As from 22 November, 2021, the General Assembly of the International Police, INTERPOL, would converge in Istanbul, Turkey, where between 23-25 November 2021, it would hold the 89th session of the Assembly, as well as elect seven CCF members of the INTERPOL.
The CCF is the acronym for the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files, which processes a large volume of personal data through notices and databases on criminals and crimes, such as names, photos, and fingerprints. It is the duty of the CCF to ensure that the processing of personal data by the INTERPOL complies with the applicable rules.
Nigeria, is amongst the countries that have indicated interest in vying for one of the key senior positions, the office of the Vice President, Africa.
Member Countries have been invited to nominate persons with the required qualifications and expertise to perform the duties of a member of the CCF, bearing in mind the strategic importance of INTERPOL in the global fight against terrorism, human trafficking and all manner of criminality.
As the largest global gathering of senior law enforcement officials, which is the supreme governing body, comprising representatives from each of the 94 member countries, the General Assembly also provides an important opportunity for countries to network and share experiences, especially with respect to the activities of terrorists and international saboteurs.
With a membership strength of 194 countries, the INTERPOL is the world’s largest police organization, that is working together with the General Secretariat to share data related to police investigations. Each country hosts an INTERPOL National Central Bureau, (NCB), which links national police with the global network.
In Nigeria, the NCB plays a central role in preventing the country and surrounding regions from internationally organized crimes, as well as bringing criminals to justice.
Since coming to office in 2015, and worried by the raising activities of terrorists in and around Nigeria, alongside the growing number of reported cases of cybercrime across the globe, a phenomenon that is fast ravaging the world, President Muhammadu Buhari made the establishment of the Nigeria Police Force Cybercrime Unit a priority of his administration. And by the year 2017, almost two years in office, the President supported the Inspector General of Police to establish the unit at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
Domiciled at the National Central Bureau (NCB) Abuja, under the leadership of Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG Garba Baba Umar, the unit, which is equipped with modern forensic tools and manned by well-trained detectives, has been responsible for the numerous successes recorded in tracking and repatriating many fugitives, to come home for trial, among whom are the former Attorney General of the Federation, Bello Adoke, Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) and Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
It may be recalled that in 2015, shortly after assuming office as President, and pursuant to his determination to place Nigeria on a better international pedestal, contrary to the thinking of many, PMB supported the candidature of Akinwumi “Akin” Adesina, who served as minister in the Government of Jonathan, to be elected as the President of the African Development Bank. Again in 2020, the same PMB supported his re-election for a second term.
Also in 2017, and pursuant to his determination to place Nigeria on a better international pedestal, PMB supported Amina Mohammed, a Nigerian diplomat and politician, to clinch the position of the fifth Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. This is despite the fact that she served as minister of Environment in the cabinet of the man he defeated.
In 2019, also pursuant to his determination to place Nigeria on a better international pedestal, PMB supported the candidature of the Permanent Representative of Nigeria at the UN, His Excellency Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, to be elected as the president of the United Nations General Assembly.
Early this year, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister in Nigeria, was equally supported by PMB, to become the seventh Director-General of the World Trade Organization, WTO, making her the first woman and the first African to serve as Director-General.
Certainly, or undoubtedly driven by the same zeal and enthusiasm in the pursuit of getting Nigeria on a better international pedestal, especially after seeing the incredible performance of Alkali Usman Baba as the 21st indigenous Inspector General of Police, who has brought sanity to the police and boosted staff morale and confidence, PMB has endorsed the candidature of AIG Garba Umar, the AIG INTERPOL and Head of Nigeria’s NCB, to go for the position of the Vice President, Africa, at the forthcoming INTERPOL conference in Turkey.
AIG Garba Baba Umar, who is an excellent officer with the required qualifications and expertise, would exploit the credibility of Nigeria under the globally acclaimed and applauded qualities of President Muhammadu Buhari, alongside the intimidating policing credentials of IGP Usman Alkali Baba, who is the one supporting him, to market himself for success at the conference.
And if he succeeds, the accruable benefits for Nigeria and the Nigeria Police would be unquantifiable, particularly at a time like now, when the country is recording successes in the war with terror, and the President is giving more votes of confidence to the security agents.
So in support of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and IGP Alkali Usman Baba, I also add my voice in prayers, for the success of Mr. WONDERFUL, as AIG Garba Baba is called, by those who know him.
Bala Ibrahim is a public affairs analyst.