As part of efforts by the Nigerian Government to strengthen its onslaught against domestic and global terrorism and help in restoring peace in troubled parts of Africa, the Nigeria Police Force has concluded plans to deploy a Formed Police Unit of One Hundred and Forty (140) Officers and men to Mali, in support of the ECOWAS and the African Union-led Peace Initiatives in Mali. The Unit, comprised of specialized sections trained in riot control and counter-terrorism; and equipped with modern crime fighting and peacekeeping equipment, will depart Nigeria on 10th June, 2013. The Nigeria Police currently has seven (7) Staff Officers already deployed to Mali, led by DCP Subair O. Kamar who is the Deputy Police Commissioner in-charge of the African Mission in Mali.
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP MD Abubakar performed the official Flag Presentation Ceremony today, 7th June, 2013, at the Force Headquarters Parade ground, Louis Edet House, Abuja. The ceremony witnessed the symbolic handing over to the Commander of the Unit, the Nigerian national flag and the Nigeria Police flag, as symbols of authority to empower members of the Unit to represent the Nation and the Nigeria Police Force in the Mission in Mali.
CSP Frank E. Mba ,deputy force public relations officer said in a statement that the Nigeria Police contingent, designed to be self sustaining, is deployed with full complement of Contingent Owned Equipment (COE) including Patrol Vehicles, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), arms and ammunitions. The contingent is also traveling with a team of Medical Doctors and Nurses, Ambulances, drugs, first aid kits and other medical equipment. To further boost the morale of the Contingent and enable its members ensure the welfare of their dependants before departure, the IGP has approved and directed the advance payment of one month allowance to every member of the Formed Police Unit to Mali.
Addressing the contingent members, the IGP charged them to display at all times, dedication and true commitment in the discharge of assigned roles. He urged them to be good ambassadors, not just of the Nigeria Police Force, but also of the Nigerian nation and must therefore, fly the country’s flag with pride. He advised members of the contingent to conduct themselves with the highest degree of discipline and professionalism; and shun all forms of vices. The IGP enjoined them to respect the laws and customs of their host country and endeavour to bring honours through exemplary service to humanity, to their fatherland and to themselves.
The IGP further reminded the Officers that the Nigeria Police has created and maintained an outstanding record of good performance in the Mission fields, including a recent commendation given to Nigeria Police peace keepers in Somalia by the African Union Commission, for its level of professionalism and operational efficiency. He recalled that the Nigeria Formed Police Unit was the first to be deployed to Guinea Bissau where it ensured security and helped in restoring law and order in that country.
The present deployment to Mali brings to Ten (10) the number of countries Nigeria Police officers are currently serving on international peace keeping assignment. The other nine (9) countries are Cote D’voire, Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.
Dignitaries who witnessed the Flag Presentation ceremony included the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the African Union and Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Bulus Lolo, who was the Special guest of Honour, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) represented by Major General HA Saliu, members of the diplomatic community and members of the Police Management Team and other invited guests.