Ike Ibekwe, PhDSaturday, March 31, 2018
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brahim Idris, Nigeria's Police Chief (hereafter, IGP Idris), has lately been in the news. This is not surprising if we consider that the bloodletting that has become a daily occurrence in several parts of the country, and the general environment of violence and lawlessness would at least, call to question the readiness and willingness of the Nigerian Police to live up to its constitutional responsibilities. However, three recent incidents call to question not just the preparedness of the Nigeria Police to maintain law and order and ensure peace in the land, but they also make one wonder if the man at the helm is even competent.

A few weeks back, while on a belated visit to Benue State (being one of the states under recurrent murderous attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen), President M Buhari confessed his ignorance that he was unaware that IGP Idris whom he had ordered to relocate to Benue State had been there for only twenty-four hours. Aside from the fact that this is a strange confession because it is suggestive of a few uncomplimentary things about the President's administration. The first is that insubordination has become normal amongst the President's men; the second is that IGP Idris lacks the discipline, and therefore, the competence to lead an organisation like the Nigerian Police, especially in troubling times as is currently prevalent. And of course, the fact that he remains the IGP of the country is more than a enough cause to worry. But that is not all.

Still on the Benue killings, IGP was noted to have referred to what was clearly an invasion from the outside as a communal clash. Reading the lips (or the hips?) of his boss, the Police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, dismissed the Governor of Benue State (Mr Ortom) as a 'drowning man', because he has refused to keep quiet with regard to what he perceives as the conspiratorial silence of both the presidency and military authorities in relation to the carnage in his State. A cruel joke I think Mr Moshood is playing on Mr Ortom. He was probably suggesting that he hoped the wailing governor drowns in the blood of his mauled down citizens, and that it would not perturb himself or his boss, the IGP! Not so, Mr Moshood?

Anyway, there is a third gist about how ridiculously incompetent and unprofessional the office of the IGP has become under IGP Idris. Not quite a fortnight ago, IGP Idris ordered that officers and men detailed to 'protect' and 'secure' private and corporate citizens, political office holders, politicians, etc, should be withdrawn. The reason as had been touted more than once before was that the country does not have enough policemen to do the job of policing as detailed by the laws of the land. But a few days after the first announcement, IGP reversed himself and was on air again stating that the earlier order had been cancelled, it was now to take effect one month later. He advised that all those enjoying this privilege should re-apply to the various States' Commissioners of Police for re-validation of their security apparatus. Quite apart from the fact that it is common knowledge that most of those who enjoy this privilege are criminals who should be in jail in countries inhabited by normal humans; the announcement and its reversal is a clear case of incompetence and indiscretion. In plain language, in the current IGP's office, they speak, and then they think!

One may be tempted to ask if IGP Idris is on a mission to carry out the orders of some unseen masters, or on some private mission. In my view, the lack of competence for the job at hand should take more than eighty per cent of the blame for the IGP's blunders! And this is one of Mr President's (main) men!