Tension in police over ethnicity •New IGP may emerge today

Posted by News Express | 30 July 2014 | 5,767 times

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Except in the event of a last-minute change of mind, President Goodluck Jonathan will today announce a new Inspector General of Police (IGP) after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Incumbent IGP, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, is expected to retire today as he completes 35 years of service.

News Express had yesterday exclusively reported that Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 7, Abuja, Suleiman Abba, has been recommended by Abubakar as his successor.

The choice has, however, not gone down well with a broad spectrum of senior police officers as well as leaders of Jonathan’s South-South region, who argue that it will only perpetuate a culture of ethnicisation of the Force as allegedly promoted by Abubakar.

Investigations revealed rising ethnic tension in the police as a result of alleged lopsided deployment of senior police officers by the out-going IGP.

One senior officer from the North said: “He (IGP Abubabar) has openly exhibited tribal sentiment, and this is creating animosity among our colleagues. Some of my colleagues from the South, especially from the East are very bitter about it. A good leader should not openly exhibit tribalism because that leader cannot get the best from his subordinates.”

The allegations arose partly due to the fact that the Commissioners of Police (CPs) in charge of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states are all from the core northern part of the country. That of Anambra State is from Borno State, the stronghold of the notorious Boko Haram sect.

In the same vein, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 9 with headquarters in Umuahia, and Zone 6 with headquarters in Calabar, are also from the North.

In addition, out of the 58 Squadrons in the Police Force, 31 Squadron Commanders are northerners, while the remaining 27 Squadrons are spread across South-South, South-East and South-West.

Similarly, CPs of northern origin dominate state commands, while very few CPs from the southern part of the country are posted to head state commands; only those of Kano and Edo are from the West while that of Adamawa is from Akwa Ibom.

Most aggrieved senior officers from the South are accusing Abubakar of posting southerners to violence-prone areas, while deploying northerners to the more peaceful South.

One senior officer from the South said: “The posting of northerners to the South, which is relatively peaceful is viewed by many of us with suspicion but there is nothing we can do; we can’t protest openly, it’s you (press) that can save the situation.”

•Photo shows out-going IGP MD Abubakar.

Source: News Express

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