Opposition parties under the umbrella of the Coalition of Opposition Political Parties (CUPP) have threatened to embark on a nationwide mass protest against the continued stay of Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, beyond January 15th.
Backstory: Announcing this in Abuja on Sunday in a statement, the CUPP national spokesman, Imo Ugochinyere, in Abuja, explained that the scheduled protest will kick off if the President refuses to name a new Inspector General for the Police Force.
Ibrahim Idris whose 35 years in service rounded up on January 3rd, and is set to turn 60 on January 15th, is due for retirement and should ordinarily have left office on the 3rd, but he continues to act as IGP.
Ugochinyere stated that the President is mandated to appoint a replacement as soon as possible as the constitution hasn’t made provision for a former police officer to hold seat as an Inspector General.
He also announced that the protest will start if Idris is spotted in a uniform after the 15th, and will be held in front of the police command headquarters of every state and would continue till the right thing was done.
“The continuous, illegal parading of himself as the Inspector General of Police is an act of Impersonation and a threat to our national security, which should be stopped summarily,” the statement said.
Calling on all members in the 36 states of the federation, comprising of about 57 registered parties to prepare for the protest, the statement made it known that the Inspector General’s continuous stay after his 60th birthday is against the laws.
Reminding the president of the constitution especially the provision of Section 215 (1) of the 1999 constitution, which states that the president can only appoint a serving police officer as Inspector General of Police, CUPP said, “We call on President Buhari to be courageous to announce the replacement and not bow to pressure to cement illegality in the core of the nation’s security architecture due to his desperation to rig himself back to power, knowing he has been rejected by the Nigerian people.”
Emphasizing on the importance of a clear leadership structure and the perils ahead if it isn’t addressed, the statement further explained that, “The uncertainty in the leadership of the police in such auspicious moments emboldens persons with sinister motives and demoralizes senior officers of the force due to its abrupt and unlawful halt to their career progression.”
“Finally, we call on President Buhari that he should realize now that he wuld be held personally responsible if there is a breakdown of law and order, loss of lives and propertiy if he continues down this part of noxious plots to rig himself into power. A word is enough for the wise’, the statement warned.
Bottom line: President Buhari cannot afford to create an impression that there are ulterior motives for his refusal to replace Idris.