As the race for the office of the next Inspector-General of Police (IGP), heats up, some senior policemen, who have been keeping a vigil on the process, hoping their candidates may be appointed, have stated that President Muhammadu Buhari shows that his ‘body language’ is unpredictable when it comes to the appointments of IGPs.
They noted that the President, according to Saturday Telegraph checks, has remained constant in picking someone from the northern region. However, feelers last night revealed that there were speculations that two Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs) and four Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) are in the race for the coveted office.
Reliable sources stated that the concerned officers have started lobbying in high places and have begun contacting who-is-who in their region that had the ears of the president. It was, however, revealed that nobody knows for sure, who Mohammed Adamu’s successor will be.
Sources explained that appointments of Adamu and his predecessors, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, were receives with shock because both men were never on the table or among the list of names being peddled as the possible next IGP.
They, however, agreed that although nobody knew the policeman that might be the next IG, they all unanimously agreed that the person would be from the northern region. The new IGP is expected to be announced on Sunday, while Adamu will vacate the office on February 1.
Interestingly, on that February 1, Adamu wouldn’t be leaving the police force alone, as other senior police officers, in the ranks of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) and Assistants Inspector General of Police (AIG) , would be walking out of the door with him.
Indeed, all the policemen and women that enlisted into the police force on February, 1, 1986, just like Adamu, they have all served for 35 years. There are speculations that Buhari might appoint a DIG, but if he decides to follow the Police Act of 2020, most of the DIG will be knocked out of the race. Already, some lawyers and human rights activists are urging the president to follow the act to the letter. According to ReubeAbati. com, an Abuja based legal practitioner, Barrister Silas Joseph Onu, is among those asking Buhari to appoint a new IGP in line with the Police Act 2020.
What then is this new inclusion in this act? The Executive Director of Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma, explaining the new segment in the act, stated: “The Police Act reinforces the constitutional provision on the procedure for the appointment of a new IGP when there is a vacancy. “It mandates the Police Council (comprising the President, as the chairman, the governor of each State of the federation and the FCT, the chairman PSC and the IGP) to meet and advise the President with regards to the appointment of a new IGP.
“The meeting of the council is mandatory under the Police Act. All the intrigues and scheming around the appointment of a new IGP amounts to playing politics with security which is what this government is notorious for.
“Look at how long it took Buhari to relieve the tired and incompetent service chiefs. The government should simply follow the laid down legal procedure in the appointment of a new IGP with the retirement of the current IGP.” A senior police officer said: “All the set that trained together with the outgoing IGP, Mohammed Adamu, on February 1, 1986 will retire together with him because they had all served for 35 years.”
While explaining further on how the cookies might crumble, he further stated: “All DIGs are supposed to retire if an AIG is picked as the AIG unless; the new IGP decides to work with some of them.
“DIG Baraye, DIG Lamorde and one or two others will be retiring with the IGP, together with many CPs and AIGs that joined the police with IGP on the same day and year.” While stating that the retiring officers were many, he added that at least two DIGs and four AIGs were in the race for the IGP’s seat. “But just like other policemen, he opined that Buhari had proven to “be highly unpredictable” when it comes to appointments of IGP.
“Nobody knows who is likely going to be the next IGP for now. However, it should be noted that the Police Act of 2020, says that it should be from the rank of an AIG.” Another senior officer said: “Nobody knows the policeman that will be the next IGP. Buhari, in the appointment of Ibrahim Idris shocked everyone. “Although nobody also expected him to appoint Mohammed Adamu, it’s clear that Adamu did better than Idris.
Adamu is calm and collected and knew what he was doing. “If Buhari goes ahead to appoint an AIG, that AIG may accommodate other AIGS, but it means all the DIGs will be completely swept away. True, nobody knows the policeman that will be the next IGP, but we all know it will be someone from the northern part of Nigeria.” He further said: “People have been lobbying for weeks and months now, but all had been going through proxies to approach Buhari.
The President may have been assuring them, but I can tell you for free, that he will shock everyone with his appointment. “However, we must not forget the Police Act of 2020. Buhari may choose to follow the act.
This means that any policeman qualified to be appointed as the next IGP, must have at least four years left in the service. Many policemen do not like that clause because a policeman that has two years left may be brilliant and do better than one that has four years left. Look at Solomon Arase; he had just a year left and he did better than most IGPs.”