IGP EXTENSION: Making a Goon through a Goof
President Muhammadu Buhari has once again taken Nigerians by surprise on Thursday by announcing the extension of the tenure of Adamu Mohammed, the 20th indigenous Inspector General of Police by a period of three months.
According to the minister of police affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi, the extension was necessary to give room for the proper selection of Adamu’s successor. To many, that sounds like a goof, with the potential of embarrassing the President and his performance rating. It looks like the work of the unprepared, or those engaged in afterthoughts.
Many supporters of the President, including yours truly, who are ever anxious or ready to respond to all manner of challenges against all kinds of criticisms channeled to the President, were not only taken aback, but pushed to a defective defensive position. A lot of the learned, including Ebun Adegboruwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, have described the extension as illegal and unconstitutional.
While I am not knowledgeable about the legality or otherwise of the extension, I cannot claim to be unknowledgeable about the morality of that action. You need not go to a law school to understand the principles concerning the distinction or difference between what is right and what is wrong, particularly on matters that have to do with good and bad behaviours. PMB virtually came to power on the merit of this particular virtue. How come he got caught in such act?
As an officer, Adamu Mohammed has distinguished himself as a gentleman. As an IGP, Adamu Mohammed has performed with a near unblemished record that saw wonderful achievements, even if under-reported.
He is therefore perfectly qualified for any extension that pleases the President, notwithstanding the fact that he had completed his mandatory 35 years of service. It is the discretion of Mr. President, and no one can take away that right, I think.
My only quarrel is the methodology of exercising the discretion. Methinks it was done with a goof that could makes Baba look like a goon. What could be done in three months that have not been done or foreseen in three years?
To add suspicion to the surprises, PMB, who is not known to be fast at recognising or rewarding loyalty, be it political or patriotic, nominated the immediate past service chiefs, whose extended tenure was enmeshed in controversies, for non-career ambassadorial appointments.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the president forwarded to the Senate the names of Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin (former Chief of Defence Staff), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (former Chief of Army Staff), Vice Admiral Bosket Ibas (former Chief of Naval Staff), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (former Chief of Air Staff) and Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman, for confirmation as ambassadors.
Undoubtedly the former military chiefs have given their best to the nation. They must have put their best in the fight against insurgency in and around Nigeria. But many pundits, politicians and people with interest in security intrigues, did not rate them as the best, under the challenging circumstance. Why was the President so quick to reward them?
Before them, Nigeria had Mallam Lawal Musa Daura as the DG, DSS, who served Nigeria and the President beyond the call of duty. His tenure in office gave the President the confidence to checkmate the excesses of the culpable, particularly people in power that were planning to undermine the system, or failing to adhere to proper principles and expected office standards. Despite his unalloyed loyalty to the country in general and the President in particular, he was shoved out of office in the absence of the President, unprocedurally, unconstitutionally and unceremoniously. Many have interpreted that action as unpropitious, with the expectation that Mr. President would quickly right the wrong on his return. To date, nothing is done.
After Mallam Lawal Daura came Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, the 19th indigenous Inspector General of Police, who virtually gave out his yesterday for the protection and promotion of PMB’s tomorrow in particular, and that of Nigeria in general. IGP Ibrahim Idris went to war with everyone that attempted to bring the reputation of the President into disrepute, particularly the leadership of the 8th Senate and their cohorts. His tenure witnessed tormentous turmoil because of Mr. President. He retired into the discomfort of poverty. Many thought the President would recognise his loyalty and quickly come to his aid, by reigniting his status. But to date, nothing is done.
Examples of loyalists abound who openly chest out for the President, but are now in the dustbin of relevance.
It is equally pertinent for IGP Adamu Mohammed to see his elevation to the exalted position of the IGP as an act of God that was ordained, and the extension of his tenure as an inescapable fate that was destined to happen. He should not enter into the realms of vindictiveness or venture into vengeance, particularly with those who might have changed their attitudes to him because his days in office were coming to an end, or qualified colleagues that might have indicated interest in his position.
The ambition of every police officer is to become the IGP, and it’s legitimate. To maintain malice because of the covert or overt expression of such ambition is grossly unfair and morally wrong.
And Adamu would goof if he resorts to that, because he may be called a goon.
Mr Ibrahim writes from Abuja.