10th January, 2019 PRESS RELEASE: DON’T CHANGE IG OF POLICE NOW There have been several calls recently for the appointment of a new Inspector General of Police (IGP) particularly as the tenure of the current holder of that office, Ibrahim Idris Kpotun expired on Tuesday, 3rd January, 2019 after reaching the mandatory 35 years in active service. He was formerly appointed on 21st March 2016. However, an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), opposes the idea of retiring the IGP at this time. In a statement released late on Thursday evening, MURIC contended that it will be foolhardy to retire the IGP five or six weeks to a general election. “Election period is a very sensitive period. Anything can happen and we all know the kind of security challenges our country is facing. There is no doubt that IG Idris Kpotun must have perfected his strategy for maintaining law and order during the coming general election. Some instructions must have been given to the state commands. Certain arrangements must also have been made to put all police formations in a state of readiness. “A new IGP around this time will naturally make one or two changes because styles differ. This may not really augur well because the police force needs stability and continuity in an electioneering period. We know that administration is a continuum but you don’t change the goal post in the middle of the game. “Seasoned administrators know that unless there is a force majeure, it will be unwise to change the officer who planned a project at the point of implementation. No university will change the head of a programme on the eve of an accreditation exercise. “We are perturbed by the rancorous voices of dissent over this matter. Interestingly enough, this IGP will not be the first whose tenure was extended. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo extended Sunday Ehindero’s tenure by twelve months while Musa Yaradua also extended Mike Okiro’s tenure. So what is so new this time around?” MURIC in the statement signed by its director and founder, Ishaq Akintola, a professor of Islamic Studies, blamed politicians for not thinking Nigeria. “Equally disturbing is the fact that it is mainly members of the opposition with their cronies, lackeys, court jesters and boot-lickers who are making the loudest calls. This does not look good enough. Are some people afraid of their own shadows? Is it the fear of past deeds? We remember that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan used the police to harass state governors. Is someone afraid of reprisals? We appear to be thinking of grabbing power at all cost. We are not thinking of Nigeria. “This is exactly what is missing in our politicians today. There is acute desertification of statesmanship whereas the same politicians who are rooting for the victory for their political parties today will be the first to defect to another party whenever their personal and narrow interests are threatened. We lack loyalty, moral principle and a clearly identified political ideology. What we can see now is that politicians are only thinking of 2019 election whereas what we need are statesmen who will be thinking of Nigeria after the elections. Who did this to Nigeria? “In conclusion, MURIC charges President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the tenure of IGP Ibrahim Idris far beyond the election period in order to ensure a hitch-free 2019 general elections as well as post-election stability and to ignore all protestations to the contrary. We urge Nigerian politicians to think Nigeria, to have faith in the system, to imbibe principled politicization and to inculcate a veritable political ideology”. Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
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About the author
ISHAQ AKINTOLA: Professor of Islamic Eschatology, Muslim Activist, Human Rights Activist, Social Commentator, Advocate of Dialogue.
MY PHILOSOPHY: I remain oppressed until the hungry are fed, the naked clothed,the sick healed and the homeless sheltered.