The Nigeria Police Force has reaffirmed its commitment to withdrawing MOPOL operatives from VIPs, stating that there is no reversal on this decision.
This statement comes after a leaked memo last week led to speculation that the police might not follow through with the withdrawal.
Despite initial denials, the Force Spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, clarified on Monday that their position on the withdrawal remains unchanged.
Adejobi said: “The Nigeria Police Force hereby addresses recent news circulating regarding the possible reversal of the PMF reform policy and the decision of acting Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to withdraw Police Mobile Force personnel from certain important personalities. The Force wishes to clarify that the decision to withdraw PMF personnel from escort and guard duties stands firm. There will be no going back on this critical policy change.”
“The withdrawal process has already commenced with a comprehensive report, which has been submitted by the constituted committee assigned to oversee the seamless implementation of this directive; and the IGP has activated the mobilization process for the establishment of the Police Quick Intervention Squad which precedes the withdrawal policy.
“The decision to withdraw Police Mobile Force personnel from VIP duties is part of ongoing efforts to optimise the allocation of resources and enhance the efficiency of the Nigeria Police Force in its core mandate of safeguarding the lives and properties of all citizens.
“While poised to ensure a smooth transition, the Nigeria Police Force is committed to providing adequate security arrangements for VIPs who are entitled to such protection.”
Adejobi added that the Force would consider recruiting more supernumerary officers to oversee VIP security.
He said, “Meanwhile, the Force will carefully consider the provisions of Sections 23 to 25 of the Police Act 2020, in recruiting more supernumerary officers, to handle VIP security responsibilities. No VIP or critical infrastructure will be left unprotected by the new policy.”
He also emphasized that the IG called upon the general public and all concerned parties to back and collaborate with the Nigeria Police Force throughout this transition phase.
“The Inspector-General of Police remains resolute in his pursuit of reforms and initiatives that will enhance professionalism and public trust in the Nigeria Police Force. The decision to withdraw Police Mobile Force personnel from VIPs is driven by the need to create a more robust, efficient, and people-centred police force that caters to all citizens’ security needs equally,” he added.