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IGP: Anxiety over Police reforms

 

…as stakeholders ask Buhari to ensure equity, continuity

 

Ahead of the retirement of the Inspector- General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, next month, concerned officers and stakeholders have continued to express worries over the fate of reforms and other innovations introduced by the gentleman officer. Barring any change, Adamu, who is the 20th indigenous IGP, would retire from the Force in February, having put in the mandatory 35 years in service.

 

The Police Council, which is headed by President Muhammadu Buhari, is expected to appoint an Acting IGP, upon the retirement.

 

Among those in contention for the plum job, according to findings by New Telegraph, are: Acting Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Usman Alkali Baha from Yobe, who is due to retire on January 2023; DIG Dan Mallam Muhammed Katsina from Katsina (due to retire on December 18, 2023) as well as DIG Moses Ambakina Jitoboh due to retire in 2029.

 

Also in contention is Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Dan Daura Mustapha, from Katsina, whose retirement date is said to be January 15, 2023, While DIG Katsina and AIG Mustapha are both from President Buhari’s home-state of Katsina, Baha hails from Yobe State – both of which are in the North.

 

Among the contenders, Jitoboh, who was Chief Personal Security Officer to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, is favoured to emerge the 21st indigenous IGP, considering the fact that he has many years to stay in service before retirement.

 

New Telegraph’s investigation showed that the outgoing IGP introduced many reform initiatives in the Force, since his appointment by President Buhari in January, 2019. Without doubt, Adamu will be remembered as one of the police chiefs that took deliberate steps aimed at boosting the morale of personnel. Recall that in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests, the IGP had promoted a staggering 82,779 junior officers to the next ranks.

 

The massive promo tion was part of measures to boost the morale of the rank and file, who were part of the casualties of the violence that later attended the #EndSARS protests in October last year. Also to his credit, is the disbandment of the dreaded SARS and its replacement with the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT), as demanded by the protesters.

 

According to stakeholders, the reforms undertaken by the police management team (PMT) under the leadership of Adamu, have restored professionalism and other lost values among officers and personnel. It is against that backdrop that concerned stakeholders have continued to appeal to President Buhari, to apply wisdom, equity and justice in appointing Adamu’s replacement.

 

This, they argued, would ensure continuity in the on-going police reform. They have also enjoined the president to give consideration to zoning, with particular reference to the South-South, which they observed, has not been favoured in the equation, in the past.

 

The stakeholders were optimistic that the president will not fail to consider the need for continuity and record of service, considering the deplorable state of security in the country in 2015, when he assumed power.

 

With rising cases of violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry, cultism, rape, among others, the police were seen as having failed in their core mandate of crime prevention.

 

As part of measures to guarantee continuity of laudable initiatives in the Service, President Buhari, last year, signed a bill to repeal the Police Act into law. Among others, the Act provides that the person to be appointed an IGP shall not be below the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police, with the requisite academic qualifications of not less than first degree or its equivalent in addition to professional and managerial experience.

 

Also, that the senior officer to be so appointed to the exalted office, shall hold office for four years, provided that he satisfied other conditions.

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