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43 AIGs, 8 DIGs, others, risk compulsory retirement after appointment of new IGP in Sept. – Report

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43 AIGs, 8 DIGs, others, risk compulsory retirement after appointment of new IGP in Sept. – Report

There is palpable tension in the Nigeria Police Force, especially at the top hierarchy, regarding speculations of President Bola Tinubu’s alleged endorsement of a Commissioner of Police (CP) to succeed the incumbent Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun.

Discrete investigations that lasted two weeks revealed that Tinubu is yet to decide whether to extend the tenure of Egbetokun or not. Egbetokun is due for statutory retirement on September 2nd, 2024.

Subsequently, Tinubu is said to be contemplating replacing him with another trusted hard working officer, if he decides not to extend his tenure.

Our findings further reveal that, one Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) of Police, two CPs were placed on a chess board for consideration at the Presidency. The AIG is said to have recently been deployed to office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). The two CPs are said to come from the South-West and are currently heading state police commands.

We also learnt that the Presidency is not comfortable with the choice of the AIG. Reason given by one of our credible sources is that the AIG allegedly performed poorly, during last year 2024 Presidential election, then as a CP.

Our sources also revealed that, one of the CPs is making inroad through Tinubu’s wife, and in particular, a respected northern leader, who is said to have listening ears of Tinubu. He is known in the force as a crime cracker. The other CP, is said to have been discussed favourably at the Presidency, after a respected clergy allegedly made a case for him. The CP, who is also known as a crime cracker, recently achieved a major breakthrough in bursting a sophisticated crime gang. He is said to be well known in the force as a dedicated Christian.

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He is believed to be the choice of the Presidency. We also learnt that the governor of the state he is heading also made convincing overtures on his behalf to the Presidency.

We further reliably learnt that, in the event Egbetokun’s tenure is not extended, the endorsed CP would be promoted in later part of next month (August) when the Police Service Commission (PSC) would hold its Plenary. And the agenda, we gathered, is to appoint him acting IGP the following month, September.

However, several senior police officers, serving and retired, who spoke to our reporter under strict anonymity, frowned at the alleged decision to appoint a CP as the next IGP.

The officers noted that once a junior officer is appointed, it is customary to retire all officers who were senior to him compulsorily.

Investigations reveal that if the speculated CP eventually gets the nod of the Presidency, about 43 AIGs, eight DIGs and five CPs who are currently senior to him would be forced to retire.

That is the cogent argument adduced by the officers, who believe that such compulsory retirement is neither healthy for the country, nor for the force.

Expatiating on the adverse effect, they stressed that such compulsory retirement could in turn affect morale of officers that would be elevated to replace those to be retired compulsorily. He added that they will not be confident to be patriotic.

Reasoning along their arguments, former IGP and one time Chairman Police Service Commission, Sir Mike Okiro noted that, “The Constitution says an IG should be appointed from among serving police officers. It did not specify rank. If the President wants to appoint a CP, there is nothing wrong. But what should be put into consideration is whether the officer is experienced, where he has worked, if he is loyal and dedicated to the job. But to compulsorily retire that large number of officers is also not good for the system, because of their experience that would be wasted.

“However, if the President decides to extend the tenure of the IG, let him extend it. He is good. He is doing well.”

Also speaking in the same vein, retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), Yakubu Mohammed, from Katsina State, noted that, “Appointment of an IG is political, but many things should be put into consideration, experience, maturity and many others.

If the President decides to appoint a CP, there is nothing wrong. But that will be a colossal loss to the nation and to the force, because the experience acquired by those officers that would be compulsorily retired will be wasted.

That practice should be discouraged. If any officer who is currently senior to him wants to work under him, he should be allowed. Except if such an officer shows disloyalty, he can be dealt with on individual basis. The President may instead, extend the tenure of the IG.

Also speaking on the issue, retired AIG Umar Manko from Niger State, who was a victim of compulsory retirement, noted that, “It is not ideal to appoint a CP or a junior AIG for a political reason. That was what (IG) Idris did to us. It is not healthy for the system, because a vacuum would have been created, and very experienced hands would have been wasted. And that affects the society more.”

Similarly, retired AIG Austin Agbonlahon from Edo State noted that, “This is still a speculation. But however, we know that appointment of an IG is political, but many things should be put into consideration, not appointing a mediocre but one with experience. It is more ideal to pick a senior AIG from among the AIGs. Even from the DIGs. I’m sure there are some DIGs who still have more years in service.”

However, retired CP Yinka Balogun from Ogun State frown at failure of government to heed useful ideas from retired officers.

Expressing his grieve, he revealed, “said a lot on the police, but nobody wants to listen. Let them do whatever they like. “

Our efforts to get the Presidency to comment wasn’t successful. (Courtesy of The SUPREME, but headline rejigged)

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