Utntil lately, Kano had lost confidence on the leadership and activities of most policemen serving in the state. The state of mind of residents of Kano metropolis was born out of conviction that security officers, especially, the police had simply relegated their primary duties of securing life and property on areas of jurisdiction for pecuniary benefits.
The story that usually comes to mind was the way and manner the police management team handled the build up to 2019 general elections in the state. The city nearly paid heavily for negligent of officers for betraying trust, and confidence reposed on them which are the essential ingredients of policing a heterogeneous society like Kano.
Of course, the lacuna gave rise to crime and criminality in the commercial abode that is home to millions of people engaged in legitimate businesses. Criminal activities became very bold and daring, as thugs seem to enjoy immunity during the inglorious era.
There is no gainsaying the fact that Kano security situation degenerated to a point that night life crumbled as business and commercial activities hit the lowest ebb, no thanks to the militarisation of political activities by politicians.
Consequently, Kano was on auto pilot to Kigali when respite came as a new Sheriff, Wakili Muhammad made a triumphant entry into the ancient city of Kano.
Initially, no one cares a hoot about the change of leadership, because of the general belief that nothing good can ever come from the police.
Wakili, who was fully conscious of peoples’ loss of confidence on the police used his first press conference to send a loud and clear message that hit the nail on the head.
The tough talking cop, without mincing words warned “enough is enough, there is a new Sheriff in town, and I want to make it abundantly clear that we belong to nobody in the fight against crime and criminality as well as corruption.”
Sounding more assertive, the Gombe-born police officer declared that “we want to work, and we will not allow few to operate as if there are no laws, as if we are in the jungle.”
He went ahead and informed the citizens that no fewer than 28 suspected thugs believed to have taken the security situation of the city for a ride had been apprehended, as he assured that, “we will do everything to restore sanity.”
Wakili Muhammad went ahead and declared a two-point agenda that targeted at controlling the menace of thuggery and illicit drugs, as he added “I’m going for the jugular of the drug barons and their agents to checkmate illicit drugs consumption and thuggery.”
Interestingly, the new CP expressed the neutrality of the police on issues that will compromise effective policing, as he made it bare that he is in Kano to work as a “security officer, and not a businessman.”
Wakili’s position, no doubt reset the thinking of the officers and men of the command who are compelled by the exigencies of time to shape up, and queue behind their boss.
Applauded by all for his brevity and courage, Wakili walked the talk by making a profile arrest during the gubernatorial elections last week.
Crime Tracker learnt that the deputy governor of Kano State, Alhaji Yusuf Gawuna was arrested on the orders of the Commissioner of Police, alongside a serving commissioner for local government, Murtala Sule Garo, and a sitting Nassarawa council boss, Lamin Sani, over alleged electoral malpractices.
But in a press statement by the police command Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Abdullahi Haruna, it stated that the Deputy Governor was not arrested, but “rescued from a mob.”
The statement further clarified that the Commissioner for local government and Lamin Sani were both arrested for alleged electoral offences.
That action though, denied by the police went viral beyond Kano as most Kano residents poured encomium on Wakili for taking the bull by the horn which many say is rare in the police. In addition, over a thousand suspected thugs were arrested across party lines, and were arraigned for justice to take its course.
In no time, Muhammad Ali Wakili, the new Police Commissioner successfully built a trust, and regained the confidence of the city dwellers, and by that singular action, his name and exploit became indelible in the minds of all – politicians, law abiding citizens and indeed criminals.
But a pip at the background of this ‘no nonsense police officer,’ showed that Wakili Ali Muhammad was born, and bred in Gombe, where he had his primary and post primary education.
Wakili, an alumnus of University of Maiduguri, bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree in Languages and Linguistics. He did his National Youth Service in 1986 and enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force as a Cadet ASP in 1988.
He was subsequently posted to Bauchi State Police Command for several police duties. Other areas Wakili made his mark was Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) where he headed Kano Zonal Office, Bank Fraud section and Director Internal Affairs Directorate all at EFCC, Abuja.
Within a month of assumption of office in Kano, Wakili, through courage, intellect, close supervision, astuteness and strong character has changed the thinking about the police.
His role during and after the gubernatorial elections that was declared inconclusive by INEC had in no small measure averted clashes.
Today, courtesy of hard work and sincerity of purpose, Wakili Ali Muhammad’s name is not only a household name in Kano, but beyond. He is loved by both patriotic politicians, businessmen and the common man for standing tough when Kano was on the precipice.
We reliably learn that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, who is known to be upright, and abhors criminality and who has a lot of international policing background particularly singled out Wakili to be deployed to Kano to restore confidence of the citizens on the police.
But whether he will be able to sustain the tempo of patriotism devoid of corruption and cowed by intimidation by any cabal in policing Kano remains in the future as only time can tell.