The cold working relationship between the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd) and the police ended yesterday as he explained how difficult it was working with the immediate past Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris.
Dambazau, who expressed sadness over what transpired during Idris’s tenure, said such should be avoided in the future.
The minister, who spoke in Abuja when the new Acting IGP, Mohammed Adam, paid him a working visit, said: “I congratulate the Acting Inspector General of Police. I appreciate your coming here recognising the significant of the Ministry of Interior following its supervisory mandate of the police and other agencies and also its mandate in internal security and public safety.
“Because we are happy that you took this step because since November 2015 that I came in here as minister, Mr. Solomon Arase, who was the then Inspector General of Police, we had cordial relationship.
“But after Arase left, I think there was perseverance of relationship between the police and the Ministry of Interior. Not completely because most of our dealings in terms of internal security and public safety was with the present DIG Operations because we thought we must do everything possible regardless to ensure that we ensure our mandate in terms of police and also ensure that the police as an institution does not suffer. We are glad today that you came in with different idea to strengthen this relationship.”
The minister added: “Throughout the three years, we have presented more than 25 memorandums to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) that have to do with policies and projects. But none of those 25 memorandums that went to FEC included the police. So, this is the kind of things that we should avoid. You need a parent ministry to represent you at FEC. Except few memorandums that came from the Police Academy. I think we need to work together, particularly with the kind of internal security challenges we are experiencing in this country. We appreciate the idea of community policing. Ours stops at making policies, but for implementation, it is absolutely yours. We will not interfere in that.”
He assured the new police boss of support, adding: “This ministry will give you all the support you need to succeed. We will work hard with you as you have suggested that there are internal security challenges and we will provide for Nigeria the kind of security they deserve.”
On his part, the new police boss acknowledged the fact that there was crisis between the Ministry of Interior and the police.
He promised to change the old ways of operations and embrace peace in order to tackle the country’s internal security.
Adam also vowed to always attend meetings summoned by the minister when necessary.
His words: “It is a privilege to be received by you today. Since my appointment as the Acting Inspector General of Police, my thought was first to visit the Ministry of Interior because it is very important.
“We are aware of the fact that most policy issues concerning police operations comes from the Ministry of Interior and we don’t want to be left out.
“We want to be deeply involved in the activities of the ministry. We want the minister to know that we (police) are 100 per cent ready to participate in every activity in the ministry that will involve security.
“We do have challenges involving security in the country; challenges that can be surmounted with the support of the parent ministry.
“If in the past we were not participating the way we should in the ministry, but now we have retraced our steps to come back and do the needful for the benefit of the country and for the benefit of everybody. That is the reason why we are here. After this meeting, I will go into a closed door meeting with the minister.”
Findings revealed that the former IGP Ibrahim Idris did not personally attend any meeting summoned by Dambazau since assumption of office.