The acting Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, is taking bold steps to reshape police operations in the country.
Egbetokun plans to withdraw Police Mobile Force personnel from VIP escort and guard duties, reallocating them to more essential security roles.
In a meeting with Squadron leaders and Tactical Commanders on Monday, Egbetokun introduced his vision for the Special Intervention Squad.
The squad, made up of 40,000 highly trained police officers, is designed to bolster the police’s ability to respond to security threats nationwide.
According to Egbetokun, “In a bid to kick-start the process of regaining our pride of place in the internal security architecture of our dear country first and foremost, modalities for the creation of a new special squad – the Special Intervention Squad have been initiated.
“This special squad shall consist of 40,000 specially trained elite officers. The Squad will be formed by selecting officers from the pool of existing Police Mobile Force personnel and all tactical units in the country.
“These officers will undergo an intensive pre-deployment training to make them combat-ready for frontline operational duties in all the states of the Federation, with a particular focus on areas plagued with unrest and turmoil.
“By pooling together the expertise and experience of our PMF personnel and other tactical units, we can establish a formidable force that is well-equipped to handle the evolving challenges we face.”
He added that the establishment of the squad would help the police to promptly respond to security threats, noting that 1000 personnel would be deployed to every state.
The IGP said, “This dedicated force will bolster our capacity to respond swiftly and decisively to security threats, ensuring that our presence is felt and our response is effective in every corner of our country. 1000 personnel from this new squad will be deployed to every state of the Federation for immediate operations as standby intervention units, while more troubled spots or zones will receive the remaining officers out of the 40,000.
“These officers will not perform routine police duties but will be housed and kept combat-ready at all times engaging in daily training readiness for deployments to intercept and neutralize high-profile criminals and those terrorizing our communities.
“We shall effect the withdrawal of PMF personnel from VIP escort/guard duties. While the protection of dignitaries remains paramount, it is imperative that we realign our priorities to address the escalating security challenges faced by the nation as a whole. By relieving the PMF of VIP escort and guard duties, we can redirect their focus and efforts toward addressing critical security concerns that affect our communities at large.
“To support the foregoing strategic plan and make needed manpower available for frontline duties, the withdrawn PMF officers will be replaced by officers of the Special Protection Unit only where necessary.”
Egbetokun has appointed a special committee, headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), to assess and advise on the implementation of this new strategy.
The committee is expected to submit its report in two weeks.