The Inspector General of Police, IG Usman Baba’s maiden visit to Lagos Command was almost marred by a windstorm that tore through the entire parade ground of the command and damaged cars.
After his arrival amidst the blare of police trumpets and even the salute from the quarter guard, the IG had taken to the podium.
Whilst the National Anthem was being sung, the thickened clouds unleashed torrents of rain that soon turned into a windstorm.
The windstorm blew canopies away, flung chairs and caused people including the IG and his entourage to scamper to safety.
Although some escaped with few bruises, some cars parked in the compound took a major hit as the flung canopies damaged them.
The development led to a reorder of the IG’s address as he proceeded into the conference room to speak to senior officers before returning about 90 minutes later for his interaction with junior officers and other ranks.
Reassuring them that their welfare was being cared for like never before, IG Baba said the system expects them to give in their best in return.
He warned his men against unprofessional conducts, committing suicide and mishandling of firearms, urging the senior officers to ensure discipline was restored to the service.
Stressing that the “service can no longer tolerate acts of indiscipline which is well known to us”, he added that “ee must do the needful to be able to carry on with our job.
“One area that we need to improve on is the issue of crowd control, riots so that you would go back with the agreed or accepted norms of discharging this responsibility.
“You must also control the use of firearms. As commanders, you need to lecture your men and remind them when issuing rifle of the kind of situations they are to use it. You must also guard against it being either snatched or carelessly handled.
“We must also be civil in the discharge of our responsibilities at all times. Never again should we allow our stations and our personnel to be sacked by hoodlums wielding guns, sticks and matchetes to the extent that we would not be able to handle situations that can easily be handled because of lack of professionalism or cowardice”.
Acknowledging that the police were challenged in terms of manpower, IG Baba said the government has put in place measures to address that, adding that very soon recruitment across all cadre would commence.
“As for our equipment and working tools, we just started taking delivery of riot equipments and other fundamental tools from the Police Trust Fund…Those asking for more manpower, more riot equipment and logistics will get it.
“Though we do not have all the money to get everything at the central, there is going to be some interventions in training/retraining, logistics and welfare.”