Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, who upon his appointment by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu said, he “feels like a lion to devour all criminals” has commenced modalities for the creation of special squad consisting of 40,000 specially trained elite officers.
He also revealed that his administration shall effect the withdrawal of Police Mobile Force (PMF) personnel from VIP escort and guard duties. This, he stated would help in addressing “critical security concerns that affect our communities at large.”
Egbetokun disclosed this on Monday, at the Force Headquarters, Abuja in an address at his first Conference with Commanders of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Special Protection Unit (SPU), and other Tactical Units to address matters of national security importance.
According to the Ag. IGP, “Our nation faces numerous challenges that require a proactive and strategic operational approach to surmount.”
To this end, he said “modalities for the creation of a new special squad – the Special Intervention Squad (SIS) have been initiated.” This special squad shall consist of 40,000 specially trained elite officers. The Squad will be formed by selecting officers from the pool of existing Police Mobile Force (PMF) personnel and all tactical units in the country.
“These officers will undergo an intensive pre-deployment training to make them combat ready for frontline operational duties in all the states of the Federation, with a particular focus on areas plagued with unrest and turmoil. By pooling together the expertise and experience of our PMF personnel and other tactical units, we can establish a formidable force that is well-equipped to handle the evolving challenges we face.
“This dedicated force will bolster our capacity to respond swiftly and decisively to security threats, ensuring that our presence is felt and our response is effective in every corner of our country. One thousand personnel from this new squad will be deployed to every state of the Federation for immediate operations as standby intervention units, while more troubled spots or zones will receive the remaining officers out of the 40,000.
“These officers will not perform routine police duties but will be housed and kept combat-ready at all times engaging in daily trainings in readiness for deployments to intercept and neutralize high-profile criminals and those terrorizing our communities. They will be deployed to intervene rapidly and proactively in any situation necessary in their states of assignment.”
The IGP further explained that, all Commanders will be involved in the process of identifying suitable candidates from within their respective units.
“These individuals should possess the necessary skills, agility, experience, character, and commitment to excel in the challenging and demanding environments they will encounter. The new special squad will be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to combat evolving criminal activities, insurgency, and other security threats especially the activities of non-state actors.
“We will henceforth be more proactive and be ready to take the fight to the criminals’ den. Furthermore, in order to optimize the efficiency of our resources, we shall carry out a re-evaluation of the responsibilities assigned to the PMF. Specifically, we shall effect the withdrawal of PMF personnel from VIP escort/guard duties. While the protection of dignitaries remains paramount, it is imperative that we realign our priorities to address the escalating security challenges faced by the nation as a whole.
“By relieving the PMF of VIP escort and guard duties, we can redirect their focus and efforts toward addressing critical security concerns that affect our communities at large. To this end, a special committee headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations) has been set up to assess and advise on how this strategy can be implemented seamlessly.”
The IGP also said, the committee is expected to submit its report in two weeks after which further details will be made available.
According to him, “Our goal should be to enforce the law and to be partners in creating safe communities, nurturing an environment where everyone feels protected and valued. This is our commitment to Nigerians. To support the foregoing strategic plan and make needed manpower available for frontline duties, the withdrawn PMF officers will be replaced by officers of the Special Protection Unit (SPU) only where necessary.
“To ensure the smooth implementation of this policy, we will, in consultation with the Police Service Commission, invoke the Supernumerary provision of Sections 23, 24 and 25 of the Police Act 2020 which allows the police to train supernumerary officers specifically for the personal protection duties of individual Nigerians who require their services.
“We will make details of this available in the weeks and months ahead; while making sure the policy is implemented strictly in accordance with best practices. This will free up regular police officers to focus more on frontline policing duties across the nation.
“It is important to note that these proposed operational strategies aims to foster a sense of trust, cooperation, and confidence within the Police Force. By involving personnel from various tactical units across the country, we emphasize the unity and collective responsibility of our Force.”
Through this collaborative effort, we can ensure that no area is left unattended, and all states receive the necessary support to combat crime effectively. These strategies will definitely require extra support, will and resources from the government. I am gladdened by the commitment of the government to support our efforts to restore enduring peace to every community in Nigeria.”
The IGP however, thanked Mr. President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for his passion for Police welfare, support and commitment to repositioning the Police Force for effective delivery of our constitutional mandates.”