Appointment of IGP : Putting Round Peg in Round Hole
By Amuda Dimeji
Nigeria’s security challenges prior to the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari into power in 2015 and since he assumed the mantle of leadership of this great African country have been inundating.
The president himself saw the problems as overwhelming to the previous administration; saw the despair of Nigerians as they face daily cases of terrorist attacks, losing their lives and property in the process; saw that the strategies being adopted to fight the scourge was not working well; and saw the need to make the issue of insecurity a cardinal part of his campaign promises.
No doubt the Buhari’s administration took the matter with all the seriousness it deserved, giving the nation’s security agencies all the supports they deserved and getting a significant reduction in the instances of terrorist attacks. The sphere of operation of insurgents was narrowed drastically and their brazen disregard for the nation’s security apparatus was reduced.
Yet, the security service chiefs deserved to be commended, but the criminal evolved. They metamorphosed. They changed tactics and visited so much hardship on the citizens through various criminal ways.
A time eventually came when Nigerians, even those who have been ardent supporters of the president, began to clamour for the removal of the service chiefs.
No one was worried that the Chief of Army Staff, for example was from the North. Nay, everyone, even Northerners, especially Northerners, was concerned that the Nigerian Army was unable to combat the consistent assault on Nigerians by the insurgents. Same thought went for the Navy, Airforce and even the Nigerian Police.
The president eventually did the needful by relieving them of their duty post and appointing replacements. Everyone felt that action had been taken, and it remains for the new appointees to justify the confidence that was reposed in them.
Appreciably though, they all came with good credentials and it would be difficult to fault their appointment on the basis of capabilities. As for performance, that would be left to be seen.
But it took President Buhari so much time to do what was ordinarily expected of him, and his critics have always alluded to his slow pace in taking actions.
Perhaps time has come for the president to begin to act with the swiftness of a combatant on issues of national concern, and the appointment of a new Inspector-General of Police is providing him the opportunity to project his quick, strong and patriotic side.
What does the president need to do?
To every discerning Nigerian, merit is the keyword. It is in fact the only consideration. The country is at a delicate juncture where sectional, tribal and religious considerations will not serve it.
The IGP that the president must appoint is one with the brightest chance of addressing the numerous internal security challenges that we face presently. Knowledge, experience, exposure as well as credentials are the watchword.
The president is conscious, I am certain, of the reality that crime has no tribe, region or religion. So, crime control and prevention must be detached from every ethnic or sectional inclination. Therefore, in matters of security, unlike in other political appointments, where the head of a security agency comes from does not really matter if he is the best suited for the job. This is the mindset the president needs to adopt in appointing a new IGP.
As President Buhari search for a replacement for Mohammed Adamu, let him beam his searchlight towards the round peg that will fit the right hole.
This is a call to put the nation and its interest before and beyond any other primordial interest.
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