The newly appointed Acting Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Abubakar Adamu, yesterday officially assumed duties at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, promising to uphold high professional standards in the handling of forthcoming general election.
However, about 10 senior officers, comprising seven Deputy Inspectors General (DIG) and three Assistant Inspectors General (AIG), will be forcibly retired with the appointment of Adamu as the 20th indigenous IG.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) greeted the acting IG with a charge to immediately commence the reorganisation of the Nigeria Police to restore professionalism and adherence to rules of engagement in the force, describing former IG’s tenure as shameful
The seven DIGs that are on their way out include Mr. Maigari Dikko, who is in charge of the Department of Administration and Finance; Mr. Joshak Habila of the Department of Operations; Mr. Oshodi-Glover Agboola of the Department of Logistics and Supply; and Ms. Peace Ibekwe-Abdallah of the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department.
Others include Mr. Muhammad Katsina of the Department of Research and Planning, and Mr. Emmanuel Tom Inyang of the Department of Information and Communication Technology.
The three AIGs affected have been identified as Mr. Usman Abubakar, who is in charge of Maritime; AIG Usman Yakubu, who is in charge of Zone 10, Sokoto; and AIG Abdulmajid Ali, who is in charge of the Eastern Ports.
While Idris’ promotion as the IG on March 19, 2016, was contentious given that 21 senior officers were retired in one fell swoop, Adamu’s will claim only 10.
It was gathered that coupled with
This question it was gathered had ruffled the president’s predisposition to retaining the IG till after the forthcoming February general election.
To Adeniyi’s question, Buhari had retorted thus, “I have accepted responsibility. I do not think I am afraid of him. I will take action.”
The most affected by the looming retirement is the recently promoted DIGs, who were elevated on October 31, 2018. Particularly worrisome is the fact that with the retirement in the works for Abdallah, who is presently the only female DIG, there will be no female in police top management position.
Meanwhile, a statement issued yesterday by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Jimoh Moshood, said Adamu assumed office as acting IG, shortly after he was decorated by the president
The president had directed Idris to hand over the leadership at the Force Headquarters to Adamu in acting capacity.
Adamu, who hails from Lafia in Nasarawa State, according to Moshood, is a thorough breed and versatile police officer.
According to Moshood, “The Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, hails from Lafia, Nasarawa State and a holder of B.Sc. Geography. He enlisted into the Force on 1st February, 1986 as Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police.
“Acting IG Mohammed Abubakar Adamu is a versatile and seasoned police officer, a professional per excellence. He attended several senior officer courses on law enforcement, crime prevention, control and management within and outside Nigeria.”
Moshood said before his appointment, Adamu was a Directing Staff at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, Plateau State. He was also Commissioner of Police in Ekiti and Enugu States and also Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 5 Police Command Headquarters, Benin, Edo State.
Earlier on, Adamu who was decorated with the new rank of IG by Buhari in the State House, was led to the president by the outgoing IG Idris, at 1.30p.m.
After a meeting, which lasted for about 30 minutes, behind closed-doors, Adamu fielded questions from journalists on his disposition towards the forthcoming elections and other matters.
One of the factors, which pitted the public against Idris, was alleged partisanship. But Adamu described himself as a professional, who would be guided by ethics of the profession in the discharge of his responsibility.
“Well, we are professionals. We are going to stick by the rules. We are going to do the right thing. We will not go outside the ethics of our job to do things that are untoward. Everybody will be given level playing ground to play his or her politics,” he said.
He also said enough arrangements had been made to ensure that credible elections are conducted in February and March this year.
“On the elections, you have heard from the former IG. Adequate arrangement has been made to make sure that free and fair and credible elections take place in Nigeria. We are going to build up on the strategies put in place to make sure that we have hitch-free elections in the country,” he said.
Adamu, who thanked Buhari for considering him for the office, said new strategies would be evolved to tackle security challenges confronting the country.
He said, “I want to thank Mr. President for considering me worthy to be the next IG. We know that there are security challenges that we need to tackle in the country – issues of kidnapping, abduction and other security challenges.
“From the strategies put in place by the former IG, we will re-strategise and make sure that we tackle these challenges squarely.”
Also fielding questions, the controversial outgone IG said he was leaving service, having attained the mandatory retirement age of 60, wishing his successor well.
He also advised his successor to carry on with the task of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians.
Disclosing that more police officers would be recruited this year, Idris promised that police handling of their roles at these forthcoming polls would be the best.
“I want to inform Nigerians that today, I am 60 years and I think I have reached the pinnacle of my career. So, I am going to handover to my successor, the incoming IG. He is an officer I know very well. We knew each other in the past, we have worked together and I wish him success.
“The advice I will give is that just like in our time, he should try to go round the country and adopt measures to ensure that the Nigerian Police Force give maximum protection to lives and property.
Restore Police Image, PDP, CUPP Tell New IG
The Director of Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Council, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement yesterday advised the new police boss to remove all templates of election rigging allegedly contained in the hand-over note that will be presented to him by his predecessor.
He stressed that the new IG must also urgently take steps to address the bastardisation of promotion in the police under the last IG, where officers due for promotion were denied and only those endorsed by a cabal or who have enough money to buy their way through were promoted.
Ologbondiyan said that this was in addition to immediately setting up a process that guarantee proper welfare of officers and men of the Nigeria police.
The main opposition party berated the outgone IG for a shameful and partisan tenure, which destroyed professionalism in the police and compromised the lives and security of Nigerians, adding that he must be held accountable for all the atrocities he committed while in office.
Ologbondiyan said that Idris would be remembered as the only IG in the nation’s political history, who surrendered the responsibilities of his exalted office to the whims and caprices of politicians who share courtesies with the Buhari Presidency.
He stated, “He defied the need to secure troubled areas and watched carelessly while an integral part of our nation was engulfed in bloody clashes.
“Idris will also be remembered as that police officer, who had a penchant for framing innocent Nigerians with ridiculous allegations. Throughout his inglorious tenure, he functioned as the commander of the militant wing of the APC, just to retain his office and remain in power.”
The PDP therefore urged the new police boss to learn a lesson from the shameful end of Idris as IG by immediately setting up the process of re-orientating and insulating the Force from partisan politics, while subjecting it to the tenets of democracy and the rule of law.
On its part, CUPP urged the new acting IG to elevate the police force, which suffered image crises under the watch of his predecessor.
The National Spokesperson of CUPP, Ikenga Ugochinyere, who addressed a press conference in Abuja yesterday, described the news of Idris’ retirement as a new dawn for the people in their quest to have a secured nation.
He said: “The CUPP today cut a symbolic 60th birthday cake to mark the retirement of Idris and the end of his inglorious years as the IG. When the opposition received the news from confirmed sources that the President had done the needful, and had directed the outgoing IG to proceed immediately on his constitutional retirement, we received the news with excitement and caution.
‘’The first action the opposition took yesterday was to call off the mobilisation for today’s march action and declaration of the position of the IG vacant.”
Ugochinyere revealed that the leadership of the CUPP steering committee had declared a ceasefire lasting seven days to stop all hostility against the leadership of the Police Force and to also enable the new police boss ample days to set a new agenda and for peace to also reign.
Speaking further, he reeled out the demands, which the opposition will table before the acting IG upon assumption of office.
“We demand the release of all political detainees and activists arrested during the inglorious stay of Idris. Among them are Deji Adeyanju and Dino Melaye.
‘’We also demand that the new IG should make a commitment to the political parties by not engaging in massive arrests of opposition leaders few days or hours to the election, which was a troubling pattern during the tenure of the outgoing IG in Osun and Ekiti States.”
The coalition assured the new acting IG of its support, urging him to be non-partisan in the dispatch of his duties and to restore the battered image and Integrity of the police force.