Wakil Singham: The exit of one tough cop, By Yakubu Musa
NEWS DIGEST – I was guilty of posting the first video that introduced the just retired Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Wakil, into the social media limelight. I got it from a friend, Alhaji Uba Danzainab, and it became an instant hit, going viral within the first hours of its release.
But it wasn’t still a palatable introduction of a super hero in the making in a typical blockbuster movie.
Indeed the barrage of comments the ‘maza-kwaya mata-kwaya’ video generated were not something that Wakil would proud of as a preamble of his social media debut.
This viral video, no doubt, succeeded in turning Wakil a subject of the mockery of those who watched it, rather than making us key into the important message, dangers of drug abuse in our society, in it.
Perhaps only a handful of commentators, like Alhaji Ahmed Gara who were not oblivious of Wakil’s track record vouched for him. Most of us only saw the comical side of it. We were wrong.
Nonetheless, like every great story, which is full of twists and suspense, the transfer of Wakil from Katsina to more urbane Kano— at the twilight of his career— became a major turning point in his professional life.
This top cop, unfazed by our negative and erroneous verdicts, would seize the opportunity and wrote the concluding chapter of his career in gold. He would share the slices of humble pie— enough to go round for all and sundry.
At the height of his sensational stint in Kano, CP Wakil, nicknamed Signham, from a Bollowood’s Ajay Devegan starrer, had the BBCs and VOAs of this world queuing up for interviews. Newspapers like Daily Trust made an entire cover of their weekend’s papers on his dominant presence in Kano.
Our nation’s best back page columnists like the Mahmud Jega gave us some dignified proses about his exploit, while army of social media influencers used to besiege his office for selfies and autographs. Wakil would also give us some of the best memes for our social media accounts.
In the word of Jega himself: “In more than half a century, Nigeria Police Force has not produced a celebrity officer quite like Mohammed Wakili, the Police Commissioner in Kano who is a radio, television, social media and real life sensation. This slightly-built policeman has electrified Kano’s streets, has caused a social media storm, is the darling of radio interviewers and television crews, and is the only policeman in Nigeria who receives an excited welcome from jubilant crowds when he appears in public.”
Undoubtedly, Wakil had cemented his position as the most famous and trusted cop in the country, as through his actions and unyielding mien, this great police chief convinced the whole nation that not only the police could be our friend, but they could be as incorruptible and dedicated to duty like in the depiction of Simgham in that Bollywood hit.
The first thing he did in Kano was to declare a war against street urchins, locally known as yandaba, and the biggest enablers of criminal activities, drug barons, in the state. In fact, as a DPO in Kano, your rating, I was told, came from how successful you were in tracking and arresting drug dealers in the state.
And now the he’s leaving the scene, every mouth in Kano and beyond is praying and hoping that he’s rewarded with another strategic national assignment.
While some see in him a man who can help President Muhammad Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade, others think he’s a prefect man to lead an onslaught against drug abuse in our country.