now the AIG Zone 2, comprising of Lagos and Ogun States.
AIG Mbu’s posting to the zone rings bell to those in the corridors of power and the lawless citizens. Just before he settled down for work, Mbu vowed to deal decisively with any law breaker without fear or favour before, during and after elections in accordance with the provisions of the law no matter his or her status in the society.
While on a familiarisation visite to the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja on Wednesday where he had a private session with officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force, Mbu told journalists that he will not tolerate any violent attack on any of his men who are doing their legitimate jobs.
Warning both the general public and those in higher offices to desist from any act that is capable of breaching public peace.
He said, “Don’t always attack the Police. You leave the subject matter and begin to attack us. Any body who attack my Police man violently, we will respond violently. Because I have called for massive onslaughts.
“What I mean by massive onslaught is that, we have set strategies and we are going to keep heavily armed Police men with tearsmoke and everything in specific areas so that once there is any crisis they call us.
“We are also going to put trackers on all police vehicles so that when we call you and send you to a particular place, we ensure that, you go there and deliver. You smoke the place, restore order and get the perpetrators of the crisis arrested. Any call from anywhere should be ignored.
“That person must be brought to book. This is an election that the whole world is watching. We the Police are the leading agency in crime prevention in this election so we must lead by example.”
According to him,”The election challenge before us is an opportunity to write history, so we cannot allow anything to go wrong during the election, instead, as police officers we are meant to sacrifice all to ensure free and fair election.
Speaking on his posting to Zone Two which drew sharp reactions in some quarters with some critics describing it as politically motivated and ill timed, MBU said his posting was due to hard work and divine providence. “My posting to this Zone is ordained by God and no man has the power to challenge it. I know that all of you are scared that Mbu is here, but the good thing is that, I am here to make history with the officers in my command.”
Mbu also admonished the police officers on the need to be confident during the electioneering period, stressing that any officer who compromise in the course of the election shall be dealt with in accordance with the law.
He also warned that his regime would not tolerate any act of indecent dressing by any officer saying upon his arrival he noticed several police officers on bathroom slippers, sandals while in uniform.
While fielding question from journalist on his men’s response to violent act of hoodlums as the election period draws closer, Mbu said ” I have given a marching order to my men to respond violently to them if they are attacked.
He however, implored the stakeholders in the coming general election on the need to embrace peace as key to free and fair election, adding that his command shall not tarry in bringing offenders during the election to book.
Here is the full transcript of his interview
Message to Lagosians concerning February elections.
My message to Lagosians is that, the elections would be conducted fairly, peacefully, and there will not be any violence. One day when I was going out, we were on speed and I saw some youths with machetes, cutlasses, and bottles. I am warning everybody now, I will not and the police officers will not tolerate such indiscipline and lawlessness in this city of Lagos. And I want them to know that, this Lagos is housing a lot of foreigners, most foreign governments have their diplomatic headquarters here being the second capital of the country. We will arrest anybody we find with any offensive weapon that is capable of injuring or killing anybody I have given my policemen the matching order to demobilize anybody seen with such a weapon violently or otherwise. We must make sure we recover that knife or machete from you or that gun anything that we see that is unlawful anywhere. Anybody coming for campaign here should know that the police is here to give enough coverage. The police is also supported with other security agencies so we will not permit the use of thugs. We will not allow thugs to be recruited to take over the duties of police and make life unsafe for people who are doing their legitimate businesses. We will not accept that. I mean it and I repeat it, anybody found with any offensive weapon ; we are going to use every legal means within our disposal based on the powers vested on the police to make sure that the weapon is recover and the person arrested and prosecuted.
Advice to policemen
I have told all my policemen that we are supposed to work as a body, an impartial umpire. We are supposed to carry out our duties as it is enshrined in the constitution and other laws guilding the police to prevent any body from committing a crime. To be courageous and to arrest whoever is doing that and to disobey any unlawful order from me, from the commissioner of police or any senior officer but to do the right thing and that we must avoid violence. How do we avoid violence? We have to avoid violence by doing the right thing and by being courageous to do the right thing.
Warning to sponsors and promoters of lawlessness
And let me also warn that apart from that the leaders of such people will also be prosecuted because they must have leaders either in the ward or at the centre. They must have leaders. Wherever the incidence takes place, we are not going to take it for granted. Look we have what they called political behaviour, we have what they called communication distortion. We should be patient to listen to anything that happened before we react. Hearsay, they send you text message that police have done that and you start reacting, we are not going to accept that. And for safety during election we have enough vehicles in Laos, courtesy of state government, enough manpower, we have enough outfit, police mobile force we have enough squadron here with CTU, the SPU the RRS and other security agencies. I am not calling the Military now; other security agencies are here to support us. And let me tell you, you cannot be above a country; you cannot be above Nigeria as a government. When you over power us of course we will follow procedures and we will ask the military to come and assist us and it will be desaster. We are assuring all good Lagosians that they should sleep well that, election are going to be conducted free and fair in a very conducive atmosphere and no body in high places will go there to vote with a routine of vehicle or go and influence voters no, you will go there as an ordinary person vote and you go.
Why people are afraid when they hear my name
I love my job. I have no other job, so for 30 years I have been doing this job; where else do I go? I have to do my job with passion. How do you do your job very well, you plan for your job every day you are out for the job and we are doing it. We enforce the law without looking at anybody’s face so that your boss will still have confidence in you and deploy you to other places that he feels he has challenges and only somebody like you can do that. Among my DPO’s when I was the Commissioner of police I do the same things how will I send somebody to this place it is not today that I conducted election. I conducted election when I was DPO in Potiskun, I conducted election when I was the Area Commander in Suleja, I went to Kontagora the toughest place, I was the principal actor in the Edo election I was the commissioner of Mobile Police Squad then I was the principal actor in that election and it went well. We are here as impartial umpire that is why I have warn all my officers I know the CP has warn them. before. I had to warn them again that we have only that day to convince Nigerians. We have only that day to disappoint our critics that AIG Mbu has been sent here for a purpose. I don’t know if I am an electoral officer. If you look at me you can see that I am friendly, humane and full of humour; see me very meek. Do I look like someone who can harm? But you must do your job and I have told them not to be afraid to arrest anybody as far as we are concern we have the power. I have told them that they should look at their ID card and see what is in the ID card. That a police officer is vested with the power with the privileges and the immunity of a police officer and as entrenched in all the laws concerning the police so you should come out without fear or favour and do that job. You should not be partial, Not that you go to polling booth and see somebody you know, and you begin to laugh with. Be serious and do your job.
On the proliferation of small arms
All the police has been directed to mob small arms everywhere. They have been directed search houses where they are selling drugs, we have the power as well as the NDLEA.we have the power to search all houses where they are selling this durgs. because ordinarily they cannot commit crime without something stimulating them. That is the marching order and our intelligent unit have been revitalized to go round and gather intelligent and volunteer same to us.
Rules of engagement for the Police
I have said it before don’t always attack us. You leave the subject matter and begin to attack my policemen, anybody who attack my policemen violently we are going to respond violently. I repeat it anybody who attack my policemen violently, we are going to respond violently. I have called for massive unslaught. What I mean by violently we have set strategies we are going to heavily armed police in specific areas once there is any crises they call us and we are going to put trackers on all our vehicle so that when we call a particular place you will ensure that you go there and if you go there and there is crises you smoke the place and restore order and get everybody arrested. Ignore any call from anywhere. That person must be brought to book. The whole World is watching. We as the police are the leading agency in crime prevention during this election and we must live by example I have told you.