The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has ordered the withdrawal of all police officers attached to Very Important Persons (VIPs) including political and public office holders nationwide.
The police boss announced this in Abuja on Monday during a conference with senior officers.
He said the directive also affected private businessmen, multi-national companies and other corporate organizations who are enjoying special police protection.
He disclosed that a task force had been constituted at the Force headquarters under the command of ACP Mohammed Dankwara to ensure compliance to the directive while state commissioners of police are to replicate same at their commands.
His words: “In view of the current security challenges in the country, it has become expedient for the Nigeria Police Force to streamline the deployment of its personnel attached to political and public office holders, aimed at enhancing effective and efficient policing of the country.
“To this effect, a memo will be forwarded to the President for approval which will serve as a guideline or template for deployment to VIPs, political and public office holders in the country; Accordingly, a directive for withdrawal of all police officers deployed to VIPs, political and public office holders with immediate effect, is hereby given”.
There has been a public outcry over the deployment of a large percentage of police personnel – over 200,000 – to private individuals at the expense of other citizens.
This followed revelations that 80 per cent of policemen in the country were attached to private individuals across the country.
Idris, however, explained that businessmen, corporate organisations and individuals who required special police protection and “are found worthy,” would be considered by the Special Protection Unit of the force on application for re-validation through the state Commissioners of Police where they are resident.
“By so doing, I am charging the Commissioners of Police with the responsibility of supervising such official deployment and thereby holding them accountable,” he pointed out.
The IG also bemoaned the abuse of police Supernumerary number plates and the illegal use of siren and covering of vehicle number plates by motorists and warned the culprits to desist.
He directed the holders of the police SPY number plates to return them to the Force Transport Officer and apply for re-validation.
He also asked the state CPs to enforce the directive and arrest violators, adding that the list of task force teams that would ensure compliance to the order should be sent to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Operations, by March 31,2018.