A former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mike Okiro, has revealed that he was appointed as commissioner of police in Lagos State based on a special request by Bola Tinubu, who was then the state governor.
Mr Okiro stated this on Friday during his investiture as the Chairman Board of Trustees of the Defect Together Movement for Tinubu/Shettima 2023.
Mr Tinubu, who was governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007, is the presidential of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 election.
On his part, Mr Okiro served as Lagos State commissioner of police from 1999 to 2003 and was appointed IGP in 2007 by late President Umar Yar’Adua.
Mr Okiro said he was transferred to Lagos State as Commissioner of Police by the then IGP, Musiliu Smith—who is from Lagos State—after a request by Mr Tinubu.
He said he had known the APC presidential candidate from the days of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), when he was in Lagos State as assistant commissioner of police, operations.
Mr Okiro stated that Mr Tinubu requested him back in 1999 because of the activities of the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) and criminal elements in the state at the time. He recounted that Mr Tinubu told the then IGP that “if you want Lagos to be peaceful, you should send Okiro down to Lagos,”
“Asiwaju Tinubu is indeed a friend. I have known him since I was a middle administrative officer, assistant commissioner of police (operations) in Ikeja during the days of NADECO. He was a kingmaker of NADECO. He went outside the country, came back and became the governor of Lagos State.
“He made a request to the IG (Mr Smith) —Lagos was in problem, criminality was at its peak—robbery, killings, kidnapping and OPC were at the peak. People were leaving Lagos State. Asiwaju made a special request to the IG. That was how I found myself as commissioner of police in Lagos State,” he said
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He also credited Mr Tinubu with his double promotion, from the rank of commissioner of police to deputy inspector general of police (DIG), saying “all glory goes to Asiwaju. I have no doubt in my mind that he will replicate what he did in Lagos.”
Speaking on behalf of the group, Umar Yakassai said Mr Okiro was picked as the chairman of the BOT because of his closeness to the APC presidential candidate.
“We reckoned that in view of his (Okiro) long-term closeness to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and enviable rapport over time since when the former was commissioner of police Lagos State and Asiwaju was the all performing executive governor, he has the unique vantage position to spur other eminent net worth persons to come on board, to support our meek efforts,” Mr Yakassai said.
Campaigns will officially commence on 28 September, according to INEC’s timetable and schedule of activities.
Mr Tinubu will face former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso of New Nigeria Peoples Party and others in the February presidential election.
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