By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
“Corruption is a cancer, a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation, andcreativity”-Joe Biden, former Vice President of the US.
Perhaps, when Joe Biden, President of the Unite States of America made the above refrain (quotation) sometime in May 2014, during a meeting with Romanian Civil Society Groups and students in Bucharest while serving as Vice President of US, he probably had a Nigerian Alkali Usman Baba’s abhorrence for corruption in mind.
Born March 1, 1963 to the humble Baba family of Yobe State, Alkali Usman Baba couldn’t have chosen a much more honorable channel to serve his father land being a Police officer. Whereas, not much is known about his early life, the little traits exhibited (still exhibiting) as a Police officer, from the rank of an Assistant Superintendent of Police ASP till this moment as the number one Policeman in Nigeria; Mr. Alkali Usman Baba could fittingly go for an innovative and purposeful leader and a true definition of an incorruptible officer.
Little wonder, the Honourable Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi who announced the appointment of Alkali Usman Baba to anxious State House Correspondents on April 4, 2021 after a meeting ofthe Police Council as the 21 indigenous Inspector General of Police said, “The appointment of Alkali Usman Baba as the newInspector-General of Police was carefully made after the President considered issues of professionalism, competence and numerous years of service.”Suffice therefore, to say that apart from being a morally uprightperson, IGP Baba is one Police officer who served in nearly all states of the federation, a sterling quality of one far from being detribalized in thought and action.Alkali Baba enlisted in the Nigeria Police Force on 15 March 1988 as Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police ASP and rose through the ranks. He was appointed Commissioner of Police CP on 27 January 2013.
Before his appointment as CP, Alkali Baba served in various strategicpositions across the length and breadth of the country. He has served in Kaduna, Yola, Jos and Gombe State as Divisional policeofficer, DPO, Area Commander, ACP, CID, DCP, CID, DC, 2/IC among others. He also served in Ilaro as Area Commander, ACP SCID Kaduna, DCP Administration and later as DCP Investigations at the Federal Capital Command Abuja. He equally served as Directing Staff at the Staff College Jos and also as 21/c to the Commissioner of Policeat the Ebonyi State Command.
In 2014, he was posted to Delta State as the Commissioner of Police and was AIG Zone 5 in charge of Edo, Delta and Bayelsa States. And prior to his appointment as the IGP, Baba served as DIG Force CID, DIG, Finnc and Administration and later, Force Secretary at the Force Headquarters, Abuja respectively. He is a fellow of the Defence College and member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.IGP Alkali Usman Baba is no less an operational and cerebral officerwho aside the formal academic qualifications, attended several professional courses and workshops both home and abroad. He holds aBachelor of Arts Degree from Bayero University, Kano in 1985 and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the prestigious University of Maiduguri in 1997.
As part of his policing thrust, IGP Alkali Usman Baba emplaced police primacy in Nigeria by providing motivational and credible leadership quality directed at stabilizing internal security and modernizing police operations, facilities and standards within the framework of citizens, consent, trust, and the rule of law. Perhaps, these accounted for why he was quickly confirmed a substantive 21stindigenous IGP by the Police Council barely two months of his appointment as such by President Muhammadu Buhari.Poised at changing the narrative in policing the Nigeria space, IGP Alkali Usman Baba who took over the mantle of leadership of the Police at the a time the morale of the officers and men of the Force had dwindled to the nadir; following the devastating blows of theinglorious #EndSARS protest, quickly hit the ground running by disbanding various mushroom Units of the Police that were visibly responsible for the dent on the image of the Police.
Hitherto, these Unit heads reported directly to the IGP who would be too busy with other police duties to know what the boys under therespective units do. They became gods to themselves and abused citizen’s rights. Corruption and corrupt practices grew in lips and bounds. But the entrant of IGP Baba changed the narrative.
His virtuousness was tested when sometime last year; DCP Abba Kyari who headed one of the best Units of the Police Force-IRT was indicted in the FBI investigations into the fraudulent activities of a UAE-based Nigerian, Abbas Ramon alias Huspupi. Constitutionally and by the provisions of the Police Act, the IGP lacks the locus standi to 9suspend an erring officer of the rank of a DCP and he quickly recommended to the Police Service Commission which was approved. He even went as far as setting up a probe panel to investigate the embattled Officer.
And just recently, when the suspended DCP Kyari was also indicted bythe National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA in an illicit drug deal, a shocked IGP Baba promptly set up a probe panel headed by the DIG, FIB to dispassionately look into the matter and while the outcome of the investigation was being awaited, the NDLEA came out with ashocker declaring the suspended senior Police officer wanted.
The declaration of DCP Abba Kyari wanted no doubt, hit the IGP whose shoulders the image of the Nigeria Police Force directly falls like athunderbolt. But like the Chinua Achebe’s Okonkwo who would not condole indolence by striking Ikemefuna with a killer blow of hismachete that sent him to the grave; the same Ikemefuna who lived with him and calls him father, IGP Baba wasted no time in arresting DCP Abba Kyari and cohorts and handed them over to the NDLEA to be probed..
Ordinarily, observers had said that under normal circumstances, before DCP Abba Kyari was arrested and handed over to the NDLEA by the same Police organization he belongs for the indictment, the Police was supposed to have exhausted all known investigations and came out with its findings before such action. But because IGP Alkali Usman Baba isone individual who abhors corruption in all guises no matter who is involved, he willingly handed his officer(s) to the NDLEA; just hoursafter he (they) was declared wanted; just to wash his hands off any blotch and of course, prove a point to Nigerians. This singular action of IGP Alkali Usman Baba is salutary of a purposeful leader; to say the least.