IGP Idris’ Time Is Up, He Must Go ~ By Okechukwu Nwanguma
In a civilized, democratic clime, where the rule of law reigns, guides and regulates the conduct of government, the continued show of shame of the unrestrained siege on the residence of Senator Dino Melaye by the police would not be tolerated.
The further invasion of Melaye’s family life and privacy and the violation of his right to human dignity ought to have embarrassed a responsible government.
Unfortunately, the Inspector General of Police is emboldened to continue to engage in his serial abuse of power and barefaced partisan displays by the silence of the President who ought to call him to order but has failed to do so.
The IGP sees his job and role as that of protecting the interest of the President and the ruling party, the corollary of which is the constant harassment, intimidation and victimisation of political opponents and critical voices.
We witnessed in 2018 the arrest and detention at the Force Headquarters of a Premium Times reporter who was eventually charged to court, maliciously and on frivolous charges, for refusing to disclose his source of information.
We also witnessed in December 2018 the arrest and detention of Mr. Deji Adeyanju, Civil Rights Activist and Social Critic, by the Nigeria Police Force which eventually took him to Kano on Tuesday, 18th December, 2018 where he was charged and remanded in prison for an offence he allegedly committed in 2009 which had been decided already by the court which discharged and acquitted him.
Now we are witnessing the shameless police siege on Melaye’s residence on the orders of an IGP under whose command the same police has not only exhibited a pathetic lack of capacity to confront criminals but has even suffered enormous casualties in the line of duty.
This siege is the culmination of a running battle between the police and Melaye which has a clear political undertone.
The Inspector General of Police, Idris Kpotum is probably embarking on this latest show of shame- the prolonged unjustifiable siege on Melaye’s residence- just to underscore his partisan loyalty at the twilight of his tenure and impress and remind the President to extend his expired tenure.
Every single action by the IGP (from the invasion of the National Assembly, the siege on the residence of the Senate President, through authorising or condonement of the use of police to forcefully and illegally impeach Speakers of Houses of Assembly in States controlled by the opposition, to targeting political opposition elements, constant harassment of activists and critical media etc.) has been motivated by partisan loyalty and geared towards impressing the President and the ruling party just to get a tenure extension.
Extending the IGP’s tenure will amount to rewarding incompetence, disreputable conducts and failure.
Under this IGP, the NPF’s corporate image and institutional integrity has taking an unprecedented nosedive.
This is worsened by the unprofessional comportment, reckless and embarrassing utterances and poor performance of a non-starter in public relations management in the person of Jimoh Moshood, the Force PRO.
The many un-investigated and unresolved allegations of corruption, unprofessional conduct and predatorial sexual controversies as well as fragrant acts of partisanship by the current IGP are enough reasons to have compulsorily retired or sacked him before now and give him up for trial – like his predecessors with even less grievous offences.
It is bad enough that the President has ignored calls to sack the IGP on account of his incompetence and the serial scandalous criminal allegations hanging on his neck.
But it will be a tragedy if the President takes the joke too far by deciding to succumb to partisan pressure to extend the tenure of this same failed IGP after he has served out his lawful term on account of age and/or length of service.
Now that the IGP’s tenure has lapsed this January, President Buhari should immediately convene the Police Council to select and nominate for Senate Approval- as required by the Constitution, a competent and qualified senior officer with requisite professional, leadership and managerial competence and integrity as the new IGP.
The President should prioritise national security and national interest above selfish, narrow or partisan interest in appointing a suitable person as the new IGP to redeem the battered image and restore the lost pride of the Nigeria Police.
National Coordinator, NOPRIN