Buhari’s Northernisation of Nigeria Police Force

DIG Usman Alkali Baba photo
DIG Usman Alkali Baba, Acting Inspector General of Police

I had on February 4, in a widely reported press release, coupled with outing on Channels TV (Politics Today), kicked against the extension of Ex-Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu’s tenure. I had termed it as not only “patently glaringly illegal, unconstitutional”, but also “because he was denying other members of the Nigeria Police Force who are also aspiring for the opportunity to go up to become Inspector General of Police “. I had cited sections 7(6) and 18(8) of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, in addition to the clear provisions of sections 214, 215 and 216, and paragraph 7 to the 3rd Schedule of the 1999 Constitution.

I had argued that in the eye of the law, we no longer had an IGP, but a pretender to the throne because Adamu’s tenure had expired by effluxion of time on the 2nd of February, 2021, having fully served for 35 years. But, as usual, the motley coterie of corridors-of- power-bootlickers, fawnwers, and a clueless government’s ready band of apologists scrambled for his defence.

I had laughed then. I knew they were wrong. I knew I was right and that I always speak truth to power, patriotically, non -partisanly, and with the best intentions for Nigeria and her citizens in all my public outings.

Buhari has again appointed DIG Usman Alkali Baba, a Northern Muslim, as Acting Inspector General of Police to replace Adamu Mohammed, another Northern Muslim. Click To Tweet

By the aforesaid paragraph 7 to the Third Schedule, the president cannot single-handedly appoint an IGP, as he has again unconstitutionally and illegally done.He can only do so in conjuction with the Nigeria Police Council comprising of Mr. President as chairman, all the 36 state governors, the chairman of the Police Service Commission, and the IGP.

Such an appointment as has just happened with the new Acting IGP, is capricious, arbitrary, whimsical, unconscionable, illegal, unlawful, wrongful and unconstitutional. It eulogises strong men rather than strong institutions.

Today, Buhari has again appointed DIG Usman Alkali Baba, a Northern Muslim, as Acting Inspector General of Police to replace Adamu Mohammed, another Northern Muslim.With Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, another Northern Muslim as the Minister of Police Affairs, the circle of policing in Nigeria is complete.

Of course Buhari controls the Police by virtue of sections 214, 215 and 216 of the 1999 Constitution. It is the same situation with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC the entire security architecture of Nigeria, and other key sectors and commanding heights of the economy.

So, he just wanted power for the sake of it, after three serial failures in 2003,2007 and 2011, leading to him even weeping publicly, swearing never to contest again? Click To Tweet

The illogical and puerile argument is always that the president only appoints people he can trust and that such persons are qualified in any event. That argument is insulting and insensitive to the intelligence, sensibilities and plurality of Nigeria.

By the way, can’t President Muhammadu Buhari for once, just for once, in his opaque appointments, look beyond his religion and immediate ethnic group and forsake sectionalism, cronyism, prebendalism, tribalism, favouritism, and act as a true statesman?

Is he truly saying he cannot trust any of the other over 15 million Nigerians who voted for him, or that he cannot find any of them that is qualified to be made an IGP?

I thought he had gleefully told Nigerians on 29th May, 2015, while taking his first oath of office, that he was for “everybody and for nobody”? So, Buhari had actually deceived Nigerians and is desecrating his solemn oath of office? So, he just wanted power for the sake of it, after three serial failures in 2003,2007 and 2011, leading to him even weeping publicly, swearing never to contest again?

Is that why he has failed abysmally in deliverables in ALL his self-appointed campaign PROMISES of a buoyant economy, anti-corruption war and a secured Nigeria?

Is Buhari telling Nigerians that under his governance, Nigerians are indeed living in the Federal Republic of the North, or Northern Republic of Nigeria, or Republic of Northern Nigeria, or Northern Nigeria Republic, Republic of Northern Nigeria and Other Vassal States ? I can’t decode Buhari’s defiant refusal to respect the Federal Character principle enshrined in section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution. Or, can you?

Mike Ozekhome, SAN, Photo

Ozekhome, PhD is a senior advocate of Nigeria, SAN

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