THE presidency says there is no date yet for the announcement of a new inspector-general of police (IGP) as Mohammed Adamu, current IGP who has attained the mandatory 35 years in service, vacates office today.
Adamu joined the service on February 1, 1986, and took over from Ibrahim Idris as the 20th IGP in January 2019.
The amended Police Act, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently in September 2020, pegs the retirement age of police officers at 60 years of age or 35 years of service.
By precedence and practice, a replacement for the Adamu ought to have been announced few days to his retirement.
However, Garba Shehu, senior presidential spokesperson, said while appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday that he was not aware of the imminent announcement of a new police chief.
“The President returns to Abuja on Tuesday. He should be on his desk by Wednesday. I don’t know when he will do this. One thing I can assure you is that in places sensitive like that, there is no vacuum that will subsist, so therefore (sic) the system will take care of itself,” he said.
Garba also dismissed call by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly Worldwide (OGA) that the next IGP should be selected from the South-East region of the country.
He said it was impracticable for top security appointments to be made based on factors such as ethnicity or regions, stressing that the appointment of the next IGP would not be based on ethnic considerations.
“The president will rather have an inspector-general of police who will make you and I safer, protect life and property than one who is more pronounced by his tribal marks,” he said.
“If you are going to appoint the service chiefs from every ethnic group in this country, you are going to have more than 250 IGPs, 250 chiefs of army staff, 250 chiefs of naval staff,” he said. “It’s not going to work like that. And they have their own systems of producing leadership.
“If we say we are going to use ethnicity or region as the basis, then we have lost it. This is about law and order, it is not about ethnic identity. This country finished with tribalism in the 1960s, why are we back to it now?
“But if you have two, three positions – look at what happened with the service chiefs just appointed: two from the South, two from the North. If you are talking about religion, two Muslims, two Christians. So what do you want again?”
He added that the appointment would be based on who could best help to protect lives and properties across the country.