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CLOSE-UP: Usman Baba, the investigator and political scientist leading police in the era of insecurity

CLOSE-UP: Usman Baba, the investigator and political scientist leading police in the era of insecurity
April 06
21:58 2021

Usman Alkali Baba has been unveiled as the acting inspector-general of police (IGP), replacing Mohammed Adamu, who bowed out one month shy of the end of his extended tenure. Muhammed Dingyadi, minister of police affairs, said Baba’s appointment is with immediate effect.

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Until his appointment, Baba had been in charge of the criminal investigation department at the police force headquarters since December 2020, overseeing key police operations relating to homicide, general investigations, anti-human trafficking, anti-fraud, among others.

SEASONED INVESTIGATOR WITH THREE DECADES OF EXPERIENCE

The acting IGP, who is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, is coming on board with over three decades of policing experience which started in 1988 when he enlisted in the force.

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In addition to his work experience, the Yobe-born officer had also taken several professional courses as his career unfolded, including ones that tested his competence in investigations and counter-terrorism.

He rose through the ranks to become a commissioner of police in 2013 after which he was posted to the Delta state command, where he promised to run an open-door policy. From Delta, he was redeployed to the federal capital territory (FCT) command where he served for about two years.

He has also served in other key positions including as an assistant inspector-general of police (AIG) in charge of zone 5; AIG in charge of finance and administration, as well as police force secretary.

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Over the course of his career, Baba has been posted to various commands across the country including in Kaduna, where he was charged with overseeing criminal investigation and administration at different times. While in the FCT, he was the deputy commissioner in charge of investigations.

He also served in police commands in Edo, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Gombe, and Yola, among others.

Usman Alkali Baba handing over to Zanna Mohammed Ibrahim, his successor as Delta CP.

TRAINED POLITICAL SCIENTIST AND ADMINISTRATOR

A fellow of the International War College, the incoming IGP was trained as a political scientist before he joined the police force.

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In the 1970s, he attended Teachers College, Potiskum in Yobe state, where he received a teacher’s grade II certificate, before proceeding to study political science at Bayero University Kano.

After his graduation in 1985, he proceeded to the University of Maiduguri where he obtained a master’s degree in public administration and would later enroll into the National Defence College.

‘THE OFFICER THAT SERVED WITH HUMAN FACE’

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In a society where not many people believe that “the police is your friend”, Baba wants to be that officer in whom you would find a friend in.

In 2014, shortly after he was posted to Delta as the police commissioner, he was asked what would be his legacy. His response was far from the usual. “I want to leave a legacy of policing with human face” was all he said.

The acting IGP also spoke of his belief in achieving effective policing through partnership. After arriving in Delta at the time, he set out to meet all stakeholders that could help in ensuring that peace reigns in the state — including the prisons, the media, and other security and paramilitary agencies.

“These visits are to synergise to fight crime and criminality in Delta state,” he had said.

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In his curriculum vitae, Baba noted his vision as an officer: “To enhance police primacy in Nigeria through the provision of a motivational and credible leadership driven by professional knowledge, ethics, emotional intelligence tools, and strategic planning and operational models that are directed at stabilizing internal security and modernizing police operations, facilities and standards within the framework of citizens, consent, trust, and rule of law.”

At a time when Nigeria is being torn apart by security threats and challenges from all corners — challenges that even police officers have not been spared of, could Baba be the long-awaited messiah that will save the citizens and restore the standing of the force?

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