Robinson T. Sibe
First, let me congratulate the new IGP. Although his appointment will elicit some questions, given that DIG’s had to be retired to make way for him – something that didn’t start with his appointment, by the way – his profile (as released on national dailies) comes across as interesting.
On paper, he reads like a Professional: a first degree in Geography (knowledge that’s quite crucial to Policing) from ABU, Zaria. He’s spent time working with the INTERPOL as Assistant Director, and I believe he would have been exposed to international policing and modern tools. He was also a Commissioner of Police in Enugu and Ekiti, and also served as Directing Staff at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru. Not bad!
However, we have seen beautiful CV’s before, perform terribly on the job. All of this beautiful profile and the goodwill of his appointment thus far, will count for nothing if he elects to be the bad cop, to please his employer, any Politician or Political Party. The Police in Nigeria are not quite popular with the people, and this has been aggravated recently, no thanks to their increasing brutality and unprofessionalism. This is an opportunity to correct this.
The new IGP is at the crossroad of history; an all-important national election is weeks away. If I’m in his position, I will, at this decisive point, elect to be the good cop, even if my tenure lasts for only a day. He’s had a decent career, and risen to the highest level; so, even if his tenure is cut short for not kowtowing to the big Politician(s), his legacy won’t be terminated if the people can identify with him as the good cop. I don’t know the micro-details of his service and reputation, beyond what was released in his official profile, however, this appointment gives him a fresh opportunity. The choice is his to make: be the good cop or the bad cop?
Finally, his first day on the job was not bad. The suspension of the handover process for new commissioner of Police in Lagos, an appointment that has generated lots of controversies, was a strategic statement. He comes in at a time when every action of his, will be closely scrutinized by the people, and it’s important he avoids controversies as much as possible. The country needs an upright IGP, that will act professionally, without favouring any Political Party. Nigerians are taking minutes of proceedings.
Robinson Tombari Sibe is a Port Harcourt based political commentator, strategist, writer, geospatial expert and software engineer.