IGP Idris’ Overzealousness

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The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, last week, caused unnecessary distraction and panic in the lead-up to yesterday’s governorship election in Anambra State, when he removed the security detail of a sitting governor, Chief Willie Obiano, because he was also a candidate in the election, forgetting however that he remained the governor, the election regardless.

The governor immediately protested the withdrawal of his security detail, which the IG claimed would be returned after election, saying such action has exposed his life to danger. Obiano raised the alarm in Awka during a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and presided over by the National Chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu. He described the act as unacceptable and a dangerous signal on what was to happen ahead of the governorship election.

Immediately, the Senate, led by Senator Bukola Saraki, intervened in the matter and asked Idris to return Obiano’s security within 24 hours. The Senate’s resolution was followed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the IG to restore Obiano’s security detail, which he prompty complied with.

But what was his reason? He claimed the security detail could be subjected to abuse during the election. That was dumb. He saw the need to withdraw a sitting governor’s security but not bothered about his competitors, who also had security details attached to them. This was sheer overzealousness on the part of a police boss, who should have been above board and acted as such.

With actions such as these from people who are expected to be unbiased in their attitude to work, the IG has created doubts about his capacity to act with fairness and above party consideration. It is shameful and sad. One day, Nigeria will rise above this pettiness and forge ahead with great promises.