As the clock ticks towards the retirement of the Inspector General of Police, (IGP) Mohammed Adamu today February 1st 2021, other senior officers who are qualified to replace him are already jostling for the plum job.
Adamu who was appointed by president Muhammadu Buhari on January 15th 2019, replacing Ibrahim Kpotun Idris would be bowing out of the police force on February 1st 2021, eight months to his 60th birthday.
A member of the ASP Cadet Course 14 of 1986, Adamu’s appointment in 2019 was greeted by almost all and sundry as a safe pair of hands to man the nation’s police force. But two years down the line, his tenure has been riddled with heightened insecurity that culminated in surge in kidnapping, banditry, unwholesome criminality, herdsmen crisis and of course renew spate of terrorism.
It all got to a head during the #EndSARS protests across different states of the federation, where youths demonstrated to show their displeasure at the extortion, killings and right violations by a police unit called, the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
The obviously miffed Nigerian youths demanded the abolition of SARS, with a helpless IGP Adamu only able to replace the notorious police unit with what he called the Special Weapons and Tactics Squad (SWAT). It however, did not assuage the rampaging youths who took laws in to their hands, razing many police stations.
The protest which was later hijacked by hoodlums led to dozens of police officers been killed in a breakdown of law and order following the escalation of the demonstrations by security forces and thugs.
This led to calls for Adamu’s resignation or dismissal especially due to his shoddy handling of the protests as cops assaulted and killed some protesters in the early days of the demonstrations.
Critics have also lampooned Adamu for his perceived failure to secure the Abuja-Kaduna highway from kidnappers who have turned route to it domain.
Nigerians resort to self help With the increase in crime rate across the country and with the Police under Adamu apparently not having solution in the short nor long term, Nigerians have resorted to self help.
This is as Governors and leaders across different geo – political zones have decided to look inwards and secure their zones and shun the regular police formation.
It all began with the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) when in January 2020, unveiled a security outfit code-named “SHEGE KA FASA”, which it said would address the lingering security challenges in the northern region of the country.
In the same vein, , Governors of the South West launched the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) codenamed Operation Amotekun (Leopard), to combat insecurity in the region.
While the South East Governors were still dilly – dallying over its own move at solving insecurity in the zone, an outlaw group the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) announced the establishment of a security outfit for the South East and South-South regions.
The group tagged it Eastern Security Network (ESN), it noted that the move became necessary following the failure of governments of the two regions to set up regional security outfits like their counterparts in other zones.
Without feeling left out, in a meeting held in mid 2020, Governors of the South South region met to discuss modalities at floating its own security unit. At the meeting in Asaba, Delta State, it resolved to revive the Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross Rivers, Edo and Delta, BRACED Commission, agreeing that BRACED Commission would handle the formation of the local security outfit.
Defiant Adamu fights back, gives self pass mark With all the criticisms and seeming lack of confidence in his stewardship, Mohammed Adamu disagreed with his critics, crediting himself institutional changes in the police, including the creation of training institutions, police clinics, and the establishment of the National Institute of Police Studies (NIPS).
Adamu who is the 20th Indigenous police OH, in a recent interview applauded the police under his watch, saying; “I’ve been proud to say that we came, and we’ve been able to make impact,”
TSG gathered that Adamu who believes that he had done well to deserve an extension is lobbying for his tenure to be extended by President Buhari.
According to the laws establishing the police, the Inspector General of Police is appointed by the president on the “advice” of the Police Council. The law provides tenure system for the position and affirmed retirement terms at 60 years of age or 35 years of service. But the president has the prerogative to oust an IG or extend the tenure.
Until their exit few days ago, the Service Chiefs; the Chief of Defense Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ikwe Ibas, were all on borrow time after president Buhari extended their time in office.
Who succeeds Adamu?
With the hope of Adamu getting an extension looking very unlikely, intense lobbying and horse trading for his replacement is well under way.
Traditionally, upon the retirement of an IG, some senior Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) and Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) usually follow him out of service, especially when they are only few years to retirement.
Findings revealed that one of the most senior officers with age on his side is AIG Moses Ambakina Jitoboh, the Bayelsa born cop was the AIG in charge of border patrol.
Jitoboh who worked with former president Goodluck Jonathan as his top police orderly for many years was born in 1970 and only joined the force in 1994, with at least nine years before his retirement date. Though quite young compared to other of his contenders, it was learnt that his name is being canvassed by the powers that be within the circle of former president Jonathan.
Other top officers eminently qualified to succeed Adamuare; DIGs Dan-Mallam Mohammed, Usman Alkali Baba and Sanusi Lemu, Dasuki Danbappa Galadanchi, Hafiz Mohammed Inuwa.
Others are AIG Dan-Mallam Mohammed, Zanna Ibrahim, Mustapha Dandaura and Garba Baba Umar. Top qualities among considerations for the president may include age, zone, widespread support among high and low officers, longevity as IG and with the usual Nigerian style, political correctness may not be ruled out