Solomon Arase made an indelible mark during his time in the Nigeria Police Force, ascending to the position of the 18th Inspector General of Police.
Regarded as one of the nation’s finest police leaders, his tenure was brief but highly impactful. As Principal Staff Officer (PSO) to three different Inspectors General, Arase gained invaluable insights into the diverse challenges of policing in various environments. A distinguished intelligence officer, celebrated international scholar, and a man of high intellect, he is admired for his inclusive and unbiased approach.
In a significant turning point for both the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the Nigeria Police Force, Arase assumed office as Chairman on March 29, 2023. At that time, the Commission was grappling with internal conflicts and disputes with the Nigeria Police Force. He embraced the task with humility and determination, stating,
“I arrived to chair the Board with understandable uncertainty, having been an onlooker to the squabble between the PSC and the NPF, I however entrusted myself into the hands of God and hoped that my experiential knowledge in life would be an advantage for me. I immediately emplaced measures and took steps towards resolving all lingering conflict and repositioning the Commission towards its optimal functionality in delivering on its mandate.”
Arase initiated a robust stakeholder consultation forum, engaging various actors in the police sector.
His first meeting was with the National Leadership of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), where he pledged to collaborate with the Inspector General of Police to strengthen the Nigerian Police Force’s performance. He emphasized that exemplary behavior should be rewarded, while misconduct should have consequences, aligning with the force’s rules of engagement.
Under his leadership, the maiden Retired Officers Consultative Forum was established, aiming to harness the vast experience of retired officers to provide insights and solutions for security sector reforms. This forum played a crucial role in advising the PSC and NPF on policies and measures to strengthen the force’s functionality and restore its position as a primary force in internal security.
Furthermore, Arase conducted advocacy meetings with various stakeholders, including civil society groups, the Nigerian Union of Journalists, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the German Government.
He sought support, funding, and partnerships to improve policing in Nigeria and emphasized the need to restore the dignity of police women and enhance capacity-building initiatives.
Under his watch, the PSC approved policy guidelines to promote accountable policing oversight, ensure gender sensitivity in deployments, and uphold the principle of Federal Character in recruitment and personnel deployment.
Arase’s innovative and progressive approach to policing aligned with international standards and the rule of law, promising to make the police profession attractive once more.
In just four months, Solomon Ehigiator Arase ushered in a new era of policing management in Nigeria, marked by unity and adherence to international standards.
His dedication to redefining policing in a complex society has already shown promising results, setting the stage for a safer and more secure Nigeria.
According him “ I am building a new Police Force that will once again be attractive to the Nigerian youths. I have succeeded in creating a cordial working relationship between the Commission and the Nigeria Police Force where both parties now work not to compete but complement each other. There is now respect for the clearly defined responsibilities of the two Institutions and they now operate with mutual respect and shared vision.
“I have also made a success of my stakeholders’ conversations immediately on assumption of duty and I am happy that I have united the Civil Society Organizations in support of the Commission and the Nigeria Police Force. I engaged international donor Agencies and other Stakeholders in the Police Sector to assist build the capacity of the Commission as an oversight body and that of the Police as the lead Agency in internal security. “I can report that I am getting listening ears and making a lot of progress; the Police we are building will surely be a pride of the nation”.
Since then, he has made sure that promotions within the Commission are carried out regularly and solely based on merit, seniority, and the availability of vacancies. He remains steadfast in his commitment to hold Police Officers accountable for their actions, both positive and negative, and to address any pending disciplinary matters promptly and with utmost attention. This dedication aims to prevent any unjust stagnation of Officers’ careers.
Furthermore, he has reiterated his pledge to provide inspiring leadership that fosters a sense of dedication and commitment among the Officers, encouraging them to carry out their duties with passion and devotion.