By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has warned against the continuous toleration of crass incompetence and the general collapse of professionalism and discipline in the Nigeria Police Force just as the President Muhammadu Buhari has been charged to scout for a tested, trusted, competent and professionally meritorious patriotic Nigerian Police Officer to step in as the next Inspector General of Police with the imminent retirement of the current IGP Mohammed Adamu scheduled for February 1st 2021.
The Rights group said whereas it has no objection to the extension of tenures of service chiefs of the core armed forces like the Army, Navy and Air Force, the Rights group said the Police Force stands out distinctively different from these core armed forces segments because of the fact that the police’s inability to curb internal security breaches is the reason why the Armed forces segments such as the Nigerian Army are overstretched and overburdened with internal security operations that ordinarily the Nigeria Police Force ought to statutorily be in charge of. “Therefore let nobody compare the extension of services granted to the Armed forces heads leading the counter terror measures in the theatres of counter terrorism to be same as that of the office of the IGP who manifest failures have compelled the Army to take up statutory policing duties and routines to stop criminals from destroying and over-running Nigeria”.
The Rights group said the speculation that the current Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu is strenuously lobbying to obtain the undeserved and indeed illegal extension of his tenure of office beyond what the statute has provided for, is disturbing going by the urgency of the now for the Nigerian Police Force to be fundamentally restructured, reorganised, reformed and the rejigged to be in the position to play her law enforcement and crime prevention strategic roles according to the global best practices and in compliance absolutely with the Principle of the Rule of law. HURIWA said Nigeria needed a police Chief who will introduce technologies for crime prevention and bolster the intelligence gathering capacities of the operatives and officers of the Nigeria Police Force”.
“HURIWA is by this statement demanding that Mr. President should make good his January 1st 2021 Solemn promise to reshape and reorganise the security strategies of this administration given that all around the entire North East of Nigeria and North West of the Country, terrorists, armed Fulani herdsmen, kidnappers and armed bandits have turned the hitherto peaceful regions into killing and crime fields just as there is a clear failure of the leadership of the Nigerian Police Force and the hierarchies of the various internal security Architectures such as the Nigerian Customs Service, the Nigerian Immigration Services and the National Defence Corp. Now that vacancies exists in all of these strategic offices, it is our expectations that President Muhammadu Buhari will use this as the clearest opportunity to scout for the best minds and the most competent and qualified persons to be appointed heads of these internal security operations. Mr. President is known to practice nepotism and always picking persons even with the least qualifications provided that they are from his Ethnicity and/or Religion. This pattern has gone on since 2015. This is the exact reason that terrorism, and all kinds of blood cuddling violence have become the norm rather than the exception in all parts of the Country and especially in the North of Nigeria which is where all the current heads of the internal security Architectures hail from. But for the Nigerian Army, Air Force and Navy, the entire Country woud have collapsed”.
“HURIWA joins the rest of the community of patriotic citizens of Nigeria to ask President Muhammadu Buhari to behave like a Statesman and stop his nepotistic practices of always insisting on persons of his religion and Ethnicity holding these aforementioned internal security positions and incidentally, there are now vacancies at the top most echelons of Police, Customs, immigration, Civil Defence and Prisons. As the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu reaches the mandatory limit of 35 years in service on February 1, 2021, we reject any attempt by President Muhammadu Buhari to capitulate and cave in to the intense pressure and lobbying by the failed IGP Mr Adamu Mohammadu who is also eager to get an extension”.
HURIWA reminds President Muhammadu Buhari that by law, the police IGP is appointed by the president on the “advice” of the Police Council just as this Council is chaired by the president and has the 36 state governors, chairman of the Police Service Commission and the IGP as members. Adamu, a member of the ASP Cadet Course 14 of 1986, is due to retire, seven months ahead of his 60th birthday.He was born in Lafia, Nasarawa State, on September 17, 1961 and enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force on February 1, 1986.
Besides, the Rights group said the Police Act, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari last year, provides tenure system for the position and reiterated retirement terms as 60 years of age or 35 years of service just as the Rights Advocacy group HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has insisted that the Powers of the President does not include the willful breach of extant laws for that will violate Section 15(5) of the Nigerian Constitution which provides that it is the ibligation of the Nigerian State to abolish all corript practices and abuse of power. President Muhammadu Buhari must comply by the law that even he himself signed and let this failed inspector general of Police Mr Adamu to go home and the President must not accede to the thinking and the naked ambitions of Adamu Mohammed who is reportedly banking on extension of his tenure as the country’s top cop in what insiders dub “the service chiefs treatment.”
HURIWA said there is a clear distinction between the service chiefs and the IGP because there are pragmatic evidence to show that the Nigeria Police Force is the one dragging Nigeria backwards because they do not meet up with the thresholds of contemporary internal security efficiency to enable the Nigerian Army concentrate on its core mandate of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
“HURIWA like most patriotic analysts believe that the expiration of the tenure of this police boss presents an opportunity for President Buhari to address concerns over the appointment of heads of the country’s security heads. We aligned ourselves with the strong voices advocating against repeating the ‘Muhammadu Buhari’s convention’ observable since 2015 with the police because we believe that the police as currently constituted is deeply rotten and corrupt and extending the tenure of the police chief whose tenure saw the deterioration of standards of policing in Nigeria will breed disaffection and throw many of Adamu’s juniors out of the force.
HURIWA recalled that the heads of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NCDC), the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) have had their tenures extended by between 18 to 6 months.The Comptroller-General of the NCoS, Jaafaru Ahmed, was due to retire on July 21, 2019, but got a one-year presidential extension to July 2020.This was again extended by another six months, at the instance of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Argebesola.
HURIWA lamented that the tenure of NSCDC’s Abdullahi Muhammadu Gana, which expired in July 2020, was extended through presidential approval by six months. The extension lapses this month. Immigration chief, Mohammed Babandede’s tenure, which was extended in mid-2020 by six months, has again lapsed. No appointment has been made to replace any of the senior security officials.
HURIWA reminds President Muhammadu Buhari that the new Police Act signed by President Buhari in September last year provides for a tenure of four years for the Inspector-General of Police.The new law excluded persons on the rank of Commissioner of Police and below from being appointed to the position.Section 7 sub-section 2 of the act provides that: “The person to be appointed as Inspector-General of Police shall be a senior police officer not below the rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police with the requisite academic qualification of not less than a first degree or its equivalent, in addition to professional or management experience.”The section also pegs the tenure of the police chief as four years.