By Kingsley Omonobi & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of the Deputy Inspector-General, DIG, Usman Alkali Baba, as the Acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP.
The announcement came on a day his immediate predecessor, Mohammed Adamu, was in Owerri, Imo State, to assess the extent of damage done by the gunmen who attacked Owerri Prisons and Imo State police command headquarters, freeing inmates and razing vehicles in the command premises.
But the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in a swift reaction, condemned the appointment.
Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, who disclosed this to State House correspondents in Abuja yesterday, said the appointment was with immediate effect.
He said that the issues of professionalism, competence and years of service were considered before the appointment. Recall that President Buhari had on February 4, extended the tenure of IGP Mohammed Adamu for three months but Adamu has spent just two months and three days of the extension.
The Minister said: “The tenure of the IGP Mohammed Adamu, which ended on February 1, 2021, was extended by Mr. President to enable a detailed process of appointing a new IGP, in line with Section 15 (A) of the 1999 Constitution.
“After a thorough check of a shortlist of suitably qualified police officers from the rank of DIGs and AIGs, who are eligible police officers, eligible for appointment as IGP, in line with Section 7, subsection 2 of the Nigeria Police Act (2020), and having regards to seniority, professionalism, record of service and competence, Mr. President has approved the appointment of an acting IGP, in the person of Usman Alkali Baba, PSE, FDC, with immediate effect.
“These changes are in line with the determination of Mr. President to rejig the security architecture country, to ensure that the security challenges bedeviling the nation are brought to an end.
“Mr. President has therefore charged the new appointee to rise to the challenge to ensure policing reform policy of this administration are fully prioritized and implemented to enable the police perform most effectively for the peace and security of lives and property of all Nigerians.
“Mr. President thanks the outgoing IGP, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, for his professionalism and dedication to duty during the period of his tenure. He wished him all the best in his future endeavours.”
Asked why the President didn’t allow the outgoing IGP to exhaust the three months extension, the Minister said: “Mr. President is aware of this and you cannot take away that responsibility from him.
“He is the one who is in charge of appointing or extending tenures. He has now decided to appoint a new person. So please allow him that responsibility and we cannot do anything about it.”
The Acting IGP was born on March 1, 1963 in Gaidam, Yobe State, and enlisted in the Nigeria Police on March 15, 1988.
He was until his appointment a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Force Headquarters.
He holds a Teacher’s Grade II Certificate (TC II) from Teachers College, Potiskum, Yobe State, in 1980, obtained a BA (ED) Political Science degree from Bayero University, Kano, in 1985.
The acting IGP holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration, MPA, from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State, in 1997.
In his curriculum vitae, he said his policing vision remains “to enhance police primacy in Nigeria through the provision of a motivational and credible leadership, driven by professional knowledge, ethics, emotional intelligence tools, and strategic planning and operational models that are directed at stabilizing internal security and modernizing police operations, facilities and standards within the framework of citizens, consent, trust, and rule of law.”
4 DIGs to retire
However, following the announcement of Usman Baba Alkali, as the Acting Inspector General of Police with immediate effect, indications have emerged that four Deputy Inspectors General of Police (names with-held) will proceed on retirement between July 2021 to November 2021.
This is because between July and November this year, the four affected DIGs currently serving at Force headquarters would have either attained the mandatory 35 years in service or clocked 60 years of age.
There are at present seven DIGs at Force Headquarters with such portfolios as DIG Finance and Administration, DIG Operations, DIG Force Investigations Bureau, DIG Training, DIG Logistics and Supplies, DIG Training, DIG Information Technology, and DIG Research and Development.
Investigations revealed that two of the present DIGs, Ibrahim Mohammed Zanna, DIG in charge Logistic and DIG Moses Jitoboh in charge Research and Development both have upwards of three years and five years to serve in the Police force before attaining the mandatory 35 years retirement, hence they will not be affected.
Two other DIGs are expected to attain the retirement age by 2022 when they would quit the Police Force.
Ohanaeze condemns appointment
Meanwhile, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has condemned the appointment of a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, as acting Inspector-General of Police. The group said the injustice of the Federal Government was responsible for the growing agitations and insecurity in the South-East.
Ohanaeze National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, stated this in an interview, said it was most unfortunate that the President had chosen to sideline the people of the South-East in his recent appointment of service chiefs and now in the appointment of an IGP.
He said: “It is unjust and unfair to sideline the South-East in the security architecture of the country. Injustice promotes insecurity; it promotes all forms of crisis and problems. With injustice, there is no peace anywhere.
“What is happening in South-East today in form of agitations is as a result of injustice. So, we the elders are put in a great dilemma because the younger generation is attacking us and we have been telling them to hold on believing that the president would have a change of mind.
“We thought that the president would be concerned about the level of injustice, agitations and crisis we have in the South-East and would try to ameliorate these things but unfortunately, he is not thinking towards that direction. It is most unfortunate and Ohanaeze will come up with a stronger statement.”
Vanguard News Nigeria
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