President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan yesterday confirmed Mr. Sulaiman Abba as the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
Coming within the same week in which Mr. Abba openly supported the ruling party by withdrawing the security details of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal who defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the opposition’s All Progressives Party (APC), the confirmation of Mr. Sulaiman Abba as the chief police officer of Nigeria comes across as badly timed, insensitive and provocative.
In spite of the outcry against the illegal, partisan and unprofessional action of Mr. Abba, Mr. President has chosen to reward mediocrity. Like many other actions of President Jonathan, this confirmation is another manifestation of impunity and lack of concern for public opinion.
It further confirms the allegation that Aso Rock has been consistent in pursuing divisive ploys. It is only natural to expect no free and fair election in 2015 under an IGP who is openly overzealous about serving his boss and who has thrown professionalism to the winds.
The president himself has demonstrated to all and sundry that all he is interested in is winning the next election by any means possible. This explains his lackadaisical attitude to the problem of insecurity particularly in the North East as well as the attendant humanitarian crisis of immense proportion.
We suspect that even the much publicized cease-fire agreement was designed to give the president a conducive atmosphere for the expression of interest in a second term in office.The fallout of this hocus-pocus is what we are presently witnessing, namely, the speedy overrunning of key cities and villages in Adamawa by the Boko Haram insurgents and the extension of the tentacles of terror to Gombe State.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) reminds the IGP of his primary responsibility, viz, to protect lives and properties. The IGP should also note that his loyalty must be to the Nigerian nation and not to any individual, no matter how highly placed.
MURIC invites the IGP to note Part III B Section 215(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 which carefully chose the adjective ‘lawful’ to describe the type of instructions which the President of Nigeria or the minister of Police Affairs can give him. In essence, it is not all ‘orders’ that are lawful and the IGP must separate the wheat from the chaff in carrying out orders issued by government officials.
In this regard, we call on the relevant committees of the National Assembly to perform their oversight functions with patriotic zeal. Ceteris paribus, despotism should not thrive in a democracy. The National Assembly should not allow itself to be turned into a mere rubber-stamp and a toothless bulldog. It should be able to call the chief executive to order whenever he tends to overstep his bounds. This is why they are our elected representatives. They are the voice of the voiceless.
Finally, we appeal to the Nigerian press and the rest of civil society to play the role expected of them during 2015 elections. We charge Nigerian citizens to seek enlightenment about their civic responsibilities as well as their Allah-given fundamental human rights. Nigerians must brace up for the struggle ahead. We fought the military to a standstill to install democracy and we must not relent in the defence of equal rights and justice. We must continue to defend our free speech, our liberty and our common wealth.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC),