On Thursday, Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), decorated Patience Ibekwe Abdallah, a police officer, promoted to deputy inspector-general of police (DIG). The Police Service Commission (PSC) had approved the promotion of three assistant inspectors-general of police (AIGs) to the position of DIGs. Among these officers, Abdallah is the only woman, meaning she is an inch closer to making history as Nigeria’s first female inspector-general of police.
Before becoming an AIG, she was appointed the commissioner of police in Ebonyi state in 2015. When she assumed duty in the state, Abdallah introduced ‘Show of Force’ and ‘Walk Down Crime’ as measures to tackle crime.
“Even a dare-devil criminal will not stand during the Show of Force. We will intensify it to include early morning from 5:30 am to 7:30 am in case of any eventuality,” she said while flagging off the programmes in the state.
Abdallah also partnered with stakeholders and the measures reportedly yielded results and the police under her watch was able to tackle crime to a large extent. She also ordered the dismantling of checkpoints allegedly used to exploit motorists.
“I see security of lives and property as my first obligation. I am always happy seeing people sleeping with their two eyes closed everyday,” she told Guardian in an interview 2016.
“I am happy each time I hear that people of the state move about without molestation from anybody. I wake up everyday thinking about the security of the people and once I’m able to ensure their safety, my day is made.
“So I will say that protection of lives and property is the motivating factor.”
Abdallah also worked hard to restore peace in troubled communities. Moved by her exploits, the Okada Riders Union in the state conferred with the title of “NNE Oma (good mother) of Ebonyi state”.
David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi, once described her as a jovial police officer.
“Her joviality should not be taken for granted because somebody who smiles like her can be strict and even difficult. I am very impressed with the Nigerian police of today,” Umahi had said at an event.
In 2016, Abdallah had Ndubuisi Ewerem, a police officer, arrested for allegedly defiling a seven-year-old girl.
“We don’t tolerate such act in the Nigerian police force,” the then Ebonyi CP had told journalists.
“Whether rape or not, any act of defilement is a very serious crime which must be dealt with. The suspect is under detention.”
Born on April 7, 1963, Abdallah joined the police as a cadet officer 29 years ago. She is from Odoje in Onitsha, Anambra state. Mike Ibekwe, her father, retired as a commissioner of police. He was in charge of the old east central state shortly after the civil war ended in 1970.
She is married to Mustapha Abdallah, chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).