Abba Kyari: the famous super cop and unsung hero
As of September 2019, more than a dozen nominations were received, nominating the DCP Abba Kyari for a certain category of the First Security and Emergency Management Awards (SAEMA). At that time and until recently, the now suspended police officer was the most notorious of the Nigerian police criminals, earning him the nickname “Superflic” for his extraordinary, if not almost legendary, prowess. to track down and catch armed thieves and kidnappers.
The chairman of the awards jury, retired Air Vice-Marshal Mohammed Audu-Bida, while taking other factors into account, urged the jury members to contact senior security service officers for their comments. on the process and probably come up with more nominations from potential candidates. winners in the different categories being rewarded.
Subsequently, further appointments of gallant but unrecognized security personnel were received, particularly from the police, which has many officers primarily involved in intelligence and combat operations.
Former CTF Police Commissioner, now Deputy Inspector General of Police (AIG) Bala Ciroma, had eloquent testimonies of how he led officers and men in command in covert operations that resulted to the occasional arrests and elimination of vicious armed gangs that terrorized and the kidnapping of innocent people. Some of the cases and suspects were subsequently referred to Force Headquarters or other security services for further action.
Rather than accept her appointment, Ciroma had suggested a very rigorous and disciplinary policewoman, CSP Olabisi Davies, who was DPO in Wuye, which had become one of the most peaceful areas in Abuja. The policewoman was always on patrol at night, looking for people involved in nefarious activities, usually under cover of darkness. She had also had a proven track record in successfully transforming young offenders into productive citizens through district counseling.
Likewise, a DCP Kolo Yusuf, who had also led his team to capture more than 100 kidnappers terrorizing innocent people in most areas of the northwest and north-central, politely declined his nomination for an award but instead recommended the two police officers, Hassan and Hussaini Gimba, who has been noted as developing remarkable crime-fighting profiles in his team.
The twins have appeared on several verified video clips interviewing arrested felons, whose weapons and sophisticated weapons were also taken from them and presented as evidence. Oddly, too, the twin officers had insisted that unless Police Headquarters approved their nomination, they would not be able to honor the award events.
There was also another counterterrorism police officer, CSP Ibrahim Mohammed, who had not only competently engaged ISWAP / Boko Haram terrorists in combat, but had led his team in several rescue operations involving citizens, including included soldiers, who had been released from the vice president. the grip of the insurgents in Borno State.
In fact, the story of DCP Tunde Disu, which replaced Abba Kyari, is a whole different chapter. Disu has saved many lives, especially those of young people and recent graduates, who could have ended up either as victims or involved in fraud and other criminal activity. It was only when it became absolutely necessary, and there was unassailable evidence of wrongdoing that Disu ever accepted the public parade of crime suspects.
There are indeed many security personnel in the Force today, who perform extremely well in their areas of responsibility and would rather keep low profiles than cultivate unnecessary public exposure, due to the sensitive nature of their missions. . They are little-known security personnel but very dedicated to protecting lives and property of which only a few are celebrated.
While it is unfortunate that Abba Kyari allowed overzealousness, exuberance and indiscretion to define his actions in his security and law enforcement duties, I would rather blame the company, its media managers and the police force for what is now seen as its fall from turf grace.
While society naturally appreciates the bravery of our security agencies and officials, it is quite unfortunate that many senior officials and businessmen invite DCP Kyari to their events and publish such pledges in the media to improve their status. social. And yet against the grain too, instead of becoming very cautious about some of these outings, Kyari seemed to have lashed out and reveling in the spotlight, leading to the abuse of privileges and disposition of his sensitive strategic positions, by hanging out with people. of questionable integrity, and also posting them on social media platforms.
While the media developed interest in his exploits as a crime fighter, it allowed him or his media officials to promote his efforts rather than those of his team in the highest skies. It has become one of his main Achilles heels. There is a huge gulf between the practice of public relations and the indulgence in advertising as an end in itself. In public relations, not all activity needs to be made public or promoted because of the potential fallout from such exposure. Some publicity in terms of police or security functions could end up allowing the retaliatory intentions of the targets of his efforts, in addition to the envy of peers and enemies who come from this territory.
As an institution with moral and ethical values, the police did not seem to have been able to tame Kyari, even when he showed up in places very ugly for the glitz of the celebrity showcase. Instead of berating him and bringing him down, the command seemed to have let itself be drawn into worshiping an individual’s fame rather than celebrating the team. In fact, when her younger sister got married in 2019, the crème de la crème of society “stormed” Maiduguri, including the then Inspector General of Police, among the highest ranking officials. , during a high society event witnessing the arrival of guests in different planes.
Meanwhile, the case of DCP Kyari is still pending. Before the US FBI publicly charged him, as it did, he should have contacted his Nigerian counterpart with the overwhelming evidence he had against the super cop, as is traditionally the case. Even then, it might be difficult to complete Abba Kyari’s extradition to the United States of America for technical reasons alongside other militant factors. Similar indictments by the US system against prominent Nigerians were not consummated in the extradition of these prominent figures. There was the case of a politician, Senator Buruji Kashamu, indicted for alleged illicit drug trafficking, which was ongoing before his death, and there is the example of Air Peace owner Allen Onyema, for allegations of money laundering, as recent references.
While he might attempt to hide under the concept of an agent provocateur to defend himself in this situation, nevertheless his work as an undercover agent is not known. In fact, agent provocateurs are expected to act as secret agents encouraging suspected criminals to carry out their illegal activities in order to obtain evidence. However, it cannot be said that Abba Kyari fits into this role as he has been widely promoted as a known or overt crime fighter.
My greatest concern has been the enormous damage this case has caused our law enforcement agencies, as a well-decorated officer considered to be one of our best, who had taken enormous risks for Solving the fight against crime and saving lives (laurels, accolades and speedy promotions) is suddenly discovered to have gone rogue or compromised at some point.
There are many lessons to be learned from the Abba Kyari affair, especially by law enforcement about reputation management and the alluring adulation of the public spotlight.
Yushau A. Shuaib
Author of award-winning crisis communication strategies