Olukayode Egbetokun, acting inspector-general of police (IGP), says personnel of the Police Mobile Force (PMF) will no longer carry out VIPs escort and guard duties.
Egbetokun spoke on Monday at a conference with police tactical commanders in Abuja.
He said the force will conduct an assessment of all the duties of the mobile police to ensure effective utilisation.
He said a special committee has been created to evaluate the strategies and how it will be enforced, adding that the team would be headed by the deputy inspector-general of police.
“Specifically, we shall effect the withdrawal of PMF personnel from VIP escort and guard duties,” NAN quoted Egbetokun as saying.
“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.”
SPU TO REPLACE PMF
He said the committee is expected to send in its report in two weeks, adding that further details of the policy would be made available in the coming weeks and months.
“To support the foregoing strategic plan and make needed manpower available for frontline duties, the withdrawn PMF officers will be replaced by officers of the Special Protection Unit (SPU) only where necessary,” he said.
“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.
“The act allows the police to train supernumerary officers specifically for the personal protection duties of individual Nigerians who require their services.”
Egbetokun added that the force will ensure that the policy is enforced and strictly adhered to in line with best practices.
It has become a tradition in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) for every newly appointed IGP to announce the withdrawal of police officers attached to VIPs, and the dismantling of ubiquitous police roadblocks across the country.
A few weeks after the announcements, police officers usually return to protecting VIPs and the roadblocks would re-appear like they never left.
In March 2018, Ibrahim Idris, the then IGP, ordered the withdrawal of police officers from VIPs.
In October 2020, Mohammed Adamu, the then IGP, took the same decision.