The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, on Tuesday, narrated his working relationship with the former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, describing it as difficult.
Mr Dambazau said the ministry experienced “better friendly relationships” with a previous Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase.
According to The Nation newspaper, Mr Dambazau spoke during a courtesy visit by the recently appointed acting IGP, Mohammed Adamu, in Abuja.
He urged the new police chief to have “a better working relationship with the Ministry of Interior”.
“I congratulate the Acting Inspector General of Police. I appreciate your coming here recognising the significance of the Ministry of Interior following its supervisory mandate of the police and other agencies and also its mandate in internal security and public safety.
“Because we are happy that you took this step because since November 2015 that I came in here as minister, Mr. Solomon Arase, who was the then Inspector General of Police, we had a cordial relationship.
“But after Arase left, I think there was ‘perseverance’ of relationship between the police and the Ministry of Interior,” Mr Dambazau said.
Mr Dambazau’s ministry supervises the activities of the country’s security outfits vis a vis internal security.
Mr Idris recently handed over to Mr Adamu as the new Acting Inspector General of Police after he retired.
Mr Idris’ reign as the nation’s top cop was largely characterised by brushes with the parliament, civil society, media, and the public with many critcising him for his abuse of authority.
The Nation quoted the former Chief of Army staff as saying that in his three years in office as the minister, he had presented over 25 memoranda to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) which had to do with projects and none had included the police.
”Not completely because most of our dealings in terms of internal security and public safety were with the present DIG Operations because we thought we must do everything possible regardless to ensure that we ensure our mandate in terms of police and also ensure that the police as an institution does not suffer. We are glad today that you came in with a different idea to strengthen this relationship,” he said.
“Throughout the three years, we have presented more than 25 memorandums to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) that have to do with policies and projects. But none of those 25 memorandums that went to FEC included the police. So, this is the kind of things that we should avoid,” he explained.
He said the police needs “a parent ministry” to represent it at the FEC.
“Except for few memorandums that came from the Police Academy. I think we need to work together, particularly with the kind of internal security challenges we are experiencing in this country,” he said. “We appreciate the idea of community policing. Ours stops at making policies, but for implementation, it is absolutely yours. We will not interfere in that.”
Mr Dambazau also assured the new police boss of support from the ministry.
Meanwhile, Mr Adamu acknowledged issues facing the police force in terms of policies promising to always attend meetings summoned by the minister “when necessary”.
“We want to be deeply involved in the activities of the ministry. We want the minister to know that we (police) are 100 per cent ready to participate in every activity in the ministry that will involve security.
“We do have challenges involving security in the country; challenges that can be surmounted with the support of the parent ministry.
“If in the past we were not participating the way we should in the ministry, but now we have retraced our steps to come back and do the needful for the benefit of the country and for the benefit of everybody. That is the reason why we are here,” Mr Adamu said.
He later went into a closed door meeting with the minister.