Thursday, 31 July 2014

As MD Abubakar Bows Out Today: Presidency In Dilemma Over IGP’s Successor- LEADERSHIP

The atmosphere appears cloudy at the Police Force Headquarters over the likely successor of inspector-general of police Mohammed Abubakar who is expected to bow out of office today. LEADERSHIP investigations reveal that the names of supposedly prospective successors have been shortlisted, putting the Presidency and the Police Council in a difficult position. Sources within the Presidency said the Police Council responsible for recommending the candidate to the National Executive Council has been besieged lobbyists. A Presidency source disclosed that pressure had mounted from various quarters and regions of the country over the preferred candidate to succeed the outgoing IGP, putting the Presidency in a dilemma over the right successor. Some senior police officers being mooted for the top position include AIG Solomon Arase, Force Intelligence Bureau; AIG Suleiman Abba, AIG for Zone 7; Dan Azumi Doma, force secretary; and DIG Michael Zuokumor. Force secretary Doma is top on the list of contenders. He is said to have occupied sensitive positions in the force which some police watchers said have put him in a vantage position to understand the workings of the force. Arase’s name is also on the list of top contenders because he has worked closely with several IGPs in the Force Headquarters and has a track record of loyalty to constituted authority. Abba in charge of Zone 7 is also a top contender. It has been mooted that, if the outgoing IGP would nominate anyone, it would be Abba. There is allegation that some interest groups from the north are pressuring the president to consider AIG Abba for the top job. According to sources, the Jigawa-born officer has held positions in the presidency in the past and may just get the blessing of some powerful influences in the Presidency. DIG Zoukomour’s name came on the list, for what some call his powerful connection in the presidency. He was recently promoted to DIG. Sources said he is not likely to be retired along with the IGP, a tradition in the force. The reasoning is that, being a fresh DIG, he stands the chance of getting President Jonathan’s nod. The Presidency sources said he is one of the president’s men. Until his elevation to the rank of DIG on January 15, 2014, by the Police Service Commission, Zuokumor was the AIG in charge of Zone 4, Makurdi. He presently heads the operations of the force. Meanwhile, some women groups have made a case for the president to appoint a female police officer as the first female IGP. According to the groups, the president would be leaving a lasting legacy if he considered a female for the top position. The women drew allusion to Nigerian females who are currently heading highly sensitive positions and performing excellently. According to them, successive IGPs, all males, have not been able to address the teething problems in the force and the fight against crimes and criminality. What may count against a woman IGP presently is that, apart from specialist departments like the medicals, there are no women AIGs in the force operations and intelligence.

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