By Erasmus Ikhide
The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris must be leaving in fool’s paradise to be so unprofessionally naïve, sectionally fixated and ethically slopping to think that Nigerians are as backing looking as himself. Now, I’m fully convinced that Nigerians and the global community who are of the views that the IG needs a refresher course on how to be an IGP in a digital 21century in order to be purge of ‘Stone Age’ policing methodology might just be right, after all.
The role of the police in democratic societies signposted it as the guarantor in Protecting Human Rights of Citizens —Civil and Political. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly. That is the right to life, liberty and security of person. The role of the police all over the world has been traditionally seen within the basic context of: the Prevention and detection of crime, Protection of life and property and the Preservation of peace and good order.
Since assumption office as the IGP, Ibrahim Idris has not only observes police roles in the breach, but has tragically taken the Nigeria police downhills. The roles have not merely changed for the worst, the IGP has sunk Nigeria police outlook and embraces infamy, impunity and crass zealotry and opportunism.
The questions Nigerians have been asking are legion. Why is Idris, the Inspector-General of police deaf and dumb? Why does Idris believe that President Muhammadu Buhari and his APC government own the Nigeria Police force? Who told Idris that the police is an ethnic property? Why should the IGP position himself as the mouthpiece and protector of those marauding dogs who are killing people all over the country? What are the young Hausa Fulani herdsmen doing with AK47s in the bushes across the country when modern democratic societies envisaged that they should be in schools? What has the Inspector-General of police done about the herdsmen who proudly carry about sophisticated weapons and willfully terrorize innocent people in states without being arrested and prosecuted?
We are not sure whether or not IG Idris is aware that the roles of the police in modern democratic societies includes but not limited to contributing towards the creation and reinforcement of truth in communities; strengthening the security of persons and property and the feeling of security of persons, investigating, detecting and activating the prosecution of offences within the rule of law, facilitating the free passage and movement on highways, on roads and on streets and avenues open to public passage, curbing public disorder, dealing with major and minor crises and helping and advising those in distress, where necessary as much as activating other agencies and many more.
That Nigerians are in trouble in all front is simply because the likes of Ibrahim Idris find their way ethnically into positions met for pure patriotic professionals. That is not to say there not thousands professionals amongst the Nigeria police. Nigerians lost confidence in Nigeria police as a result of failures in the police leadership. In order to live up to these ideals, the police have to see themselves firstly, as servants of the people, always giving of their assistance and guidance, which should in turn engender the people’s confidence and get their co-operation whenever it is needed.
Ibrahim Idris’s problem is lack of good knowledge of the Constitution of Nigerian; understanding the “Rights and Freedoms” of the people so as to apply that understanding to contribute to liberty, equality and fraternity in human affairs, and in upholding and protecting human rights and the pursuit of happiness. It’s an extant law that the police should never be involved in party politics or show partisanship in their dealings with people, yet they should alert their minds to the political aspirations of the people in their community.
What have we witness of IG Idris’ affinity with the APC and Buhari’s government? IGP Idris, like the ones before him — has become more ruthless and subservient to the government in power. He has sold the Nigeria police to President Buhari and his government. He has no idea about reconciling of freedom with security and upholding the rule of law, spontaneously.
One of the many lowest moments of Idris’ profanity, debasing and ethicization of the police profession occurred early 2017 when IGP Idris hired ethnic thugs to protect against his possible removal from office at the Abuja Headquarters when the several allegations levelled against him by Senator Isa Misau became mountainous.
In October 4, 2017 the lawmaker representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District, continued his allegations bordering on corrupt practices and misconduct, against the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris. Misau, while raising a point of order at the plenary, restated his earlier allegations against Idris, including the IGP’s alleged “secret” marriage to a serving policewoman against the public service rule.
The lawmaker had earlier alleged that the police were collecting about N120bn annually from corporate organisations and Very Important Persons for security services, an allegation he restated again on the floor of the Senate. Misau on that day reiterated at the Senate session, “It (the situation) has even gone worse. The IGP is having relationships with two policewomen, who he promoted under special promotion. One of them is Aminat and the other is a DSP. To date, President Buhari anti-corruption-fighting government refused to investigate the matter before the approach the court.
On that occasion, Senator Misau stated thus: “The IGP, last month, got married to that woman but under the police service rules and regulations, you cannot marry a serving officer unless the person retires. He quickly did a secret wedding in Kaduna because the lady was four months pregnant.
“I am saying all these because of the institution, because we have so many excellent officers who are now demoralised; who are now frustrated because of the activities of the IGP.”
“I want the Senate to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate all the allegations raised here and I will provide all the documents and all the papers, so that Nigerians will be able to know what is happening”.
Idris’ evasive response all along has been his counter accusation that Senator Misau is a deserter from the police force without showing documentary evidence to the contrary! As crime begets crimes, many more malfeasances and outright abandonment of actual policing, IGP Idris has further shown brazen incompetence and recklessness. Time and again, IGP Idris reaffirms his illiteracy and partisanship with the President Buhari’s government for blaming the recent killings of innocent Benue people by herdsmen on the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state.
The IGP was earlier known to have exhibited foolishness when he said the killings of nearly a hundred people on new year night was a mere “communal clash”. Till now, the IGP is yet to come up with a permanent solution to the incessant crises between farmers and herders given that the law for the establishment of ranches by those who are into the business of animal husbandry is the global best practice. The IGP failed to acknowledged the fact that these psychopathic and sociopathic beasts have attacked Benue farmers more than 50 times, cumulatively. Perhaps, Mr. Idris’ brain could not serve him properly to know that other States of the federation that have recorded massive slaughtering by these homicidal herds have yet to pass anti grazing law.
To say that the people of Benue State and Governor Samuel Ortom have no right to legislate on ranching after several deliberations at the Town Hall Meetings that climaxed at the outlaw of open grazing made the IGP and President Buhari suspects. Those who accused the IGP and President Muhammadu on a mission to either mislead the nation or complicit in the attacks on Benue communities and the killing of many people by terrorist Fulani herdsmen religious cleansing campaign might just be right, after all. What was the IGP thinking when he was blaming the governor of Benue State and the law made to ensure peace in the state and his recent call for its repeal when lawless groups he’s siding with give notice to invade and carried out their threats with impunity? Why did he refused to arrest and prosecute the leaders of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, the masterminds of the current invasion and the attendant genocide?
Mr. Idris’ latest gambit on the declaration of Prince Kassim Afegbua wanted for conveying IBB’s verdict on President Buhari government to Nigerians has proved that IGP Idris is an inmate in Buhari’s lunatic asylum. Why should IGP Idris impersonate IBB by calling for his arrest, if at all Prince Afegbua over step his bound in the event that his principal denied that he authorized the public rejection to Buhari failed government? Which Constitution is IGP Idris reading that prohibit expression of opinions or that forbid a spokesman from giving a voice to his principal’s press statements? Which book did IGP Idris read that suggest that mere public statement calling on patriotic citizens not to vote a fumbling president for a second into office amount to threat to peace and national security? And since when expression of free opinion constitute an offense against the state?
These questions are necessary in the light of a bullying, rampaging and ruthless IGP who have no idea on what it takes to police a multiethnic nation like Nigeria. An IGP who is not aware that the police is not a revenue generating organisation, yet all over the federation, oil companies, banks, oil servicing companies, private individuals pay money to the police every month, uncounted for. An IGP who gives out more than 20 mobile police men to guide and protect private individuals while he designates one police man to provide security for over 500 Nigerians. Whatever IGP Idris’ draconian brutality may be, Nigerians are undeterred to have their voices heard. He may chose to be deaf and dumb at his own peril. No amount of intimidation whatsoever from one million Ibrahim Idris can muffle the people’s voices.
Erasmus, A Public Affairs Analyst Writes From Lagos