By EMMANUEL IRIOGBE, Abuja
As the February 1 2021 exit date for the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu draws closer by the day, Nigerians are worried and apprehensive who his replacement would be.
Permutations abound among concerned citizens if President Muhammadu Buhari will choose the part of honour by bringing into play equity, fairness and justice in order to ensure that the best man for the job is chosen. Though the President may have the prerogative to extend the tenure of the incumbent by citing as an instance the current security architecture which the police under the current IGP has developed as sacrosanct in the efforts to fight insecurity and ought not to be jeopardized in these critical times, the new Police Act,2020, as amended, passed by the 9th Assembly and assented to by the President, under Section 18:8 makes this impossible presently. The Act provides that ‘every police officer shall on recruitment, or appointment, serve the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, for a period of 35 years or until he attains the age of 60 years whichever comes first’.
Mohammed Adamu is the 20th indigenous Inspector General of Police, he was appointed on January 15 2019 and succeeded Idris Ibrahim Kpotum who was appointed in 2016 upon attaining the mandatory 60 years of age and 35 years of service and left in 2019.
Names of likely successors among the most senior police officers are already been bandied as to who among them will have the president’s nod at the end of the day. The practice in the past was that the Deputy Inspector Generals of Police, DIGs, are retired along with the IGP and a successor is chosen from among the ranks of Assistant Inspector Generals of Police, AIG.
DIG Danmallam Mohammed fdc
Currently the DIG in Charge of Training, Mohammed was born on 18th December, 1963 and hails from Yar’Adua in Local Government Area of Katsina State. He was enlisted into the Nigeria Police as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police on 3rd March, 1990 and graduated in November, 1991. • In the course of his career, DIG Danmallam Mohammed has held strategic positions and was a former Aid de Camp (ADC Police) to then President of Nigeria; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, C-in-C from 1999 to 2010.
He was also a Board member of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) before his nomination for National Defence College Course 24 in 2015. He is a fellow of the National Defence College, Nigeria. • Mohammed has attended many courses, conferences and seminars within and outside the Country and has attended the National Defence college.
However, a minus for the man is his state of origin. He comes from the same state as the President and with the hue and cry in the country about the lopsidedness of appointment since 2015 especially with many alluding to the fact that 97 percent of service chiefs which is inclusive of the IGP are from a section of the country. President Buhari may decide to bypass him, this is also coming on the heels of the new trend in the Villa where recent appointments have assumed a more geographical spread in the spirit of federal character.
Also, he has less than two (2)years to serve in the Nigeria Police since he is due for retirement come December, 2023 after attaining the mandatory age of 60 years.
This negates the New Police Act as Amended which mandates that an IGP must serve for a period not less than 4 years in office.
DIG USMAN ALKALI BABA
Usman Alkali was born on 1st March in the year 1963, in Geidam, Yobe state and has had meritorious years in the force where he has served in various capacities. Until his promotion as DIG Force CID , he was the Force Secretary at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
He holds a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) Degree from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State 1997 and a BA (ED) Political Science from Bayero University, Kano State. Professional Courses/Workshop Institution
Alkali was a member of Course 22/2014 2014, National Defence College (NDC)
His detractors are quick to point to the fact that the man is an unrepentant ethnic jingoist and tribalist in the course of carrying out his official duties.
Also, in his disfavor is the fact that he will be retiring from the Police Force in a year’s time, March 2023 to be precise. He is from the North like the current IGP.
AIG MOSES AMBAKINA Jitoboh mni
Among the top contenders for who succeeds IG Mohammed Adamu, AIG Moses Jitoboh is seen as the favourite to step into his shoes.
According to police watchers, he has age, number of years left in the force, geo-political zone and more importantly qualification as his strong points.
Born on June 1, 1970 and from Bayelsa state, he got enlisted into the Police Force on October 6, 1994 and is not due for retirement until 2029. This puts him in good stead among others considering the new police act which mandates that only an officer with at least four years of active service could be appointed as IGP.
It is instructive to note that out of the 23 of the 24 AIGs due for retirement between January 2021 and 2023 either based on enlistment or age, Jitoboh remains the youngest and has more than eight years left in the service. Besides being younger in age and year of enlistment, he is among the top 3 most Senior AIGs on the officers list of the Nigeria Police Force.
Section 7 of the Nigeria Police ACT 2020 has positioned him as the most qualified officer to become the next IGP. This is also considering his performances since joining the Police. Police records also shows that none of the six DIGs representing the six geo-political zones are eligible to be appointed as IGP after Adamu exits based on the new police Act. Apart From DIG Aminchi Baraya and Ibrahim lamorde, all from the North – East who are due to retire alongside IGP Adamu from the North Central in February 2021, the rest have less than two years to exit the force.
Jitoboh to his advantage is in acting capacity as a DIG. This is informative because there is this penchant for serving IGPs to retire along with their DIGs, who are usually either their course mates or outright seniors in the force. Moses Jibotoh who once served as Commissioner of Police (CP), Adamawa and until his current posting, was AIG in charge of Border Patrol comes to mind here as an excellent performer in handling affairs of the Police Force. This informed the reason the police authority gave for his recent position and posting as acting DIG in charge of Research and Development in the Force Headquarters.
It is also on record that the South South geo-political Zone of the country deserve to occupy the exalted position this time around.
Officers who have worked closely with him describe him as a very disciplined, intelligent and detribalised officer. They also added that appointing him to the position would provide the much needed answers to most of the internal security problems in the country.
AIG GARBA BABA UMAR
Garba Baba was among the officers promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police last mont (December 2020) and is the officer in charge of the International Police (INTERPOL) in the Nigeria Police Force.
Described as a very ambitious officer who is eyeing the position of IG when the position becomes vacant in February, he has led several special and discreet investigation and extradition teams as the INTERPOL Boss for the Nigeria.
However, what might act as a big minus to the man’s ambition is his lack of the prerequisite qualification like attending the officers course at the Nigeria Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS) and also the mandatory officers course at the Defence College, two mandatory certificates that must be gotten by any aspiring Inspector General of Police.
There are also reports from credible sources in Force Headquarters that other officers like AIG Zaki Ahmed and AIG Gwandu Haliru, both retiring in 2022 , are also scheming and working round the clock aiming to become the next IGP, hiwever to their disadvantage is the fact that they have not attended both NIPPS and War College, a required prerequisite for the position.
The aforementioned contender stand taller than the rest while hoping there should be no tenure extension for the present Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar Adamu which to many observers will amount to sacrificing merit on the alter of sentiment.
Appointing AIG JITOBOH will dispel the erroneous believe that only people of northern extraction are in charge of the security architecture of Nigeria and balance appointments across Geo-political divide.