Following the sacking of the Service Chiefs, Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly Worldwide (OGA) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint an Igbo man as his next Inspector-General of Police (IGP) as replacement for Mohammed Adamu.
Buhari just appointed new Service Chiefs – Lucky Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Awwal Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff, and Isiaka Amao, Chief of Air Staff, on Tuesday. In a statement by its President-General, Onuorah Onyeachonam, yesterday, the group said President Buhari excluded Igbo from the appointments and urged him to appoint the most senior Igbo in the force as IGP.
“There is no Igbo man among the newly appointed service chiefs. Those who claim that the newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff, Maj Gen Leo Irabor is an Igbo man should tell us if Irabor is an Igbo name,” he said.
“As the Inspector General of Police is due for retirement and fast getting ready to exit the police apex position, we call on the APC- led Federal Government to consider an Igbo man for the position of the Inspector General of Police. If there is no Igbo man or woman qualified for the job of the IGP, promote the Igbo next in line in the Police Force to fit in.” Rights group writes PSC over promotions in Police, calls for equity, fairness.
The OGA spoke as the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Intersociety wrote the Police Service Commission, PSC, asking it to among other issues, deliberate on who succeeds, the current IGP and address what it called “Igbo exclusion and other glaring injustices in police promotions.” In the letter to the commission signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman, Chinwe Umeche, head, democracy and good governance and Obianuju Joy Igboeli, head, civil liberties and rule of law, the group urged the commission to correct all marginalization in the force, particularly on promotions.
Noting that Adamu is due for retirement on February 1 and three DIGs, 10 AIGs have reached retirement age and are expected to go with IGP Adamu, the group said there are a number of other senior police officers who are part of the Nigeria Police Management Team chaired by the outgoing IGP.
“As your Commission is likely aware, three DIGs and ten AIGs have reached retirement age and will statutorily retire with IGP Abubakar next Monday, 1st Feb 2021, having joined the Force with the outgoing IGP on 1st Feb 1986.
“The three retiring DIGs are DIG Baraya, DIG Ogbizi and DIG Oyabade and the 10 retiring Police AIGs are: AIG Karma, AIG Larmode, AIG Mustapha, AIG Inakwu, AIG Mava, AIG Babajide, AIG Babas, AIG Amba, AIG Akpan and AIG Adeoye. We therefore, wish to bring to its attention and remind same of the outcries generated by the Commission’s last promotions on 18th December 2020.
“The outcries by the public, public interest groups and direct victims of the shoddy promotions range from deliberate total exclusion of Igbo/Southeast officers from the rank of Police AIG and abysmal allocation of CP slots to the region as well as padding the lists of those made CPs, DCPs and ACPs and unjust exclusion from the promotion lists of senior officers due for promotion especially those in the rank of ACP scheduled for promotion to the rank of DCP having successfully undergone the mandatory Promotion Exams and Annual Performance Evaluation Reports (APERs).
“It is on account of the above that Intersociety is writing your Commission and calling on you to frontally, justly and judiciously address Igbo exclusion and other glaring injustices thrown up in the last promotion exercise which was greeted by widespread outcries and misgivings.
“The vacuum created by ten retiring AIGs is a golden opportunity for PSC to make amend. Already, fears are growing widely that there may be another round of promotion exercise outside the confines of regional balancing, merit and seniority.
“We hereby attach for the perusal of your Commission and as a ‘working document’ our expert-opinion paper, released on 29th Dec 2020, findings made in the four-page investigative report which we feel is capable of frontally addressing the said injustices, if judiciously studied and acted upon by your Commission.
“The investigative findings had frowned at total exclusion of Igbo/Southeast from the list of Police AIGs to the extent that out of the country’s 36 serving AIGs and 17 Police Zonal Commands, headed by same AIGs, no Igbo/Southeast is among them.
“In the rank of CPs, too, out of the country’s 119, only eight, instead of at least 19, are from Igbo/South-East and of the eight, only six have a minimum of one year-and-a-half to stay in the Force.
“It is therefore our firm demand that these glaring injustices highlighted above must be frontally and justly addressed. There is need to capture the 17 ACPs left out in the December 18, 2020 promotions in the new promotions.”