The police are ready for the 2019 elections, Inspector-General of Police (IG) Ibrahim Idris said yesterday.
The elections will hold in February and March.
He said: “We are prepared for the elections. We have the men and we have the materials (logistics) to carry out our duties successfully before, during and after the elections.”
The IG spoke in Lagos after the public presentation of his book: Security and justice: The pathway for peace and reconciliation in Nigeria.
The 292-page book has 18 chapters and proffers solutions to violence, corruption and other societae menace.
The police chief said there was need for justice and reconciliation to ensure meaningful development.
Idris noted that the country’s security challenges would be contained if Nigerians pursued true reconciliation and shunned inflammatory comments.
“The challenges we are having with these herdsmen have gone down. In Benue, we have 15 units on ground and I have been monitoring their successes.
“I was in Benue and we have been having stakeholders’ meetings and we have been discussing.
“Based on that, people have been coming openly to state their problems and it is through this that we can understand each other and reconcile our differences.
“The role of traditional rulers in this reconciliation process cannot be over-emphasised because most of them have the ears of their people. When you have political disagreement in these communities, these traditional rulers are handy.”
Dedicating his book to his men, Idris said proceeds from its sale would be used to fund the Security and Justice Initiative, a foundation being established for the promotion of peace, security and reconciliation in Nigeria.
He said his experience over the years, with the United Nations headquarters in New York, peace keeping operations in other countries and as IG, had “taught me that internal peace is a pivotal element for instituting and sustaining democratic government.
“I have watched with troubled heart the security challenges confronting this country. The challenges of Boko Haram in the North East, kidnappings and armed robberies, cattle rustling and militancy in virtually all parts of Nigeria.
“The farmers/herders clashes, assassination for various reasons, conflicts among the divergent communities, which often take dangerous dimensions and occur along the fault lines of ethnic, religious, regional and political differences.
“These challenges if not properly managed at the pace we are going, coupled with inflammatory and inciting statements will tear this country apart and drag us into unending crises.
“It is my conviction that when there is security, justice, peace and reconciliation in any nation, civil strife will be avoided. The civil war of 1967 to 1970 perhaps turned out as the first major and catostrophic crisis in the record of our national experience.
“This civil war occurred based on perceived ethnic and political differences and a feeling of injustice.”
In attendance were Secretary to Lagos State Government Tunji Bello, Oba of Lagos Rilwanu Akiolu, former Minister of State Defence Musiliu Obanikoro, former Ogun State Governor Olusegun Osoba, Chairman Police Service Commission Mike Okiro, former IG Sunday Ehindero, former head of Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Aderemi Makanjuola, consulars and high commissioners/ambassadors of about 20 countries. There were also heads of military and paramilitary services.
Oba Akiolu praised the police chief for the book and blamed the porous borders and unattended forests for the lingering herders/farmers clashes in some parts of the country.
He called for better funding for the police, noting: “This IG is an exposed and experienced officer and so, he is in a better position to tackle insecurity.”
The monarch announced his second term endorsement for Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and warned that anyone who contested against him would fail.
Osoba, an accomplished journalist and former Managing Director of The Daily Times, said the first step to reconciliation was devolution of power, adding that any reconciliation that failed to recognise the need for decentralisation of power would not succeed.
Makanjuola said: “The book could not have come at a better time. You will find a lot of things that are not new but will also find a lot of solutions you never knew. He touched every facet of the country in the book.
“I commend the police because before people are scared to go out at night but now, that has changed as people freely move about.”