AS it is with every election, there are always people trying to ensure victory by all means necessary, even if those means involve violence and breaking the law. But there are also those bent on having the electoral processes run smoothly, freely, and fairly. It appears the Kano State Commissioner of Police would fit perfectly in the second category.
The name CP Wakili Mohammed, or Singham as he is fondly called, became an highlight on the social media earlier in the week as reports of his peculiar efforts to prevent malpractice during the state’s gubernatorial election came to light.
In the wee hours of Monday, the police under his leadership took the state’s deputy governor, Nasiru Gawuna, and commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Murtala Sule Garo, into custody “over alleged threat to public peace” and “alleged disruption of the collation of results” of the gubernatorial elections at the Nasarawa Local Government Area Collation Centre. Also arrested was Lamin Sani, the Executive Chairman of Nasarawa Local Government.
According to reports, the two top government officials had arrived at the collation centre and started disrupting the process. Then youth loyal to a different party, also at the venue, attempted to attack them, thus leading to the ceasing of the result announcement. At the time, the results from 43 out of 44 local governments had been officially made public.
Mohammed has been nicknamed ‘Maza Kwaya-Mata Kwaya’, based on a viral video of him reprimanding drug abusers. He is said to have moved from polling unit to polling unit on Saturday to monitor the conduct at the polls and, at each stop, he was received warmly by residents, who appreciate his approach to policing.
The CP has been described as a humble, incorruptible police officer. He has been especially hailed on Twitter, with some saying his consistency in doing what is appropriate “is gradually removing the mark of disgrace associated with the Nigeria Police” from the hearts of Nigerians.
“The unsung hero of Kano state election is the CP Wakili. Rigging was reduced to the barest minimum and the deputy governor was even arrested for attempted rigging. Super cop!” wrote one user, @monye_moris.
Another user, @Are_dion, said: “Whatever the outcome of this election, especially in Kano, my man of the year goes [to] CP Wakili, so whenever
@segalink talks about the few good eggs in @PoliceNG, we have seen one 1st hand in action.”
“This is Kano State Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Wakili and his team, he was posted to our State two months ago, within the period, he has changed a lot in Kano, arrested over 700 thugs and drug dealers. I join the good people of Kano to appreciate him,” Bashir Ahmed, personal assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on new media, also tweeted.
Mohammed officially assumed office as the Commissioner of Police for the state command on Monday, February 11, and had promised to make sure the extent of drug abuse and thuggery is significantly reduced as a way of promoting political stability and economic development.
Previously the CP in Katsina, he took over the new office from Rabiu Yusuf shortly after the pre-election transfer of commissioners of police announced by Acting Inspector General of Police Muhammad Adamu. In December, while he was still in Kaduna, he held a meeting with party leaders and other stakeholders in the state on the need for decorum during campaigns.
He hails from Gombe State and had his basic education there. He has a BA in Languages and Linguistics from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State. In 1986, he participated in the National Youth Service Corps scheme, and then got enlisted two years later into the Nigeria Police (Force) as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent.
He trained at the Nigeria Police Academy campuses in Kaduna and Ikeja, and was posted to Bauchi State Police Command. There he served at different times as Divisional Crime Officer, Officer-in-charge, and Divisional Police Officer. He then served in various roles in other commands.
He’s also worked at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as head of the Kano Zonal Office, Bank Fraud Section, and Internal Affairs Directorate.
In the late evening of Monday, Bello Bala Shehu, returning officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state, declared the election conducted as inconclusive. He also disclosed that Abba Kabir Yusuf of the Peoples Democratic Party got a total of 1,014,474 votes from the results collated while Abdullahi Ganduje of the All Progressives Congress polled 987,819 votes.
This report first appeared on the website of The International Centre for Investigative Reporting.