Internal security is the responsibility of the Police Force but under the leadership of Ibrahim Idris as Inspector General, the police have not just been ineffectual but extremely partisan and unprofessional. As a result, the House of Representatives passed a motion on Wednesday asking President Muhammadu Buhari to replace Idris with a more professional police officer.
Apart from the fact that it may be a wild goose chase to find a professional officer in the Police Force, there are at least three reasons why it may be unrealistic for anyone to get hopes high that Idris would be replaced any time soon:
1. Idris is partisan – well that is only bad if he is on the wrong team.
The IG is on the right team right now. Idris is attacking the governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, who has been taking strong positions that are uncomfortable for President Buhari and the federal government. He is speaking against the Benue anti-grazing law and defending the Fulani herdsmen who have been absolved from blame. He is siding with the Kano Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje in the battle with Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso. All the above seem to be the official position of the federal government (or at least Pres. Buhari’s largely mono-ethnic security council). So why exactly should he be changed again? For loyalty – which we have heard Pres. Buhari values as much as anything else? Not going to happen.
2. Idris is incompetent – but admitting that would be admitting something the president does not want to admit.
Pres. Buhari bristled when the senate said in a resolution that the federal government was not doing enough to stem the crisis in Benue state. In a letter last month, the president told the senate that “To infer therefore that nothing has been done, is incorrect. The police are strenuously working to apprehend the rest of the culprits of these heartless killings.”
There you have it, even though these attacks still continue, even though the culprits of the Benue massacre are still at large and the IG does not even think the murderers are to blame, Pres. Buhari is satisfied that the police “are strenuosly working…” That’s a vote of confidence, if there ever was any doubt.
3. Idris is counting on Pres. Buhari to remain true to form
And this is a crucial point. Who does Pres. Buhari ever sack or replace? Who does he ever appoint and later admit as incompetent? Just does not happen. No cabinet change or reshuffle in almost three years despite the consensus that some ministers are not up to scratch. The Buhari government mantra appears to be: Once you are in, you are in. The IG is expecting the president to remain true to form, and nothing in the president’s body language signifies that a change could be in the offing.
- The House also approved a motion asking Idris to tender an unreserved apology to Gov. Ortom over the derogatory statements by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Jimoh Moshood, who described the governor as a “drowning man.”
- The House also asked the IG to relieve the PPRO of his position immediately.