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.
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.
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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