Sunday Aborisade, Abuja
The acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, says the posting of Mr Kayode Egbetokun, a former chief security officer to the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to Kwara State as Commissioner of Police has no political undertone.
Adamu stated this at a one-day summit organised by the Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy in Abuja on Thursday.
The acting IG, who was represented at the event by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mogaji Ismaila of the FCT Police Command, said the outcry that greeted the posting of Egbetokun was unnecessary because the exercise had no political undertone.
He said, “May I appeal to the journalists and the politicians not to drag us into political issues. Posting of commissioners of police is purely the responsibility of the IG in conjunction with the Police Service Commission.
“This recent posting came as a result of the retirement of some commissioners of police and the elevation of some CPs to the rank of assistant inspectors-general of police, and even to the position of deputy inspectors-general of police.
“You don’t expect the IG to leave states whose commissioners of police were promoted to AIGs and DIGs vacant. Definitely, there is going to be movement and as far as we are concerned, the IGP used experience, competence and other qualities in posting those police officers to the affected states.
“The postings by the IGP have no political undertone and he has no ulterior motive in carrying out the exercise. He carried out the exercise purely for effective service delivery.
“On the issue of a former CSO to a former governor, the man carried out that task as a junior officer. Now that he has risen to the position of CP, are you saying that he should not be posted?
“The IG is free to post him to any state where he feels he could deliver. His posting is based on his track records, devoid of any political undertone and the criticisms about it are unnecessary.”
The acting IG promised that the police would play a neutral role throughout the electoral process.
“It is not true that majority of the newly posted CPs are northerners. Our postings are purely on merit and based on competence,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said that the Nigerian Army would not be distracted during the election period despite the fact that soldiers would also be deployed in military operations across the country.
Buratai, who was also represented at the summit by the Director-General of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Major Gen. Jerry Hamakim, said soldiers would not be directly involved in the election process but would only intervene whenever they were invited by the police authorities.
He said, “If we are deployed to take part in the process, we would come in if the police could no longer cope with the situation.
“On the involvement of foreign observers in our election process, it is very important to have them as a form of international endorsement. The world is a global village and everybody is relevant. You cannot live in isolation.
“Our country had fumbled and wobbled and we are getting it right now. The United States and the United Kingdom have been at it (practising democracy) for many years. We are so young when it comes to the issue of democracy. It is very proper for them to come and observe what we are doing here.
“In fact, it (their presence) will give legitimacy to the exercise. Look at the case of Venezuela; look at what is going on between the sitting president and the young man being recognised as the winner of the election.
“That is why the issue of legitimacy comes in. International politics is quite complex and we should not be caught in the web of that complexity. For me, I think we should continue to learn because if we don’t learn, we won’t be able to get to the Promised Land.”