…Sets Up New Special Intervention Squad
By Jude Atupulazi
The Federal Government of Nigeria has withdrawn the Mobile Police Force Personnel attached to several Very Important Persons, VIPs, including ex-governors, former ministers and lawmakers.
The order was contained in a police wireless message from Mopol 45 Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The development came a few weeks after the IG, Kayode Egbetokun, said he would withdraw Police Mobile Force Personnel, PMF from VIP escort and guard duties.
He had also announced plans to establish a Special Intervention Squad, which, according to him, would have 40,000 highly trained police officers, including selected officers from the Police Mobile Force.
This, the IG said, was to allow the police to take back its place in the internal security architecture of the country.
Egbetokun, who spoke during a meeting with Squadron leaders and Tactical Commanders in Abuja, on June 26, stated, ‘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.
‘In a bid to kick-start the process of regaining our pride of place in the internal security architecture of our dear country first and foremost, modalities for the creation of a new special squad – the Special Intervention Squad, 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 Personnel and all tactical units in the country.
‘These officers will undergo 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.’
Egbetokun set up a committee headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Adeleke Bode, to assess and advise on how the new policies could be implemented seamlessly.