NEW IGP: The Dodgy and Dicey Dangers of Delay
Since Monday, February 1st 2021, when the tenure of the current IGP Adamu Mohammed officially came to an end, having attained the mandatory 35 years in service, Louis Edet House, the Force headquarter of the Nigeria police, and the entire country were thrown into suspense, confusion and persistent palpitations.
The suspense and confusion were due to the uncertainty of what would happen. Would Adamu’s tenure be extended by the President, or the country is going to get a new IGP? Silence, particularly the kind of silence that stirs suspense, is playing out as a critical tool of PMB’s style of leadership.
Reports have it that Adamu had applied, and is lobbying extensively for an extension till November 9, when he will be officially 60 years old, but in his characteristically silent way of doing things, the President kept him in suspense, by delaying or denying him a response.
To worsen matters, few hours to the end of Adamu’s official working days, Mr. President travelled to his country home of Daura, where he stayed back till late Tuesday, more than 24hrs after the official expiration of Adamu’s tenure as IGP.
Unless Adamu had a privileged information, that yes, he can continue to hold office, he certainly would have handed over power to the next most senior officer by Friday last week at the best, or at worse at the close of business on Monday.
But indeed Adamu reported to work yesterday Tuesday, 02/02/21, and from the look of things, unless he received a counter instruction over night, there is the likelihood of him going to the office again today Wednesday, 03/02/21.
No one can say precisely what is responsible for what is happening, particularly if the happenings are juxtaposed with the perceived apathetic attitude of PMB when it comes to leadership succession. He leaves people to their guesses, making room for all manner of hypotheses that could culminate in litigations. It had happened with the leadership of the NIS, NCS, NSCDC and the FRSC.
It took ages, for the President to change the service chiefs, the heads of the country’s armed forces, whom he appointed when he first took office in 2015. As usual, no reason was given for keeping them, despite the countless complaints that the country is constantly and continuously grappling with widespread insecurity, including the long-running Boko Haram insurgency, kidnappings for ransom, cattle rustling and banditry.
Everyone, amongst whom are Governors and members of the National Assembly, have called on the President to replace the service chiefs, because they were assumed to be underperforming. But in his characteristic silent style, PMB remained adamant, until a few days ago.
OnTuesday, 02/02/21, two days after the official expiration of the tenure of Adamu Mohammed as the 20th indigenous Inspector General of police, and perhaps capitalizing on the unintended indolence of the President, the social media acted for the President, through the play of a fast one, by rushing to appoint Assistant Inspector General of Police Zanna Mohammed, who is the Commandant of the Nigeria Police Academy Wudil, Kano state, as the replacement for IGP Adamu Mohammed. The news went viral and the country was thrown into all manner of confusion and unexplained uncertainty, because of the lack of official confirmation.
If the perpetrators of that mischief are to be blamed for causing confusion, the bulk of the blame should be dropped on the doorstep of Mr. President, because of his perplexity. Sometimes the President acts with dicey and dangerous delays that could come with detriments.
Of course as an AIG and a seasoned senior police officer, Zanna Mohammed is eminently qualified to be the next IGP, but the onus is on the President to make that pronouncement, if he deems him qualified. Keeping quite and permitting the office of the chief law enforcement officer of the country to become a subject of public permutations, is not only dodgy and dicey, but dreadfully dangerous to the rule of law in a democracy.
Some lawyers have even started accusing Adamu Mohammed of undermining the law, by deliberately refusing to the needful.
According to Abdul Mohammed (SAN), “It is alarming that in spite of the clear provisions of the law, the Inspector-General of Police, who, presumably, is expected to enforce all the laws of the land, is the one flouting them by coming to the office under the guise of awaiting the decision of the President, who is said to be in Daura.
The media spokesperson of the President, Mallam Garba Shehu was the first to alert the nation that a vacuum would not be created in the police leadership, and the appointment of Adamu’s successor would not be based on ethnicity, religion or sectional sentiments. This means the appointment would be based on merit and not mediocrity. This is everyone’s hope.
There are many officers in the legally permissible cadre of the police that could step into the shoes of the IGP without delay. The President has their records. Why is it taking so long to do so?
It may interest Mr. President to know that, like the fight against corruption, local and international community are keeping a watch on the criteria he would adopt in selecting Adamu’s successor.
And that is what would make or mar the public and global confidence on his administration.
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