The Presidency has said the appointment of a new Inspector-General of Police would not be ethnically based.
This was stated yesterday by the presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, who spoke on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television program.
It would be noted that the tenure of IGP Mohammed Adamu elapsed yesterday upon attainment of retirement age.
Recall that the Ohaneze Ndigbo and the Northern elders called on President Mohammadu Buhari to appoint the next IGP from the southern region as no Igbo man was included in the service chief’s appointment. The issue has long been a bone of contention for analysts and Nigerians generally.
The Presidency, who was reacting to the speculation of appointing a successor from the region, noted that it would be ineffective for top security appointments to be formulated based on factors such as Ethnicity or areas.
Shehu said, “If you are going to appoint the service chiefs from every ethnic group in this country, you are going to have more than 250 Inspector-General of Police, 250 Chief of Army Staff, 250 Chief of Naval Staff,” he said. “It’s not going to work like that. And they have their systems of producing leadership.
“If we say we will use Ethnicity or region as the basis, then we have lost it. This is about law and order; it is not about ethnic identity. This country finished with tribalism in the 1960s; why are we back to it now?
“But if you have two, three positions – look at what happened with the service chiefs just appointed: two from the South, two from the North. If you are talking about religion, two Muslims, two Christians. So what do you want again?”
Shehu added that the appointment would be based on merit, as the President will only appoint who will secure its citizens’ lives and properties.
“The President will rather have an Inspector-General of Police who will make you and I safer, protect life and property than one who is more pronounced by his tribal marks,” he said.
“The President returns to Abuja on Tuesday,” he said. “He should be on his desk by Wednesday. I don’t know when he will do this. One thing I can assure you is that in places sensitive like that, there is no vacuum that will subsist, so therefore the system will take care of itself.”
Shehu added that the new appointment would not be based on ethnic considerations.