By Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
A group has staged a peaceful rally in Maiduguri to drum support for the Inspector General of Police (IG) Ibrahim Idris in his ongoing running battle with the Senate.
The IG was declared unfit to hold office by the Senate after he refused to honour invitations of the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
But in a vote of confidence by the group, Coalition of Concerned Borno Citizens, which draws its members from farmers, fishermen, tailors, traders, youths and eldersÂ MondayÂ assembled at the Ramat Square to show their solidarity to the embattled IG.
The group, in a speech by its chairman, Alhaji Hamisu Nura, said it greatly believe in the ability of the IG to deliver on Buhariâ€™s agenda on security, urging him to continue the good work he has started in protecting lives and property of the citizenry of the country.
Nura, who addressed the rally, said: â€œWe were worried by the extent to which the Senate was tormenting the IG and disrupting his national assignments as security officer against national interest and the poor masses.â€
He vowed that the group will not allow such attacks to continue, while calling for the immediate intervention by the relevant authorities including President Muhammad Buhari.
He described the rift between Idris and the Senate as â€œpolitical and out of hatredâ€.
He called on the senators to leave him alone so as to concentrate on his work in the interest of national security and unity, while condemning the recent videos which depicted Idris as having problem reading a prepared speech.
The group later took a letter showing its support for the IG to the Borno State Commissioner of Police Damian Chukwu for onward delivery to President Buhari, the Police Service Commission, Minister of Interior, and Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima.
Receiving the letters with a promise to deliver them to the addressees, Chukwu said he appreciated their courage and solidarity as well as honour done to Idris and the Nigeria Police Force entirely.
He said this was the first time a group of patriotic Nigerians would come out to show support and appreciation to the leadership of the IG and performance of the NPF from Borno State or North-east that have been affected by the insurgency and police has been doing its best to ensure the safety of lives and property of the citizens of the state.
Chukwu assured the group thatÂ within 48 hours, their letters will be delivered accordingly to all the personalities in Abuja, while noting that the police authorities have credibly done well at home and abroad and there were a lot of achievements in the past two years of the present IG in terms of safety of lives and property across the country despite the fact that the police were handicapped with underfunding.
He also appealed to the federal government to fund the NPF and provide it with enough working tools and machinery to effectively discharge its responsibility to the people and society.
Chukwu said NPF was the best in Africa and doing well but lack enough fund to effectively do its job at home while thanking Governor Kashim Shettima for his support and cooperation to the police.
He said without the support of the governor to the security agencies in the state in terms of welfare and logistics, today, Borno State would not have returned to its present state of emerging as a home of peace.