Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba narrowly escaped death as a canopy nearly collapsed on him during an official function yesterday, Wednesday, June 9, 2021.
The incident took place at the Lagos State Police Headquarter lkeja when the newly confirmed IGP, who was on his first official visit to the state, was about to address senior police officers.
It was about 2:15 p.m. when he came down from office of the state Commissioner of Police, Azeez Odumosu, when a heavy wind started blowing.
At about 2:20 p.m. the wind got heavier, soon accompanied by heavy rain. At about 2:30 p.m. the rain and wind became heavier just as the IGP was being introduced.
As soon as the National Anthem was over the rain increased in intensity while the raging wind pulled down canopies covering both journalists and senior police officers. Both the police and journalists scampered for safety.
At that point the IGP and AIG Zone Two Lagos, Johnson Kokumor, as well as AIG Force CID Galandi, CP Odumosu and other senior officers rushed out – and then the canopy collapsed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the IGP arrived the Command at about 1:40 p.m. and was only able to take the National Anthem before the downpour started.
The wind blew up all the canopies erected. This development forced the IGP and other senior officers to run to the conference room while others and journalists sought safety in available.
The IGP on arrival in Lagos at 10:00 a.m., had visited Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Marina, and the Oba of Lagos before coming to the command headquarters at about 1.40 p.m.
On arrival at the command, he met briefly with some senior officers at the conference room before coming to address other senior officers, including Area commanders, DPOs, squadron commanders before the rain started.
IGP Baba later briefed the press, where he pointed out the areas that needed to be improved on by his men.
He listed them to include: crowd control, which he said should be done by policemen according to the norms of discharging their responsibilities.
“There is the need to also control the use of arms. Officers should lecture their men that once they are assigned rifles, there is a time and reason for their use. You need to guard them and use them responsibly.
“We must also be civil in discharging our responsibilities. Never should we allow our stations to be overrun to the extent that we will not be able to handle situations because of cowardice or lack of professionalism,” he said.
The police chief added that his mission in Lagos was to familiarise himself with and address officers of the Command on how the Nigeria Police will be administered under his leadership.
Baba said that there was also the need to talk to police officers that they had a duty to perform which should be done while some things were taken cognisance of.
“It is good to remind ourselves of the enormous task of policing in a democratic system.