Acting IGP Egbetokun Creates New Special Intervention Squad, Withdraws PMF Personnel From VIP Escort

.... Directs Police Convoy to Obey Traffic Rules 

In line with his vision of building a rule of law compliant Police Force, the acting Inspector-General of Police, Ag IGP Olukayode Egbetokun has created of a new special squad, Special Intervention Squad which is consist of 40,000 specially trained elite officers, as he Withdrew PMF Personnel From VIP escort/guard duties, directed all police convoys on routine, non-emergency movement, to obey traffic lights and other traffic rules, pledging that he will lead by example in this regard.

Egbetokun gave this directive on Monday when he met with the Commanders of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Special Protection Unit (SPU), and other Tactical Units at the Force Headquarters,  Abuja.

The conference with Tactical Commanders of the Force, according to Acting IGP Egbetokun is to address matters of national security importance affecting the constitutional responsibilities including protecting lives and property of citizens, maintenance of laws and order. "Our nation faces numerous challenges that require a proactive and strategic operational approach to surmount.",he said.

IGP Egbetokun said, the Squad will be formed by selecting officers from the pool of existing Police Mobile Force (PMF) 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. 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.

One thousand 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. 

He added that these officers will not perform routine police duties but will be housed and kept combat-ready at all times engaging in daily trainings in readiness for deployments to intercept and neutralize high-profile criminals and those terrorizing our communities. They will be deployed to intervene rapidly and proactively in any situation necessary in their states of assignment.

He noted also that all Tactical Commanders will be involved in the process of identifying suitable candidates from within their respective units. These individuals should possess the necessary skills, agility, experience, character, and commitment to excel in the challenging and demanding environments they will encounter. 

The Acting IGP pointed out that the new special squad will be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to combat evolving criminal activities, insurgency, and other security threats especially the activities of non-state actors. We will henceforth be more proactive and be ready to take the fight to the criminals’ den.

He further said in order to optimize the efficiency of our resources, we shall carry out a re-evaluation of the responsibilities assigned to the PMF. Specifically, 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.

"A special committee headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations) has been set up to assess and advise on how this strategy can be implemented seamlessly. The committee is expected to submit its report in two weeks after which further details will be made available. 

"Our goal should be to enforce the law and to be partners in creating safe communities, nurturing an environment where everyone feels protected and valued. This is our commitment to Nigerians.

"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 (SPU) only where necessary.

"To ensure the smooth implementation of this policy, we will, in consultation with the Police Service Commission, invoke the Supernumerary provision of Sections 23, 24 and 25 of the Police Act 2020 which allows the police to train supernumerary officers specifically for the personal protection duties of individual Nigerians who require their services. We will make details of this available in the weeks and months ahead; while making sure the policy is implemented strictly in accordance with best practices. This will free up regular police officers to focus more on frontline policing duties across the nation.", he said.

The Acting IGP also urged commanders to enforce strict guidelines on the use of social media by police officers in line with the existing Social Media Policy 2022 and Cybercrime Prohibition Act, 2015, emphasizing the importance of professionalism, respect for privacy, and the avoidance of any content that may be deemed offensive or unprofessional.

He also charged them to be epitome of peace, saying, rhose whose duty it is to enforce the laws of the land must themselves respect and obey the laws of the land. Without obeying the laws, the Police lack the moral high ground to interrogate and bring law breakers to book."

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