Olusola Fabiyi, Eniola Akinkuotu, Adelani Adepegba, Abiodun Nejo, Adekunle Peter and Chidiebube Okeoma
The Peoples Democratic Party has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to allow the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, retire on January 15, the IG’s 60th birthday.
The party said this was one of the ways the President could convince Nigerians and the international community about his commitment to have free, fair and acceptable elections this year.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, who stated this while answering questions in Abuja on Wednesday, said there was no need to extend the tenure of the IG.
He said the police force as an institution had many officers that were capable of leading the NPF.
There are insinuations that the Presidency is plotting to extend the tenure of Idris because of his alleged closeness to Buhari and the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress.
However, the PDP said that President Buhari must show evidence that he would match his words with action, just as he said in his New Year message that the coming elections would not be a do-or-die affair.
Nevertheless, Ologbondiyan said that if the APC and the President were not planning anything negative, they should allow Idris to retire.
He said, “One of the ways to demonstrate or show that he (President Buhari) is committed to free, fair and credible elections, is not to extend the tenure of the IG, who is due for retirement this month.
“He has said that he is committed to having transparent elections. He needs to tell Nigerians by his actions, and not merely with words of mouth.”
Tenure elongation is reinforcement of failure, says PSC member
In a related development, a member of the Police Service Commission, Najatu Muhammad, has described tenure elongation in the force as what she described as “reinforcement of failure.”
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Muhammad, who represents the Nigerian women in the commission, said there was no way she would keep silent as a key stakeholder in the police and national security establishment.
She said it was even wrong to start discussing the extension of the tenure of the IG and service chiefs who she alleged had failed.
In a statement made available to The PUNCH, she stated, “The idea of extending the tenure of the IG and the service chiefs who have woefully failed is a farcical travesty which abuses the patience and common sense of Nigerians. We can expect that the call of millions of people across party lines for their immediate retirement is not going to be unheeded by the President.”
Muhammad said that there were instances where policemen had absconded from their duties due to poor welfare, adding that the alleged evidence of abuse of power should not be ignored.
She said that protests by gallant men and women of the police force as seen in Borno, Owerri and Buni Yadi were unprecedented.
She stated, “Today, officers are abdicating from even training, rather than allowing themselves to be treated like cannon fodder; poorly armed, poorly paid , poorly trained and led to their early graves in droves while some of their junior ones are given rapid accelerated promotions to superior (and juicy) positions without training or recourse to due process.
“This is the prevailing environment within the Police Force today – the direct result of which is indiscipline and fallen morale amongst officers and the rank.