There is suspense in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) ahead of the service exit date of the Inspector-General, Mr. Abubakar Adamu Mohammed.
The suspense is hinged on the fact that it is not clear whether Adamu’s tenure will be extended by President Muhammadu Buhari.
By service records, the IGP, who enlisted on February 1, 1986 will attain the mandatory 35 years service scheduled for retirement on Monday.
As at Saturday, the IGP was not sure of his fate and has been commissioning some projects in order not to be caught off guard.
The IGP’s dilemma is shared by three Deputy Inspectors-General of Police and 10 Assistant Inspectors-General of Police who are due for retirement with him on Monday.
The DIGs are Aminchi Samaila Baraya; Ibrahim A. Lamorde and Nkpa N. Inakwu.
The affected Assistant Inspectors-General of Police are Mohammad A. Mustapha; AIG Jonah Jackson; Olushola Babajide David; Yunana Y. Babas; Asuquo A.A. Amba; Nkereuwem Akpan; Olafimihan Adeniran Adeoye; Agunbiade O. Labore; Undie Adie; and Olugbenga Adeyanju.
A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We are all in suspense because the President has the prerogative to extend the tenure of the IGP as he did for some of the retired Service Chiefs, the Comptroller-General of Immigration and the immediate past Comptroller-General of Nigerian Correctional Service.
“We are also not sure if the President will extend the tenure of the three affected DIGs and 10 AIGs. We are waiting for an announcement from the presidency.
“Even the IGP is not too confident of what will be the decision of the President. He is busy putting finishing touches to some signature projects while awaiting Buhari’s position.
“There were also rumours of an assurance already given to IGP that he will spend extra one year in office based on his performance.
“What is clear is that while some power brokers have been lobbying for the extension of IGP’s tenure by one year to complete the ongoing police reforms, some AIGs are also pushing hard to replace him.
“Those opposed to the extension of tenure alleged that one year cannot make any significant change in the Nigeria Police Force.”
Another source said: “Some people claimed that a major challenge of the Nigeria Police is the recurring retirement of experienced hands.
“But no one can change it because the law says you are either 60 years old or 35 years on the job. I think we are going through a strange experience of tenure extension. Politics is creeping into police and military service.
“Assessing Nigerian Police, some foreign powers had opposed the nation’s bid for the President of International Police (INTERPOL) in December 2020. So, it depends on which side of the divide you belong.”
A group, Coalition of Youth and Student Organisations, has pleaded with President Buhari to extend the tenure of IGP.
The Convener of the group, Comrade Isah Jabbi said: “While we appreciate the forthright decision of our dear President Muhammadu Buhari, to have appointed one of our best hands, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, as the IGP then, we are proud to say that the President’s decision has been justified to a huge extent, despite the challenges posed by our internal security.
“The morale of the officers and men of our police force, is now always high and this has been made possible by the visionary and dynamic leadership style of Mr. Muhammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police, under whose leadership the Nigerian Police has continued to record tremendous successes both against our security challenges and in the general wellbeing of officers and men of the force.
“IGP Adamu’s brutal confrontation of banditry is not only a pacesetter in the history of the Nigeria Police, he is a man with many ‘firsts’.
“The Nigerian Police under his leadership has conducted successful recruitment, training, and deployment of 10,000 police recruits in line with Federal Government’s manpower development plan of the Nigeria Police.
“Enhancement of Operational Capacity of the Force with the procurement of patrol vehicles including 46 Police Smart Surveillance (CCTV Camera-on-the Move) vehicles, tactical operations vehicles fitted with state-of-the-art surveillance equipment; armoured personnel carriers; troop carriers; and 7 anti-riot water cannon trucks.”