President Jonathan yesterday terminated the appointment of Mr. Suleiman Abba as the IGP and replaced him with Mr. Solomon Arase as the Acting Inspector General of Police.
Solomon Arase until his appointment was the Head of the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department and possesses a CV that is sterling. With two Bachelors’ degrees and two Masters Degree in three disciplines spanning Political Science, Law and Strategic Studies in four separate universities, Mr. Arase in all modesty is qualified to hold the post.
His career progress has seen him hold key leadership positions and a Fellowship of the Nigerian Defence College becomes a bright feather on his heavily decorated hat.
But brushing aside all his qualifications and facing the realities of a typical Nigerian appointee of which the IGP is one (the IGP is selected at the pleasure of the President and subject to approval by the Senate ), there comes salient observations or concerns that should be brought to the fore.
Most appointees of government in Nigeria have made it a tradition to always pay obeisance to their principals who appointed them and are ever willing to negate the tenets and dictates of the Constitution which governs the discharge of their duties.
Quite a lot of them make volte-faced turnarounds from the highly principled personalities they were before assuming these positions to mere pipers playing loud tunes to suit their masters, ignoring the need for them to add a voice to the fading national orchestra.
Will Acting IGP Solomon Arase not follow suit?
The propriety of the timing of this poser on the new IGP might be viewed as out of place owing to the fact that the incumbent president has only some forty odd days left and the incoming might exercise his powers by appointing another IGP, but the saliency of the poser will serve future governments and their principals in appointing people into public offices.
The erstwhile IGP, Mr. Suleiman Abba, came in with a brilliant CV and the expectations of the public from the police chief were very high. As a lawyer versed in law, he was expected to uphold the rights of every citizen within the ambit of the law and discharge his duties with deference to the dictates of the constitution and the laws of the land.
But the expectations were cut short; Mr. Abba clearly went out of line severally to carry out actions and issue statements that were not to in the interest of the public and most definitely the nation. He took standpoint on issues that could only be adjudicated upon by the courts of the land, thereby creating a larger than normal impression of the office of the IGP and fuelling the belief that he was only doing the bidding of his principal.
From the withdrawal of the Speaker of the House of Representatives’ Security details, to advising voters to stay away from polling units after voting, failure to discipline erring surbodinates, the list could go on.
Interestingly, Mr. Arase like his predecessor is also coming armed with a Law Degree and a degree in Political Science and this question begs to be asked again.
Will Mr. Arase not in addition to assuming that he is the Chief Justice of Nigeria (like his predecessor) also think that he is an active politician that must get involved in the political circles?
The buzz surrounding the speculation of Mr. Abba’s sack should not be mistaken as one indicating the people’s love for him; rather it is a concern being raised to unearth what tune this piper played wrongly.
It is the revelation of this fact that would lead the people to know why the government needs another piper in the king’s band in the twilight of this king’s reign. Probably to play a new tune the erstwhile piper could not play.
It is in the knowledge of this piper and master relationship that the Nigerian people want to advise the incoming government that this ugly trend should be eliminated in the country’s public service.