By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Police authorities led by the Acting Inspector-General of Police (IG) Muhammed Adamu, have been commended for recommending the appointment of Assistant Inspector-General of Police Taiwo Frederick Lakanu to the position of Deputy Inspector General (DIG).
A group, CrimeWatchers, in a statement in Lagos endorsed by the Director General, Timothy Abulhimen, said the appointment of Lakanu has vindicated him as a hard working policeman and consummate crime buster.
The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Adamu, recently appointed six new Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, from the rank of Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and Commissioners of Police.
The elevated AIGs are: Usman Tilli Abubakar, who joined the police from Kebbi State in February 1986; Abdulmaji Ali, who joined the police from Niger State in February 1986; Taiwo Frederick Lakanu, who joined the police from Lagos State in February 1986; and Godwin Nwobodo, who enlisted in the police from Enugu State in 1984.
The other two new DIGs who were elevated from the rank of CPs are: Ogbizi Michael, former Abia State Police Commissioner, and Ibrahim Lamorde, who was a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), from Adamawa State. Before his latest appointment, Lakanu was the Force Secretary.
Abulhimen in the statement explained that “AIG Lakanu who was enlisted into the Nigeria Police as a Cadet ASP has served in various Commands, Formations and Departments, including Operation, Investigation and Administration.
“As Head of the Special Anti Robbery Squad in Lagos, he earned the Inspector- General of Police gallantry award for his contributions to reducing the spate of crime in Lagos from where he was later appointed as the Principal Staff Officer (PSO) to the IG.
“He was a former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command before he was promoted Commissioner of Police Ekiti State Command. AIG Lakanu also had a brief service as Commissioner of Police in charge of the Nigeria Airport Command before his posting as the 31st Commissioner of Police in Imo State.”
While serving in Imo State, Lakanu frontally confronted all the festering faces of crime in Imo State – kidnappers, armed robbers, cultism, child stealing and human traffickers.
Under him, Policemen serving in Imo State became more motivated due to his leadership qualities and the people and the government noticed the extraordinary police officer that took joy in ensuring that criminals operating in and around his area of jurisdiction were tracked down.
Unknown to Lakanu, the state executive, traditional rulers in the state and other sister agencies and private bodies were all taking note of his efficient operational moves and activities.
When the day came on April 3, 2017, few days to his posting away from the state to resume at the Force headquarters, the Governor of Imo State assembled all the who is who in the state at an evening occasion and disclosed the sweetness of service to Mr. Lakanu and other security officers at the occasion.
Governor Rochas Okorocha described Lakanu’s tenure in Imo state: “He came, he saw, and he conquered. l want to thank you for the services you rendered to the people of lmo state. What made you outstanding is because your job comes first before money. Your success came because money never counted in your willingness to succeed in your service to the people.”
“Indeed, lessons abound in the security marriage between Lakanu a Yoruba man and an officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who was posted to another ethnic group and he performed creditably well to the extent that he left the state with a basket full of gifts and memorable awards,” CrimeWatchers said in the statement.
“This is the police officer the country yearns for; the type of police officer any government with a zero tolerance for criminality would always embrace and celebrate. An officer made of stainer stuff, a good manager of people and a good example of the slogan” police is your friend,” a detribalised police officer who whose promotion to the enviable rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG).
Though few of his colleagues and others see him as arrogant, but it helps him get some jobs done, as in October 2018, the immediate past Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, deployed Lakanu, to lead a Police intervention force to Kaduna to ensure that normalcy returns to the area after spate of communal clashes that left 55 people dead in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state.
Lakanu did not only bring the crisis under control, about 65 suspects involved in the crisis were arraigned in court all due to his effective coordination of Police Mobile Force units, Counter Terrorism Unit, conventional policemen, Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad, Intelligence Response Team and Technical Intelligence, among others.