US embassy cable - 02ABUJA830

NIGERIA: INITIAL TAKE ON NEW POLICE CHIEF

Identifier: 02ABUJA830
Wikileaks: View 02ABUJA830 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2002-03-13 16:59:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: KCRM PGOV ASEC SNAR NI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ABUJA 000830 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
 
DEPT FOR AF AND INL 
DOJ FOR ICITAP--BARR/BEINHART 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KCRM, PGOV, ASEC, SNAR, NI 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: INITIAL TAKE ON NEW POLICE CHIEF 
 
 
REF: ABUJA 823 
 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- PROTECT ACCORDINGLY. 
 
 
1.(SBU) LEGATT and RNLEO paid an introductory call on new 
Inspector General of Police Tafa Balogun March 13 at Police 
Headquarters in Abuja.  Balogun received the Embassy visitors 
warmly and promised a strong and productive working 
relationship with U.S. law enforcement agencies. 
 
 
2.(SBU) Balogun, only three days on the job, already seemed 
to be gaining command of his brief.  He lamented, however, 
that he could not yet introduce his team of Deputy Inspectors 
General (DIGs) since they have not yet been officially 
appointed (with portfolios).  RNLEO voiced the Ambassador's 
desired to meet with the IGP at his earliest convenience; 
Balogun welcomed the opportunity. 
 
 
3.(SBU) LEGATT called attention to the various training 
courses the FBI and other U.S. law enforcement agencies offer 
the Nigerian Police Force with INL funding and highlighted 
two upcoming courses:  Community Policing and and 
Preservation of Crime Scene Evidence.  Balogun expressed 
appreciation for the USG's provision of technical assistance 
and training to the NPF. 
 
 
4.(SBU) Noting Balogun's March 11 visit to Lagos and his 
public pledges of police reform made during that visit, RNLEO 
asked the IGP for his priorities in the coming months. 
Balogun stated that he has an eight-point strategy to address 
the severe problems facing the Nigeria police: 
 
 
A) Address the rise in armed robberies and violent attacks on 
police using a "fire-with-fire" approach; 
B) improving the conflict management skills of the police; 
C) Design a comprehensive training programe, conducive for 
"qualitative policing," for all levels of police; 
D) launch an aggressive anti-corruption campaign within and 
outside of the police force; 
E) carry out a "robust" public relations campaign designed to 
promote an image of the "people's police;" 
F) Strengthen the Community-Police Partnership using the 
modern model used throughout the world; 
G) Improve inter-agency cooperation and coordination, 
including with foreign law enforcement agencies; 
H) Improve the conditions of service and welfare of all 
officers, inspectors and rank-and file 
 
 
6.(SBU) Balogun particularly emphasized the need for better 
training of NPF recruits and officers and the need to adopt a 
community policing approach, citing the US experience which 
should serve as a model for the NPF.  RNLEO pointed out that 
the Police Reform project has these two issues as major 
concentrations of technical assistance and training and gave 
the IG a copy of the project document for his review. 
 
 
7.(SBU) Comment:  The new IGP seems to place great importance 
in the U.S.-Nigerian law enforcement relationship.  Balogun 
will likely be a strong partner in both our operational law 
enforcement dealings and our police reform project.  Reports 
from our sources seemed confirmed by this initial meeting: he 
appears sharp, articulate, engaging and warm -- qualities not 
found in his predecessor.  His strategic priorities are 
another good sign, though we have some concerns about the 
first point but tend to think at this time that the "fire for 
fire" remark was intended more to bolster morale of police 
operating in areas of intense violent crime than to convey 
specific new policies or procedures. 
 
 
Andrews 

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