When I came across the news of Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris’ tenure extension move, I shook my head and asked: does he deserve a tenure extension? Has he performed to the good expectation of Nigerians? Is the extension in accordance with the law? These and so many unanswered questions came to my mind.
I’m not a lawyer, but I have consulted with many lawyers on whether or not the tenure extension of Ibrahim Idris is legal. Though there is no official announcement of the extension, the IGP must have succeeded in seeing his extension a reality by mere indication.
However, even as the Presidency is yet to respond on the authenticity or otherwise of the story, as a patriotic citizen and Public Affairs Commentator, I’m totally against the tenure extension of Ibrahim Idris for so many reasons: One of this is that under his stewardship, the IGP has been able to bring the institution of the police so low and a subject of public ridicule.
Recall that it is under his watch that the Police threatened, arrested and intimidated many activists, journalists and the opposition individuals. Senate President Bukola Saraki, Journalist Samuel Ogundipe, Senator Dino Melaye and Political Activist Deji Adeyanju were not an exception of the IGP’s series of harassments and arrests. The IGP has displayed so many of his unprofessional conducts in the treatment of the opposition by always siding with the government.
His actions as IGP and treatment of the opposition do not display him as a neutral person that will perform his duty with professionalism. IGP Idris has failed as head of the Nigerian police as the number of kidnappings in the country has increased under his leadership. The Benue massacre where the President himself admitted that the IGP failed to abide by his instruction is enough reason why his tenure should not be extended. Imagine an IGP that is not answerable to Mr President?
Yet again, he has woefully failed to show a serious commitment to the killings and abductions in Zamfara, Birnin Gwari and the farmers/herders clashes. Instead, he has been busy trying to secure his tenure elongation. It is in the records that thousands of people have been killed in Zamfara, Birnin Gwari and other volatile areas in the country. The big question is: what has the IGP done to arrest the situation?
Senator Isa Hamma Misau had last year raised an alarm of corruption, illegal postings/transfers and illegal promotion of junior officers for money above their superiors by Mr Idris but President Buhari flagrantly refused to investigate that allegation.
We should not also forget that it is under Mr Idris that the Nigeria Police Force witnessed the most fraudulent large-scale promotion of officers without following due process. The Police Service Commission had confirmed this in a meeting it held on the 14th of September 2018 in which the force Secretary and members of the commission were all in attendance.
The Force Secretary was asked to explain the modalities of the promotions, unfortunately, he could not defend the IG’s actions on the spot and no cogent explanation was given in his meeting with the Police Service Commission as stated in a letter to the IGP by Musliu Smith, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission.
Tell me any serious commitment he has made which Nigerians became aware of? Has Nigerians ever lauded his efforts? I make bold to say that IGP Idris’ track record as Inspector General of Police is very poor in the eyes of many Nigerians. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, Mr Idris, who is due for retirement from service on January 15, 2019, after mandatory 35 years of service, should go and pave way for other serious and a committed senior officer to take over.
Furthermore, the constitution is clear on this. Similarly, the section 020810 of Public Service Rules of 2008, which deals on retirement for all grades in the service, stipulates that civil servant shall retire after attaining 60 years or 35 years of pensionable service. According to the law, no officer shall be allowed to remain in service after attaining the stipulated retirement age, adding that anything contrary is against the provision of the law. More so, section 215 of 1999 constitution as amended doesn’t give room for an extension of service of the IGP, the President can only appoint but nowhere in the law is he asked to extend the tenure of service.
Another thing is that I believe that extending IGP’s tenure by six months will further cast doubt to the credibility of Mr Buhari’s resolve to deliver free, fair and credible elections in the forthcoming 2019 elections. Now, since the President is believed to be a follower of due process and rule of law, I advise him to open his mind to the reality that there are many competent senior police officers that can perform better than Mr Idris.
Should the tenure of Mr Idris be extended with even a single day without any cogent reason for doing so, I and many Nigerians would lose hope of having free, fair and credible polls in 2019. I, therefore, call on Mr President to act in accordance with the constitution of the country and the common-sense of the ordinary Nigeria that would have to bear the brunt of your action, by commission or omission.
Adnan Tudunwada, an Abuja-based public affairs analyst, motivational speaker, he can be reached on Twitter @adnanmoukhtar