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Cablegate: Nigeria: Initial Take On New Police Chief

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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