Reacting ahead of the June 12th Celebration, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, Nigeria’s number one police officer, has assured that the force will deal firmly with any person or group who may want to cause trouble during the celebration.

The Inspector-General of Police made this known during a meeting with strategic commanders of the Nigerian Police Force in Abuja on Monday.

Baba also directed Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police and Commissioners of Police in states and FCT to maintain law and order during the celebration of Democracy Day.

The police chief, however, urged them to remain civil with law-abiding citizens during the Democracy Day celebration.

He said: “The June 12 Democracy Day is days away. We are currently reviewing the security situation, with a view to ensuring a hitch-free exercise.

‘’Details of this will form part of our discussion. I must, however, remind you all of the need to remain civil with law abiding citizens, but firm with any person or group that may wish to take advantage of the event to threaten our internal security order.”

Baba also expressed dismay that most Command Commissioners of Police still allow their officers to unnecessarily impound vehicles at police stations.

He said: “Police facilities are not junkyards and must not be turned to one. Indeed, such acts create vulnerabilities that often engender attacks on our facilities.

“Accordingly, I task you to return to your commands and undertake a major operation to clear all such indiscriminately impounded vehicles off your stations.

‘’The compliance to this directive shall be confirmed in the course of my on-going tours to your command and any departmental head, zonal commander, commissioner of police or unit head that is found wanting will be dealt with.

I have also received reports of abuses associated with the use of SPY plate numbers and tainted glasses. Accordingly, henceforth the issuance of SPY plate numbers and tainted glasses permits are hereby suspended.

‘’The existing authorizations are being reviewed and a protocol to regulate the issuance of such permits will be evolved.

“An emerging trend in which some motorists cover their plate numbers has also been noticed across the country. This practice inhibits our law enforcement operations and hence, is intolerable. Consequently, commissioners of Police are tasked to as part of their operations, to arrest any motorist involved in this act.

Furthermore, I have been receiving reports that some Commissioners of Police are still allowing the mounting of road blocks in their jurisdictions. For the avoidance of doubt, road blocks under any description or guise remain banned across the country and any officer found to be contravening this order will be held liable and dealt with firmly.

“The society has evolved. As law enforcement operatives, we must align our policing strategies to this societal dynamics, particularly, at this time that our policing functions are being built in the community policing model in which the citizen’s interests are prioritized.

Road blocks as a policing model is becoming obsolete and unacceptable, hence we are working towards enhancing our intelligence-led and technology-driven policing capability as well as strengthening the ‘Safer Highway Motorized Patrol Scheme as an alternative to road blocks.

“Therefore you are tasked to ensure that deployments within your command are reviewed and your operations aligned to this new policing approach which discourages the disposition to limiting the liberty of the citizens through road blocks which are known to be avenues for corrupt tendencies and other vices that widens the trust gap between the citizens and the police”.

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