IGP: One appointment, many casualties
Why is it that anytime an Inspector-General of Police (IGP) is retired or removed and a new one appointed, it leads to the compulsory retirement of several top-ranking officers? When the axe fell on IGP Suleiman Abba last year, and was replaced by Solomon Arase, Abba didn’t go down alone, the whole of the top police hierarchy, which he headed crashed down along with him! Now with Arase’s retirement early this week, having attained the retirement age of 60, a new Tsunami is about to descend on the Force once again and blow off its roof.
There’s jittery all over the place as over 24 officers of the rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIGP) are about to be swept off the Force. This, as I said, has become a recurring decimal once a new police boss is picked! This practice, unfortunately, is not limited to the Police. The same thing holds sway in the military and perhaps the customs and Immigration.
They all try to do away with the entire old top hierarchy, mainly because of fear. Fear that the remaining top officers, if not shown the door along with the out-going boss, perhaps, would not be loyal to the new man on top, who only ‘yesterday’, as they are wont to say it, was one of them. Sometimes, as in the case with the just appointed police boss, an AIGP who might not be the most senior in terms of experience, competence or qualification among his colleagues, might be picked to head the Force! This is injustice! This is where the fear comes from, that these bypassed officers might not be willing to take orders from the one appointed over them. Why on earth should they? Why would a junior be made to rule over the heads of his superiors?
I would advice the Police to clean up their act and stop sacrificing their brilliant officers as a new IGP comes to town.
I’m not the only one crying over this injustice. Please, I want to refer you to what one big man also said about this same issue. The big man’s name is Abubakar Tsav, retired Commissioner of Police. Hear him:
“It will not be in the interest of the nation, the police and law enforcement to throw away experienced and trained officers for their subordinates. In the spirit of change, Mr. President should go for the best among the DIGs in areas of experience, integrity, professionalism rather than any other consideration.
“For the purpose of continuity and preservation of trained and experienced manpower, I want to appeal to Mr. President (Muhammadu Buhari) not to clear away the top hierarchy of the police along with Mr. Arase as had happened in previous instances when IGPs retired with members of their management team, but to appoint the next IGP among the serving competent and straightforward DIGs.” Sir, you have taken the word out of my mouth. Nothing to add again!