By Gbadamosi Ibrahim
Nigeria’s 20th Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, is rounding off his career after his two-year tenure in the police’s highest office, starting from January 2019.
He succeeded IGP Idris Ibrahim whose tenure was allegedly marked by low performance and exposure of the police to avoidable ridicule.
In the periodic ritual at the force headquarters, Adamu successor is the burning issue among officers, rank, and file, all of whom clandestinely but freely express their preferences to receive the baton from Adamu.
While the raging debates hold in quiet mode, the affected senior officers are in the know but maintaining a measured distance to avoid being tagged desperados.
It was gathered that one of the candidates, who hails from the North, had issued a strong warning to his subordinates against discussion related to Adamu’s successor, let alone associating his name with the alleged scheming playing out at the force headquarters.
“A colleague told me that nobody should talk about that topic in that office, even though it is the major subject since December, especially when some promotions were announced. Our people have started their usual permutation but I am not interested in anyone who gets it,” a source said.
While the source declined further comment, his unspoken word was indicative of two things: One, President Muhammadu Buhari’s likely extension of Adamu’s tenure according to constitutional provision which confers such power on him as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
However, another source offered a counter view declaring that President Buhari would not want to match his feet on section 18 (8) of the police act, 2020, which states, “that every police officer shall on recruitment or appointment serve the Nigeria Police Force for 35 years or until he attains the age of 60 years, whichever comes first.”
Secondly, two officers are touted to be enjoying more mention. They are the newly promoted Assistant Inspector General of Police Dasuki Galadanchi and acting DIG, AIG. Moses Jitoboh who currently heads Research and Planning Department
Further findings have dug out the name of Jitoboh, a Bayelsa State-born cop, as the most favoured. It was learned that Jitoboh’s human relations had earned him priviledged postings in the past 20 years with a record of competence, which, another source said, won Nigeria Police some accolades at the corridor of power, precisely the Presidency, where his physical presence was a noticeable feature, especially at State functions attended by the immediate past, President Goodluck Jonathan.
“I never met him, I only saw him on television but all I have heard of him have made me always wish to work with him. He is the type of leader Nigeria Police need now to gain more confidence. I think you know what I mean as one who has covered us for a long time,” he noted.
Following the source’s lead, our correspondent further gathered that Jitoboh served President Jonathan from when he was deputy governor in Bayelsa State between 1999 and 2005 to Jonathan’s last day in the Presidential Villa on May 29, 2015. He was in charge of the presidential security personnel, posting, and supervision.
The detribalised officer, having attended schools at different geo-political zones in the country, is said to have possessed what a source described as an intimidating credential both academically and in his career, an attribute, which the source added, made him more attractive to choice postings.
He is currently a Ph.D. student at the Imo State University where he studies Geography and Information System. This feat followed his similar exploit at the University of Leicester, UK where he bagged an MSC in Security and Risk Management in 2019, 13 years after he had got his first MSC in Geographical Information System from Imo State University.
His hunger for academic excellence had also seen him being awarded a Certificate in Negotiation and Leadership at the prestigious Havard Law School programme on negotiation in addition to a certificate in National and International Security Policy also at Havard Kennedy School for Governance. Besides, he is a fellow, Association of Professional Negotiators and Mediators (APNM), Abuja.
Before his current office, he was in charge of Border Patrol Force, he had equally served as the AIG for Zone 8, comprising Kogi, Ekiti, and Kwara State Commands. He was also the Commissioner of Police, General Investigation at the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department, (FCIID) Annex, Alagbon, Lagos; CP, Adamawa State Command, CP Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department, Abuja and CP, Administration at the Department of Research and Planning in the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
Aside from his profile, another thing that is working in his favour is the wish and subtle call by the police for a young IGP, who has more years in his career to set and implement the 21st Century agenda. Unlike his contenders, whose retirements are alarmingly knocking on their doors, Jitoboh has another nine years and required energy to drive and consolidate the gains recorded by Adamu who is regarded by a group of officers as “Mr. Turn Around of Nigeria Police”.
“IGP Adamu has done his best, let’s look for somebody who would take it from there. That Bayelsa officer fits in perfectly. He seems to have what it takes to continue the good work of Adamu,” a retired commissioner of police, who declined his name in print, said.
His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, has over the years, taken pragmatic steps to address the gaps in the Nigeria police that have undermined its potential to emerge as a leading police institution in the world. The President has, very recently, signed the Police Act, 2020, into law. The ACT aims to reposition the Nigerian Police to overcome the challenges of policing in the 21st century. Mr. President has also authorized the annual employment of at least Ten Thousand Nigerians as Police officers to address manpower gaps, instituted a Retirees Resettlement Support Scheme, and has established the Police Trust Fund to address challenges with infrastructure and police welfare.
With the President’s clear focus on rebuilding the Nigeria Police into a global model, Nigerians are confident that the choice of who succeeds the incumbent IG will follow from the President’s robust vision for the Nigeria Police.
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