Crying Wolf Without Any Wool, By Bala Ibrahim

SOMETIMES, some people scream for help where the need for it does not arise. Oftentimes, people with such divination, end up in a preposterous or silly situation, because of the absurd and unreasonable stands they took. Those in the habit of such behaviour, are regularly visited by embarrassment and shame, pursuant to their stupidity. If you cry wolf, you are saying there is a problem, but when the raised problem is non existent, the consequence is that, people would not believe you whenever there is a real problem. Yes, you cried wolf without seeing any wool.

Yesterday, the social media was suffused with some extremely silly stories, captioned, “Nigerian Presidential Candidates Petition US, UK, Others, Over Alleged Lopsided Posting Of Top Police Officers To Favour APC Candidate Tinubu, In the 2023 Election”. They alleged the posting was done to help the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to rig the poll, come 2023.

One of the stories ran thus, The Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Musiliu Smith, has approved the posting of 16 indigenes who hail from the South-West to serve as commissioners out of the 37 commands in the country. The petitioners alleged that Smith, who is a former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and from the South-West, carried out the lopsided postings in collaboration with the present IGP, Usman Alkali Baba, who is from Yobe State, in North-East. Also approved are the postings of seven Assistant Inspectors General (AIGs) of Police, who are from of the South-West, to seven out of the 17 zonal headquarters.

“We considered these postings as a plot to rig the 2023 presidential election using the relationship between the APC and the two top police officials,”- the petitioners.

This is laughable. When was the US and the UK given the responsibility of policing Nigeria, particularly in the prevention and detection of such crimes as lopsided police postings and the maintenance of political order? To me, this looks like the typical attitude of the Nigerian potential looser, who wants to pre-empt the aftermath of his ineptitude, by crying wolf without any wool.

Whatever anyone would say about IGP Alkali Usman Baba and Mr.Muslihu Smith, there is no denying the fact that they have distinguished themselves as officers and gentlemen, who cannot be accused of political bias. In particular, Mr. Alkali Baba has retooled and repositioned the Nigeria police, with special emphasis to professionalism and complete commitment to the tenets of democracy and civil obedience.

Like crime, which has no bias to tribe, race, religion or region, in the enforcement of the law, the police is not trained to discriminate. The silly suspicion of distrust, mostly comes from people with questionable conscience.

The lawfulness and legitimacy of law enforcement are an important criterion for judging policing under a democratic setting. This means that the police must comply with constitutional, statutory and professional norms, while public confidence on them is encouraged, by giving them the benefit of doubt.

Yes, the time has arrived, for Nigerians to have additional confidence on the Nigeria Police under the present management team, by accepting their efforts in good faith, and giving them honest and deserving trust, even on instances of doubts.

IGP Alkali Usman Baba has done what many of his predecessors have not done, by ruthlessly dealing with the scourge of nepotism in the Nigeria police. The old practice of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them special postings and promotion was put under check, since he assumed office as the 21st indigenous Inspector General of the Nigeria Police.

IGP Alkali Baba’s sense of impartiality was put to a special test, when two of his kinsmen, AIG Ibrahim Mustapha Magu rtd, the former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and DCP Abba Kyari, the suspended head of the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team, IRT, and he acted with probity, neutrality and justice. Justice to the victims, and fairness to the police.

Just recently, at a high level security and other stakeholders meeting on the Independent National Electoral Commission’s preparedness for the July 16th Governorship election in Osun State, the chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said, vote-buying and insecurity are some of their major concerns. The implication of that alert is that, the police must rise to its responsibility of providing security to the voters and the ballot boxes.

It is therefore nothing new or suspicious, if as a responsive IGP, Alkali chooses to re-strategize, by restructuring the security architecture of the entire south west region. After all, a similar election was held about a month ago, in the neighbouring Ekiti state, and surely, from the reports of that election, additional intelligence must have been gotten on how best to contain the situation.

The essence of every election and political campaign is centred on persuading the voters, and not the other way round. The road to victory is usually long, expensive and often exhausting. To emerge successful, the task of the candidate is on how to persuade the voters, and not making silly allegations, by crying wolf without any wool.