Ahead of National Elections, Buhari Extends IG Baba’s Tenure

Ahead of National Elections, Buhari Extends IG Baba’s Tenure

•Corruption among police personnel at lowest ebb, says minister

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the tenure of the Inspector General (IG) of Police, Usman Alkali Baba. The extension, which was contained in a letter to the relevant authorities, put paid to speculations about his likely retirement before the general election, starting February 25.

Speculations had been rife that Baba might retire before the elections, 

But Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, clarified the issues yesterday while speaking to newsmen after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at State House, Abuja.

Dingyadi said the IG would not be retiring midway into the general election, as earlier expected, as his tenure had already been extended by Buhari.

The minister explained that the Police Act 2020 had changed the rules for the IG’s retirement.

Answering questions from newsmen on whether or not the IG would retire after clocking the mandatory retirement age of 60 years on March 1, 2023, Dingyadi said, “I don’t know where you got your record, but let me say that by the provisions of the Police Act 2020, the IG is now supposed to have a kind of four-year period and Mr. President has already given him letter of appointment in that regard. So, the issue of IG going out during this election period does not arise.”

Buhari appointed the then Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Baba as the acting Inspector General of Police on April 6, 2021, while the Police Council confirmed him as the substantive Inspector General of Police in June 2021.

There had been concerns over the expected retirement of the IG, three Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs), many Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs), and 290 other policemen in the first quarter of this year.

The minister also affirmed that the level of corruption within the rank and file of Nigeria Police had reduced drastically as a result of the reforms initiated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) federal administration.

He said, “I must say that even before this police proposal or bill, our findings have shown that levels of corruption have drastically reduced because of this government’s reforms.”

Dingyadi disclosed that FEC approved a draft bill for an Act to establish Nigeria Police institutions, which he said was to give legal backing to the existing training institutions across the country and not to build new ones.

According to him, “It is worth it to note that as part of Mr. President’s reform of Nigeria Police ecosystem, the ministry is championing police reforms with the strong backing of the presidency, and stakeholders to address observed gaps in the training and retraining of police officers.

“They have rehabilitated and upgraded available police training institutions and facilities nationwide, tackled lack of funding to take care of the training institutions, and created a robust structure for effective management and administration of the institutions.

“In consideration of the above, the Federal Executive Council has today graciously approved the draft bill for an act to establish Nigeria Police Force College Training Schools and Institutions to serve as centres for professional training of officers, Nigerian Police Force and other related matters.”

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