The name MD Abubakar will always ring a bell anywhere. He remains one of the most respected and accomplished police officers in the country. Before he retired in 2014, he was the Inspector-General of Police and many will remember the fantastic job he did while in office. He was loved by everybody. His disarming smile, good looks and likeable personality all added to make him one of the most admired police officers in the land. MD Abubakar also had this unassuming and humble nature which made him very approachable. It was often said then that if you had a problem that involved the police, and you were on the side of truth and had done no wrong, just do all you can to get MD Abubakar to listen to you and your problems will be solved.
Let us tell you more about this retired police officer. Muhammmed Dikko ABUBAKAR, , joined the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, as a Cadet Inspector on August 1, 1979. An indigene of Zamfara State, he meritoriously served the Force and his country in many capacities. Important positions he has held in the Force include: Assistant Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigations Departement, Sokoto Police Command; Assistant Commissioner of Police, Federal Operations, Force Head Quarters, Lagos; and, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Airport Police Command, Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
He is a principled and operations-minded officer with deep understanding of modern policing strategies and ethics. A committed crime fighter with keen eyes for details, he has also served as Deputy Commissioner of Police (Administration), Lagos State Police Command. He was also Acting Inspector General of Police. On his elevation to the position of Commissioner of Police, he served as a substantive Commissioner of Police in charge of several Police Commands across the Federation. Some of these are Plateau, Abia, Kwara, Kano, Airport and Lagos State Police Commands.
An amiable and intelligent officer, he was later promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police and he subsequently became the Assistant Inspector General of Police in- charge of Zone 2 comprising Lagos and Ogun States. He was also the AIG Zone 5, Benin comprising of Edo, Delta, and Bayelsa states. He was later posted to Zone 6 comprising Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Ebonyi States. He was AIG in charge of Zone 12 Bauchi State before he was subsequently elevated to the position of Inspector General of Police, the office he held till retired in 2014. He is a detribalized Nigerian.
Born May 5th, 1960, he is happily married with children. MD, as he is popularly called, is a member of the prestigious National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS). He has undergone several professional training locally and internationally.
Last week, City People Senior Editor, WALE LAWAL (09037209290) had a chat with him at True Nigerians Awards held at Oriental Hotel, Lagos. Below are excerpts of the interview.
How do you feel receiving this award, sir?
Well, I feel honoured. Truth is, I never expected it. All I was doing was giving my service to my country. I was simply doing what was expected of me as a public officer and as a police officer. Sometimes, in the course of one’s duties, you do not even realize that people are observing the way you are committed to your job and the way you carry out your duties. I believe in the oneness of this country. I believe in the unity of this country, despite our differences. I believe that with time, once we get the right leadership, everything will be right in this country. The oneness and greatness of this country is something that will help all of us. There are a lot of people out there that are committed to the oneness of this country and by the grace of God, we shall achieve that oneness.
Everyone has been surprised to see you looking unbelievably young, sir. How have you been able to do this? What’s the secret of your youthful look?
Well, I give thanks to God almighty for His mercies. But one of the important things I take seriously is contentment. You have to have to have that contentment in life. Once you get contented with what God has given to you, then you’ll be okay. Then, another important thing is when you have a good wife that gives you all the things you require as a man, in terms of happiness, in terms of love, in terms of care, understanding, all of these go a long way.
Is that all, sir? No special exercise routine, no special diet?
No, no special diet. Nothing of such. And I’m not on any type of drugs either. I don’t believe in taking certain drugs to give me certain vitamins, no, I don’t. But I do relax with my favourite games. I play Squash, I play Badmington, which is good enough for me.
For a Police officer, sir, you are someone who has such a likeable personality. You do not even cut the picture of a Police officer and I’m sure you’re not hearing this for the first time. You’re a very warm and likeable person, what part of your background shaped you into who you are today?
It’s all about my family background. This is what we were taught while growing up. We were taught to be humble. We were taught that no matter who you think you are, you must humble yourself before God and before human beings. Whatever you think you are, there’s somebody who’s above you. Whatever you think you have, there’s somebody who has more than you have, so what is the essence? Humility is the keyword.
Can it be that simple, sir? You held one of the positions regarded as one of the most powerful offices in the land and yet you ran that office seamlessly and with utmost humility and fairness, how were you able to achieve this without losing your focus and integrity?
Fear of God. My belief is that if you do not have the fear of God you will certainly do something stupid. Without the fear of God, you could do something that will tarnish your image. If you have the fear of God, then it will be easy for you to always remember that one day you will leave that office. It’s a temporary position. Even life itself is temporary, not to talk of an office. So, that’s exactly what it is.
You had such a remarkable tenure while you were in office. Now, what do you think of the performance of the current Inspector General of Police?
I think he’s doing his best, especially in view of what is happening in the country. He’s doing his best but more needs to be done. But I believe he’s doing his best as of now.
A couple of weeks ago, the Nigeria Police played a very active role in the fight against insurgency. They went on a mission which recorded massive success and I’m sure you must be proud of them. What are your thoughts about this?
Sure, I am proud of them. You see, we are in a challenging time, there’s no doubt about that. The work at hand is enormous and they need to do more. But I believe they’re doing their best.
What do you miss the most as former Inspector General of Police?
Well, nothing much, really. But I miss service to my fatherland. I miss the joy one feels when you have saved lives and fished out criminals who are making life unbearable for the citizens. I miss tackling crimes, but then, I’m also enjoying life as a retired officer. I’m enjoying my private life now because my day to day life is no longer public.