As former Deputy Inspector General Peace Ibekwe Abdallah has served 33 years with the Nigerian Police Force. Now retired, Peace is a consultant working to support the development of the security sector while continuing to serve as a mentor to young officers.
Her story began when she left Nigeria at 11 years old to attend secondary and tertiary education in the United States of America. Upon her return in 1984, she served one year with the National Youth Service Corps under the Nigerian Police Force before deciding to enlist as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police. Peace was driven by the desire to ensure justice is served to all.
One of the most significant moments in her career was cracking a kidnapping case, which led to the returning of a 5-year-old boy to his parents. Peace was the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State at the time and personally led the team of detectives that secured the successful rescue of the victim without paying ransom. The case really resonated with Peace, who as she has children of her own and could imagine the pain the victim’s parents were experiencing.
Peace serves as a testament that women can attain the highest ranks in the security sector — although the numbers remain few. In the span of her career, Peace witnessed how women in the security sector have progressed from the set traditional roles of support staff and mere administrative duties to being part of decision-making processes and operational duties.
Peace believes that the Nigerian Police Force remains a security institution that has taken steps toward gender mainstreaming. Female officers are given the same training and are being promoted without discrimination. Peace notes that “deployments and part of the decision-making process have also improved in the past year.” However, the work is far from over. There is yet to be a security service in Nigeria to be led by a woman. Peace is committed to continue to encourage and mentor young female officers to be ambitious and determined to work their way to the top.