IGP: The Dilemma Of A Nigerian President

By By By Stephen Ubanna

Those who think  that President Muhammadu Buhari, a etired army general, may have finally concluded on the appointment of  Zana Mohammed Ibrahim, an Assistant Inspector General  Of Police, AIG and Commandant , Police Academy, Kano, Kano state, as the new Inspector of  Police, IGP, may have to do a rethink.  The Policy Academy , Kano , Commandant  may have  been nominated  by the Katsina state born Nigerian President to take over from Mohammed Adamu, the current  IGP, who had clocked years in the service, which is the retirement age in the country’s Civil Service.  There may have subtle protests  in several quarters  that the Nigerian President selection of  Ibrahim, who is an AIG, to be the next Police IG, was inappropriate and therefore  should be changed  to ensure a result orientated Police.

He may have reasoned with the people who want a police IG, that would Command the respect of the officer rank of the Force to  be  appointed  as the new IGP.  This may have informed why he has asked Adamu, who had been confirmed to have been removed to continue for another three months in office.  

There had been pressure from both official and unofficial quarters including Basil Onuorh,  President-General,  Ohaneze Ndigbo General Assembly Worldwide, on the Katsina state born Nigerian President to appoint an Igbo man as the t new IGP. The pressure became  pronounced  because of the Nigerian President recent appointment of the new service Chiefs to replace  the old ones who were forced to tender their resignation letter due to public pressure on him to sack them over their inability to contain the Insurgency in in the north east states of Adamawa, for Vice Presiden Atiku Abubakar home state, Borno, Yobe, and Banditry in the north west states of Zamfara and Katsina, Buhari home state  after six years in office.

Muhammad Dingyadi, the minister of Police Affairs had said that  the Nigerian President  had approved  the extension  of the tenure   of the Police Chief  by three months  despite the completion of his tenure to give the government time ‘’to select  the appropriate person to be the country’s new IGP’’.  

Many believe that the army General Nigerian President may have  extended  his tenure for three months to Compensate him for leaving his name among the former security Chiefs that were forwarded to the Lawan Ahmad led Senate for Confirmation as a Non-Career Ambassador de on Thursday, February 4, 2021.

Lt.Gen.Buratai, rtd , for CAS and Non-Career Ambassador Designate

  He had nominated  and forwarded the names of Gabriel Onisakin, a retired army General and former Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Yusuf Tukur Buratai, a retired Lt General, and immediate past Chief of Army Staff, CAS, Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, a Vice Admiral, rtd and immediate past Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, Sadiq Abubakar, an Air Marshall , rtd and erstwhile Chief of Air Staff and  Mohammed Usman , an Air Vice Marshll, AVM, Aand for Chief of Defence Intelligence ‘’to the Senate for Confirmation  as Nominees Non –Career Ambassadors designate’’.

Given the importance attached the former security Chiefs who are now Ambassador designates, the retired army General Nigerian President has  urged  ‘’the Senate   to give expeditious Consideration  to the nominations’’, fueling speculations  making the rounds  that the former security Chiefs may have been members of the All Progressive Congress in military uniform.

This may have informed why Nyesom Wike , the Opposition People’s Democratic governor , PDP, and governor of  oil Rivers state has  warned the new service Chiefs, Lucky Irabor, a Major General , and the CDS,  Major General Attahiru Ibrahim,  CAS,  ishiaka Amao, an Air Vice Marshall, AVM, and CAS, including Awwal Gambo, a rear Admiral  and  Chief Naval Staff, CNS, whose names had been forwarded to Senate for Confirmation against ‘’the politicization of insecurity, noting that it would be counterproductive  and antithetical  to national development’’. 

The People of the south east geo-political region may have  kept  hope alive to intensify the campaign for  a senior Police Officer from the region  of the rank an AIG,  to be  nominated and his name  forwarded to the Senate for Confirmation as the next IGP, given their impression that the region has not been fairly treated by the Buhari  Administration in terms of appointment both in his first term  andsecond term in office.

 The people  are optimistic that with the region exclusion of the list of the service Chiefs, it would be Compensated with the IGP portfolio. The big wigs  from the region who are registered members of the Party were cocksure that it was the turn of the south east to produce the  new IGP, since  Adamu, the incumbent  IGP ,  who has attained the mandatory 35  years  age of retirement in the service. When it became obvious that Adamu, was going, Buhari had snubbed the south east lobbyists for an Igbo IGP, as he had settled for  Ibrahim , an AIG and  indigene of the north east state of Borno before bowing to pressure to drop him on Thursday, February 4, to  Calm frayed nerves.

Recall that Onuorah Onyachonam, President General, Ohaneze Ndigbo General Assembly Worldwide ,  who may have spoken the mind of the Ibos both within and outside the country,  has urged the Nigerian President ‘’to appoint the most senior  Igbo person in the Force as the country new IGP, to take over from Adamu, who was due for retirement. He had accused Buhari of excluding Ibos  from  appointments into his government.

The Ohaneze Indigbo General Assembly Worldwide had advised that ‘’if there  is no  Igbo officer  of the AIG rank  qualified to be appointed as the country IGP,  he should promote one of the Igbo officers , who is already a Commissioner  of Police, CP,  into the rank of an AIG, to  fit into the office of the IGP. He may have  made his suggestions which is  not binding on the Nigerian President. This sis because of the list of the current  AIGs, none of them  is from the south east, an indication that it would not be possible  for Buhari to bypass all the current AIGs, who  are mostly from the north and south west  to promote a CP, OF Igbo extraction to the enviable rank of AIG, and nominate him or her as IGP designate and forward his or her  name to the  Seate for Confirmation. This is an indication the next IGP, to take over Adamu, the incumbent  IGP, whose tenure has been elongated  by three months , would still come from the north, which dominate the Force  senior officers rank.

Political analysts believe that Adamu, the outgoing may have carefully plotted for the Force AIG rank to be dominated  by northern officers by recommending most of the CPs from the north to the Police Service Commission, PSC,   who in turn , were said to have  forwarded the names to the Buhari for  elevation   to AIG ranks. This may have informed  why it would be  very difficult for a south  east person  to be the country’s IGP, under the Buhari Administration, no matter the pressure being piled on him by interested parties.

The south east may not  be the only region that may be  lobbying  for the IGP  slot.  The Value News learnt that several other groups and influential APC Chieftains and influential men from the south west, north Central, north east and the south-south who are not in the Buhari government have onstituted themselves into a powerful force  to lobby for the IGP  slot to be allocated to their region instead of the north west  or south west  which is  currently enjoying  majority of the plum appointments  in the Buhari Administration as soon as Adamu’s three months extension elapse on May4, 2021.

Notwithstanding that the Nigerian President had a decision on the current IGP extension of tenure by three months,  some senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN, who could not understand why such an could be  taken  when there are other qualified senior police that could  be appointed as the country’s IGP, may have informed why they have described as ‘’illegal, the decision to retain  the retired Adamu as the IGP  for another three months’. The legal luminaries who could not hide their feeling had sad said that ‘’it was a  breach  of the Nigerian Police Act 2020 as  amended’’.

Afam Osigwe, a SAN, and former Secretary General, Nigerian Ba Association, NBA,   may have hit the nail on the head when he said that the retired Adamu , who has asked to continue for another three months in office  by the Preident and Commander –In-Chief of the Armed Forces,  was’’ no longer a Police  officer capable  of being appointed  in acting or  substantive  capacity to head the Force’’. He maintains that  ‘’the action of the Nigerian President  is in violation of the Police Act 2020, which says that ‘’a police officer  must retire  upon the  attainment of 60 years of age  or after 35  years  in the service’’.

I have read the provisions of the Police Act 2020 and it was very emphatic  that ‘’only a person  who is a police officer  can be  appointed the IG, he had said.

The Opposition PDP, which have always been cashing on the political miscalculations of Buhari to criticize the APC  government may have seen the extension of office by  three months of retired IGP Adamu’s  tenure as another opportunity to take the Nigerian President and his government to the cleaners. The party had said that the extension of Adamu’s tenure  was an indication that  that Buhari and the APC, ‘’lacked respect for Laws’’.

Kola Ologbondiyan, the party Publicity  Secretary may have spoken the mind of Uche Secondus, the Rivers state born  PDP, National Chairman,  when he said that the APC  government officials are Law unto themselves. He queried, ‘how do Nigerians expect ‘’a  party  that has no respect  for its own rules  and the 199 Constitution, as amended which it had promised to defend  do any much better, stressing that they cannot.

Ikiro: Former IGP, Supports Adamu’s THREE Months Extension By Buhari

Funny enough, Mike Okiro, a former IGP and a one-time Chairman, PSC, may not have seen anything wrong  in the extension of Adamu’s tenure by three months, noting that ‘’it is a prerogative of the President to do so and that the decision taken in the right direction’’.

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