By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor
Recent retirements and promotions in the Nigeria Police Force have thrown up vacancies around police formations in many states of the federation. The situation many officers of commissioner rank are jostling for command positions in key states.
Investigations revealed that the affected key states are Lagos, Edo, Kano, Rivers while many other zones where Assistant Inspectors Generals in charge were elevated or due for retirement, are targeted by beneficiaries of recent promotion exercise released by the Police Service Commission, PSC.
The commission last week appointed six Deputy Inspectors-General, promoted 14 Commissioners of Police to Assistant Inspectors General of Police, 230 Superintendents to Chief Superintendent and others. The new DIGs are; Abdul Dahiru Danwawu; Lawal Shehu; Adeyemi Samuel Ogunjemilusi; Peter Babatunde Ogunyanwo, all former AIGs and Alex Okpara and Celestine Okoye, former CPs. DIG Ogunjemilusi and DIG Okpara are to proceed on pre-retirement leave.
The Commissioners are Yunana Babas; Dan-Malam Mohammed, CP Edo, Mua’zu Zubairu Halilu, CP Lagos, Rabiu Yusuf; Sanusi Nma Lemu; Ahmed Iliyasu, CP kano, Mohammed Uba Kura; Zaki M. Ahmed; and Gwandu Haliru Abubakar. Others are; Zama Bala Senchi, presently CP, Jigawa State Command; Bello A. Sadiq; Austin Iwero Agbonlahor; Lawan Ado, former CP, Kwara State Command and currently Commandant Police College, Kaduna and Bashir Makama, CP Ogun.
The appointments and promotions were the high points of the commission’s 6th Plenary Meeting held in Abuja on Friday, October 18th and chaired by Musiliu Smith, Chairman of the Commission.
Vanguard further learned that the race to be appointed Commissioner of Police in Lagos state is topmost as a result of varied interests at play. Police sources said the interests range from political, ethnic and selfish purposes and has put the police management team under tension. It was reliably gathered that as at last week, two names, one a serving CP presently involved in a Presidential Taskforce Team in Lagos and the other, a Deputy Commissioner serving in Lagos, featured prominently before the police management team.
According to sources, while the commissioner of police enjoys the endorsement of powerful politicians and rulers from his geo-political zone in the South-West part of the country, the Deputy CP of northern extraction has both the ears of key members of the Police management team.
One of the sources told Vanguard that “the DCP suffered to fill the yawning gap created by the ineffectiveness of the outgoing Commissioner of police in the state. His era will definitely be like that of CP Imohimi Edgal who served the state for long as DCP Operations and immediately he was elevated, he took charge and delivered creditably. He was able to accomplish those feats because he had seen it all. This is exactly what the present DCP will achieve if made to take charge.”
On the gap created by the retirement and promotion of Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, AIG’s, it was gathered that the race is more towards zones in the eastern part of the country where sources said, are not just more challenging but rewarding. The challenges, according to sources, are enormous based on the failure of most of the outgoing AIG’s to deliver the goods. They specifically pointed accusing fingers at the situation in Zone 9, Umuahia, Abia state where they alleged that it was a story of woes.
A top officer intimated Vanguard that the ongoing conference and retreat in Lagos for strategic police officers will open a vista of lobbying and jostling for key positions. The officer, however, raised doubts over the ability of the management team to take the bull by the horns and take decisive actions that will better the force. This, according to him, is more so when the rift with the Police Service Commission, PSC, still lingers. “The Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed must prove that he is in charge by making wise decisions that will benefit Nigerians whom the police are serving. “Any deviation or submission to unwarranted interests will definitely spell doom for his era and affect his enviable records so far, “the officer stated.