By Bala Ibrahim.
Nigeria has done it again, by winning the hearts and minds of the World today in Istanbul, Turkey, where elections by the 89th INTERPOL General Assembly were held. The Assembly, brought together chiefs of police and senior officials from around the world, to among other issues, elect new officials that would address global security challenges.
Nigeria was not only in attendance for the purpose of contributing and collaborating with other countries in search of solutions to the global security challenges, but went there with a will, to be elected into the top decision arm of the global police union. Accordingly, the country put forward a formidable candidate, in the person of AIG Garba Baba Umar, the Head of the National Central Bureau unit in Abuja, who is a tested and trusted crack detective with resonating name in the police.
As expected, Nigeria’s candidate, AIG Garba Umar, otherwise called Garus, the Mr. Wonderful, an officer that has long made himself a household name in the global INTERPOL circle, nearly mesmerized the crowd at the time of election, by capturing the complete attention of the Congress.
When the votes were called and counted, Garus grabbed nearly 98% of the total votes cast. This is a marvelous feat that caused great wonder to many, but not to those who know Mr. Wonderful. It is to be expected. And the credit should go to Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, IGP Alkali Usman Baba, for selecting and marketing a square peg for hoisting into a square hole.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi, who led the Nigerian delegation to the event, must be given special praise and honor, for making the country proud in this particular outing. The Minister and the IGP, who have been in Turkey days before the election, have been busy reaching out to delegates from all over the world, the result of which manifested in the successful show today.
Apart from the experience of Nigeria in battling insurgency, banditry and other trans border crimes, the strategic importance of the country to the INTERPOL cannot be overemphasized.
Amongst the weapons used by the duo of the minister and the IGP to sell Nigeria’s candidate to the world is President Muhammadu Buhari’s credentials of confronting corruption head on, a fight to which the police, under IGP Alkali Baba have been supporting, and one in which, as head of the INTERPOL in Nigeria, AIG Garba Umar has been the vanguard of repatriating fugitives from abroad to Nigeria.
Nigeria shares 4000km of borderland with four other West African countries and a long coast in the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf of Guinea. This geographical location is attractive to organized crime groups either wishing to carry out smuggling operations across the region or to cross it bound for other continents. Their crimes often lead to money laundering and violent crime.The country also sits on the crossroads between West Africa and the Sahel’s most violent conflict zone. The resulting instability provides fertile ground for terrorist groups and criminal networks.
The international characteristics of these crime areas and their links with crime networks around the world make the role of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB), which the newly elected Vice President of the INTERPOL has been heading, fundamental to maintaining national and regional security.
In expressing joy for the success of Nigeria, I say a big HURRAH to all the members of the delegation, particularly members of the inner chamber of Mr. WONDERFUL.
HIP HIP HIP! HURRAH NIGERIA.