Police and sacrificial lambs

The Nigeria Police, from all indications, is fast losing the remaining integrity that members of the public and security observers ascribe to this great symbolic elephant.

Unlike other police institutions across the world, the way and manner its personnel are treated and the way they behave before members of the public raises eyebrows. The foremost security institution in Nigeria does not care about its public image and, despite the arduous task of image laundering before its public relations officers, those at the helm take decisions based on ethnic, religious and other pecuniary influences. 

One social ill that is affecting the progress of the institution is injustice being perpetrated at every level of its administration. Among the recent injustices is the sudden retirement of four deputy inspector-generals of police.

They are DIG Moses Ambakina Jitiboh, representing the South-South  geographical zone with six years ahead of him before retirement, while DIG Hafiz  Mohammed Inuwa, representing the North East, with eight more months of service, and DIG Adeleke Adeyinka Bode, representing the North Central, had one year.

Most unfortunate is the quick retirement  notices served on DIG Dan-Mallam Mohammed, who represents the North West and has barely three months more to officially retire.

The Police Service Commission claimed it was following what it described as “tradition” to The SUPREME explaining that, “in exercise of its statutory powers, pursuant to the Third Schedule, Part 1 M, para A&B of the 1999 Constitution, reinforced with Section 6 of the commission’s (Establisment) Act 2001, para a, c, d, e, & f, has compulsorily retired four Deputy Inspectors-General of Police.”

This does not augur well for development. It erodes confidence of personnel in the system and  deflates pride of the police.


    Strangers in the house (2)

The appointment of three politicians by  President Bola Tinubu elicited questions from discerning Nigerians and security observers who want to know what could have qualified these men to warrant the President appending his signature to their nomination and eventual appointment to these very sensitive security ministries that had hitherto been reserved for experienced security  retirees. According to record, Bello Muhammad, popularly known as Bello Matawalle, is a  politician and teacher.

He previously served as the governor of Zamfara State, from 2019 to 2023, before his recent appointment as the minister of state for defence. On his part, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar is a politician who served as the governor of Jigawa State from 2015 to 2023, before his appointment as the minister  of defence. Also, Ibrahim Gaidam is a politician and serving senator who was re-elected as the senator representing the Yobe East Senatorial District before his appointment as the minister of police affairs.

In as much as one would want to respect the President’s initiative and strategy, it has been discovered that he is human and can be overwhelmed with situations that could blindfold his sense of accurate judgment in appointing a round peg  in a round hole.

Such mistakes had previously been observed in political appointments in the country: A situation where a non-educationist was appointed as minister of education and another situation where a medical doctor was appointed to be in charge of issues of labour.

No wonder, the country experienced such tumultuous labour challenges that affected its development. From every indication, these politicians are strangers in the security house. If the former governor of Zamfara State had security acumen, how come he was unable to implement them while the state witnessed several accounts of kidnapping, attacks and killings by terrorists and the illegal mining of natural resources like gold and diamond? Both governor and the security heads in Zamfara State ought not be considered for any other office but should be retired for their failure to handle the spate of insecurity in the state. If a man could not handle  the security of a state, is it that of a whole country that he would preside over effectively? Even if their appointments were to compensate them for their roles during the 2023 presidential election, must it be such a sensitive position in the security community? One of the governors had alledgedly accused the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of demanding bribe.

Matawalle had accused the detained chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, of demanding $2 million bribe from him. He made the allegation amid the growing rift between the governor and the anti-graft agency. Was he being compensated for his boldness or could there be other reasons for his appointment? What security experience does he possess and, if he knows much about security, how come he was unable to proffer solutions or direct the security agencies under his leadership as governor to end banditry, terrorism and other criminal activities that where on the increase in his state and neighbouring states? Truly, Matawalle failed in securing his terrorist-infested state. So, he is a round peg in a security square hole

Simply, he is not fit for the office he was assigned. So this is another  stranger in the house  Barely, a week after he assumed office, it was reported  that over 22 soldiers of the Nigerian Army were killed in an ambush by bandits in Niger State.

The two ministers for defense should know that they cannot be excused from blame.

This is a pointer to what happens when you have a politician appointed to an office he knows nothing about and it is a minus to a President known for his apt selection of people into offices.   Among  bothersome questions are how the minister of defense would  be able to convince military generals about his security proposals, should there be a state of insecurity somewhere in the country. Every career professional has a certain uniqueness and language. So, how can a man with no security training nor background cope with insecurity situation and how can a loose nut fix perfectly into a hole that is not meant for it?


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