APPOINTMENT OF ACTING IGP: Federal Character, Competence and Nepotism at Loggerheads — By Ogo-Oluwa Adelakun - Penangle | News Portal in Nigeria
Tue. Jun 18th, 2024
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When the official spokesperson to the President, Garba Shehu had said last week that President Muhammadu Buhari was tech savy and could run the affairs of the country from the United kingdom where he is currently undergoing his routine medical check-up, no one could have guessed what has been described as the replacement by some and by others, the sacking of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu while on official duty in Imo state.

Many wonder why the announcement of the the new acting IGP, Alkali Usman was done in such fashion, when in February the Presidency defended the unprecedented extension of the former IGP’s tenure which was tagged as an illegal act not just by the usual opposition but by legal scholars and opinion leaders.

While the appointment of Mr. Usman as the new police boss somewhat completes the answer to prayers of citizens who have for a long time asked for new leadership and approach in dealing with Nigeria’s security issues, eyebrows are being raised and questions are being asked about the president’s choice.

In making the decision to select Acting IGP Usman, President Buhari’s choice was made after deep consideration to factors like seniority, professionalism, record of service and competence which are all great considerations for the job with all things being equal.

Meanwhile, the problem is that some believe things are in no way equal at all in Nigeria.

Just like the recent arguments for the zoning of the 2023 presidential ticket, there are those who feel like the Buhari-led administration has brazenly refused to read the room by making appointments which they argue displays various shades of nepotism or one-way traffic at a time when ethnic tensions are brewing in different corners. Those who feel this way are of the view that the president should have picked another qualified officer from a different part of the country, if not for anything, for the mere reality that an ugly narrative that can easily puncture the goodwill of current administration is slowly gaining momentum. Fair point, right?

However, there are those who support and praise the choice of the president in selecting the new acting police chief because for dire times like these, the country needs to look beyond the trivialities of ethnicity or religion in making choices that concern the safety of lives and properties within the Nigerian territory. They have also reminded those who oppose the choice, that the power to make such selection falls under the purview of the executive arm which the president heads, emphasizing that he can choose anyone he likes to serve at his pleasure for as long as he likes as he did with Mohammed Adamu’s initial selection, extension and ultimately his unusual termination while on official duty.

As debates continue on where the new police boss should have come from or if the choice is in bad taste, concerned citizens hope that the new leadership at this time means that the litany of issues regarding relations with the public, welfare, training of police officer and recruits alike be adequately addressed.

These are sensitive times and every action taken should be aimed at saving the country from running over the precipice of peril. More than anything, we should all hope that the new acting IGP has answers to many questions being asked with regards to general safety of Nigerian compatriots.

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