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Community Today…

Interview with AIG of Police, T.Y.Muhammed

 


An exclusive interview with Assistant Inspector General of Police, Nigeria Police Force (AIG) T. Y Muhammed  

  

*Questions: Give us a brief on your academic background.***

 

I went to university of Sokoto where I took my first degree, then I took a

cadet course after which I was posted to Niger state, since then I have

served in several states nearly in all the geo-political zone of the

federation.

 

*QUESTION: In what capacity have you served the police force?*

 

I was Commissioner of Police twice in air force command in lagos, kano,

Kaduna, Zamfara and Oyo state.  I was one time Commissioner of Police

Deputy commandant in the prestigious police academy in Kano. I have served

as AIG zone 3 in Yola comprising of Adamawa, Taraba and Gombe state. Now am

the AIG in charge of zone 9 and the state I control are Abia, Enugu, Imo

and Anambra state. That is just to mention a few of my appointment in the

force so far.

   

*Questions: Sir, tell us about your experience in the Nigeria Police Force.

***

 

The experiences in some cases are rewarding and some challenging, in some

other instances bitter.

 

You know that the police work is full of challenges, because you are

dealing with the masses that may have one issue or the other and end up in

police station due to assaults, petty stealing, and disagreements among

others.

 

We also deal with people who are highly placed and are into organised

crimes, from time to time we have cases involving these people and that

will also give us the opportunity to know them, interact with them, how

they live their lives. You are exposed to the lives of the poor and the

highly placed people.

 

*Questions: From the Police College, how will you describe the journey so

far? ***

 

It has been very rewarding, I finished in 1985 and in 1986 I became a cadet

then I was posted to Niger, then to the force CID in Lagos, and there was

an order in 1989 that officers who are between the ranks of inspector and

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) can go back to their own state of

Origin, and that took me to Sokoto and I worked there for about 16 years.

 

When I became Deputy Commissioner of Police I was posted to Calabar, that’s

where I became ACP in charge of CID ( Criminal Investigation Department)

covering Cross River, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom and Rivers for over 4years.

   

As a CID, we don’t wear uniform, we try to monitor what people do, we mix

up with people, and sometimes we disguise to get information, at public

functions, relaxation centres. We try to relax with them and to source for

information.

 

From there I was transferred to Rivers states, where I became deputy

commissioner of police. There I had a rewarding experience as we were able

to work and relate with the militants to curtail their destructive

tendencies.

 

*Questions: How are you able to manage ‘’ Zone 9’’ despite the fact that kidnapping and Oil theft is rampant in these areas?***

 

You see sometimes people make cheap assertion as far as am concerned, to

say kidnapping is rampant, you must have facts and figures. It may have

been before but as we speak, it is not true that it is so rampant.

 

I have not heard of it in the last 3months in Abia and Enugu. Though you

have pocket of Kidnapping happening prominently in Anambra and Imo state

but the commissioners of police are on their toes.

 

They are doing their very best to curtail the situation. For instance the

commissioner of police of Imo state addressed a press conference and

asserted that he has arrested 138 kidnappers and recovered 10 vehicles from

them and is sure that the rate of kidnap is quite low now; very soon you

will not hear of kidnapping in the South-East again.

 

It is not necessary that the police alone should be responsible for putting

an end to kidnapping; members of the public should also see it as their own

business too. They should see themselves as partners in progress in the

fight against kidnapping and other criminal offences because police are not

anywhere but members of the public are everywhere.

 

They know these criminal, there is no reason why they should hide anyone

who have ill intention. If you know a criminal and you are not telling the

law enforcement agent about it, then you are doing a disservice to the

nation. I am using this opportunity to say that the general public should

join hands with the police to expose anyone suspected to be a criminal.

 

*Questions: How do you manage your officers to imbibe your style of community policing?***

 

I believe that if am the only one that is good I will fail. Just few days

ago we trained officers under this zone on capacity building and reviving

the image of the police.

 

We succeeded in teaching them so many things; the need for transparency,

accountability, courage and honesty. The need to improve themselves

educationally especially now that we are in the age of ICT, to be dynamic,

to be courteous when on duty towards members of the public, to de-emphasize

checking commercial vehicles and rather concentrate on bogus vehicles who

are real criminal.

     

*Questions: Sir, you have been described as an outstanding officer by the members of the public, what is the secret?***

 

I want to thank God for making me a simple person, I treat my subordinate

with respect and am so conscious of that, also members of the public I

respect them when they come to my office, I listen to them, am a very good

listener, I often reassure them even when they have to wait, I would not

mind going to the waiting room to inform them that I will still see them,

you reassure them always. It is just simplicity, humility and love for our

people.

 

*Questions: When do you think that Africa should begin to use the tool of peace and conflict resolution for securing Africa?***

 

You see even now in the police service we want to begin to apply alternate

dispute resolution, it is not every issue that comes that you go to court

for, going to court sometime damage relationship with people, we now

de-emphasize charging every matter to court, we use a lot of alternative

dispute resolutions, meet the parties, try and see if we can make peace

between them, though is a process of give and take. When we resolve the

issues like that they go home happy because there is no victor, no vanquish

in the final analysis.

 

But when you go to court and you are convicted when you come out there is

no how you will like that person in your life, you will continue to be his

enemy, but if it has been settled out of court as a way of using ADR. We do

a lot of peace building.

 

*Questions: What will you say about securing Africa as a great Continent?***

 

Nations of Africa must come together if we must secure ourselves, no one

can succeed in isolation, so there must be bi-lateral and multilateral

relationships.

 

As far as peace keeping in air force is concerned in Africa, Nigeria is

prominent in Namibia, South-Africa, Casablanca and all the trouble spot in

Africa because we have the capacity militarily to assist others. If we are

talking globally we also require other things from other developed nations

of the world.

 

*Questions: How do you manage your family and your Job as a Police officer?

***

 

The family of an average police man is suffering, the love for the family is not there because of incessant transfer.

 

You know I serve in Ibadan over a year and then to Yola, now am in Abia,

barely a year now. You have to station permanently in a place as it

primarily affects children’s education.

 

When I was a young officer, my first daughter attended 9 primary Schools.

She attended some in Calabar, port-Harcourt, Abuja and in Lagos. Our

children will miss a lot of parental love and care.

     

*Questions: What are your Plans to ensure a peaceful gubernatorial election in Anambra state come November 2013?***

 

We have just come out of Anambra PDP gubernatorial primaries, we know that

the election has been slated for the 16th of November, we will make covered

and uncovered arrangement. Did you hear that any body was hurt during the

party primaries?  We had over 600 officer and men in the place.

 

When the governorship election comes, we will flood the place with covered

and uncovered arrangement, a lot of undercover operations, some officers

will be in mufti, picking up criminals, those that are likely to be

dangerous. It will be free, fair and peaceful; we are getting ready for it.

 

I want to assure you that, all the four commands will be going to assist

the commissioner of police in Anambra, we will move officers from Abia, Imo

states and if need be from other parts of the country.

 

*Questions: Sir, In case of emergencies, how can the public reach you? ***

 

The public can reach us on these numbers: 08037241645, 08160002000,

07051515177, 08091766465

 

 
 
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