A former vice president and chieftain of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has hailed the decision by the Nigeria police to withdraw its officers from guarding private individuals and organisations in the country.
The Inspector-General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, on Monday announced the withdrawal of the officers said to number about 150,000.
Speaking on the decision through a statement from his media office signed by Paul Ibe, Mr. Abubakar said it is obvious that Nigeria has a security emergency.
“Our security forces are overstretched. We do not have enough military and paramilitary forces to provide security for the peace-loving people of Nigeria which is why the recent Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State kidnapping occurred. Their school was left unguarded'” he said.
Mr. Abubakar recalled that he had on March 10 counselled for the reassigning of the 150,000 police officers guarding private citizens to core police duties.
“Asked by THISDAY on Saturday what he would do different to prevent abduction like Dapchi, the Waziri Adamawa had responded thus: ‘Recently, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Chief Mike Okiro, revealed that 150,000 policemen are guarding various elites and those we know as ‘big men’. If I had my way, I would have recalled all of those 150,000 policemen who are not performing core police duties and send them to provide security for every school in the North-East region,” the statement recalled.
“That to me would be a better use of their time and services. We already know that Boko Haram has an agenda to cripple Western education in Nigeria. So how could we have left those schools unguarded? Why should the police be guarding VIPs who can afford personal guards and leave vulnerable girls unguarded? We are spending billions of Naira trying to encourage girls to go to school only to allow them be abducted by terrorists.”
Mr. Abubakar said he “welcomes the reported new policy of reassigning these 150,000 policemen from guarding VIPs to regular police duties especially as it relates to the much-needed protection of schools in the Northeast and other troubled zones.
“As Kenneth Blanchard said, none of us is as smart as all of us. The Waziri Adamawa continues to call on the Buhari government to be open to solutions from well-meaning Nigerians and friends of Nigeria so we can navigate this nation away from the precipice,” the statement concluded.