I feel like lion chasing Nigeria’s enemies,’ says new IGP

June 20, 2023
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Vice President Kashim Shettima, on Tuesday, decorated Mr Kayode Egbetokun, as the Acting Inspector-General of Police, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“I feel like a lion in me, ready to devour all the internal enemies of Nigeria. That’s my feeling right now,” Egbetokun told State House Correspondents after a short ceremony at the Vice President’s Conference Room.

The VP performed the decoration alongside the wife of the new Police helmsman, Mrs Elizabeth Egbetokun, barely 24 hours after a major shake-up in the country’s security leadership.

In a drastic change of guard on Monday night, President Bola Tinubu approved the immediate retirement of the Chief of Defence Staff, all the nation’s service chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali, as well as the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali.

Tinubu consequently appointed Nuhu Ribadu as National Security Adviser; Maj. Gen. C.G Musa, Chief of Defence Staff; Maj. Gen. T. A Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral E. A Ogalla, Chief of Naval Staff; AVM H.B Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff, DIG Kayode Egbetokun, Acting Inspector-General of Police; and Maj. Gen. EPA Undiandeye, Chief of Defence Intelligence.

Speaking to journalists at the Villa after the ceremony, Egbetokun expressed eagerness to resume his duties on Wednesday, saying he felt like a tiger ready to chase away all internal enemies of the country.

Asked how he felt about the weight of his new responsibility, Egbetokun said, “Now I have just been decorated and I’m looking forward to taking over tomorrow morning by 11:00 am.

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“I really can’t describe how I feel currently, but if I have to tell you anything, I will tell you that right now, I feel like a tiger inside of me, ready to chase away all the criminals in Nigeria.

“And some other times, I feel like a lion in me, ready to devour all the internal enemies of Nigeria. That’s my feeling right now.”

On his part, the former Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba, described his successor as an old, experienced hand who would build on what he is leaving behind.

“It’s a stage; you come, you work and you go. I’m happy I’m handing over to somebody I know that will carry the mantle of leadership from where I have stopped.

“We grew up on the job. I was his boss at a time, not even when I was IG. He worked under me twice, we’ve been working together and I know how he will go ahead to champion the course of the police from where I have stopped,” Baba said.

Egbetokun remains in an acting capacity until confirmed by the 10th Senate as the 22nd substantive IGP.

The ceremony was witnessed by the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu; the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Hope Uzodinma; the President’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume; and the immediate past IGP, Usman Alkali, amongst others.

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