Valedictory Remarks by former IGP Solomon E. Arase, at the formal handing ceremony held at the Force Headquarters, today June 22nd. See below:
It is with a feeling of deep appreciation of the Almighty God that I address you on this occasion marking my formal exit from the Nigeria Police Force and transition of leadership to a new Inspector General of Police.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, exactly fourteen months ago, destiny reposed on me the fortune of being appointed the 18th indigenous Inspector General of Police. Today, natural sequence of history has not only occasioned the successful completion of my tenure, but has also beckoned on Ag. IGP Ibrahim Idris to step into the leadership space as the 19th Indigenous Inspector General of Police.
- You would recall that during my inaugural address, I noted that –
The task of blending our acclaimed quality human assets with quality leadership is the main challenge ahead of us, but it is one I am convinced we can surmount’.
I also affirmed that – ‘on my part, I can assure you that I will provide the highest possible level of professional and responsible leadership, while trusting that you shall march hand-in-hand with me as dependable professional colleagues, to advance the fortunes of the Force’.
- One year, two months away from this assertion and clarion call, I can proudly note two significant developments. First is that I feel professionally satisfied that I enjoyed very high level of diligence, loyalty, sacrifice and professionalism from all cadres of the Force. This manifested in the great strides we collectively attained in our common march towards restoring the lost primacy of the Nigeria Police and bequeathing a Police Force of citizens’ expectations to Nigerians.
- Secondly, I am fulfilled that a widely experienced, knowledgeable and passionate officer of the calibre of Ag. IGP Ibrahim Idris has been appointed by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation to march the Force forward. I am convinced of the capacity of Ag. IGP Idris to provide the requisite leadership for the Force at this crucial time in the history of not just the Nigeria Police Force, but of our nation. In this regard, I can assure him of my support, even in retirement, as well as my constant prayers.
- Let me at this juncture, encourage the Nigeria Police Family to extend the trademark loyalty, diligence, and professionalism which I enjoyed from them, to the new Force leadership. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the only path to follow in our journey towards enhancing the fortunes of our beloved Police Force as well as sustaining our relevance within the national security architecture of our country. Above all, this is the only path that will guide us towards achieving the Policing Vision of Mr. President within the Change Mantra conceptualized by the Federal Government.
- In driving this valedictory speech to a close, permit me to deeply appreciate the support of all personnel of the Nigeria Police. The journey might have been tortuous, but looking back, we should all be proud that today, through an inclusive leadership strategy which I adopted, the Nigeria Police has acquired very strong intelligence, investigative and operational capability which can and have of late been deployed to crack any crime at any location within our national geographical space. The dignity of an average Nigeria Police officer has been restored. Public confidence in our competency has been enlivened.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, it is not that crimes will not occur. No nation is immune from criminal activities. Today, however, like other Police Forces across the world, we in the Nigeria Police can beat our chests and make a clear and bold statement to criminal elements threatening our national value that if you commit any crime, we now have the capacity not only to arrest you, but to bring you to deserved justice in the most prompt, professional, and rule of law-compliant manner. This is the profile of the Nigeria Police Force you, my colleagues and all Nigerians have aided me to bequeath to our beloved nation. This is a legacy I can assure the nation that Ag. IGP Idris will not only sustain, but will advance.
- I, therefore, wish to heartily congratulate Ag. IGP Ibrahim Idris for his well deserved appointment and to pray for God’s wisdom as he settles into his schedules. I also wish to immensely appreciate Mr. president for the trust reposed in me and the firm support extended to me, even at most difficult times in my leadership.
- Indeed, the unique Presidential support acted as the motivation that drove me through my tenure as Inspector-General of Police. I can assure Mr. President, that I shall remain eternally grateful and will sustain my commitment to his vision and values even in retirement.
- To members of the Press, my friends, and indeed all Nigerians, as I bow out, I must put on record my deep appreciation of your constructive criticisms, pieces of informed advice, encouragement and unalloyed support for me. I call on you to extend similar favour to my successor even as I assure you all that the network we have built over the years will remain valued and sustained as I walk into retirement life.
- I thank you all and pray for God’s spiritual protection over Ag. IGP Ibrahim Idris and our beloved country.