So, the reign of Ibrahim Kpotum Idris as Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police has finally come to an end last Tuesday, January 15, 2019. This was sequel to his attainment of 60 years mandatory retirement age for public officers.
This confirms the aphorism that “no king reigns forever”, and that anything that has a beginning, must equally have an end. That’s the world for you, and this is what makes it very sweet and beautiful.
Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher of antiquity, once said that everything is in flux. “Nobody steps into the same river twice. We are and we are not”, he said.
Ibrahim Idris was a favoured son of the Presidency. This was due to the excellent work he did when he was Commissioner of Police in Kano State, where he helped the APC garner a whopping two million votes during the 2015 Presidential election.
To ensure that all tracks were properly covered, the man who was at the centre in that election, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Mikhail Abdullahi, together with his entire family, died in a mysterious fire incident that engulfed his residence. Till date, no effort was made to investigate that sordid incident.
Conversely, Ibrahim Idris was instantly rewarded with accelerated promotions – from Commissioner of Police to Assistant Inspector General of Police, and to Inspector General of Police, within a short period of nine months. In consequence, scores of police officers who were very senior to him, were forced to bow out of service, unceremoniously.
As Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris was law unto himself. He was all powerful and did everything with impunity, not minding whose ox was gored. He once had ignored the directives of his Commander-in-Chief, shunned several Senate summons, chased about political opponents, but left criminals to have their field day.
In the wake of the Fulani herdsmen attacks on several communities in Benue State in January last year which left scores of people dead and hundreds injured, Ibrahim Idris as the Inspector General of Police, practically did nothing to protect the lives and property of the people, as he and his men looked the other way while human beings were being slaughtered like cows.
And when President Muhammadu Buhari directed him to relocate to Benue State and take full charge of security operations, the man merely flew out of Abuja, made a brief visit to Benue, and then took residence in Nasarawa State. He did not even bother to meet with the Governor of Benue State.
A few months later when Buhari was visiting Benue State and was told the despicable role played by the IGP during the mayhem, the President expressed shock that he did not even know that Ibrahim Idris had ignored his directive. There it ended. He did not do anything.
Again, when the Senate invited Ibrahim Idris for explanation over a complaint made against him by a former police officer, now a Senator, that the IGP was after his life because he had accused the Number One Police Officer of corruption and inappropriate relationship with a female police officer, the man refused to honour the invitation. It took the intervention of the courts to compel Ibrahim Idris to appear in the Senate Chamber.
Then, the Senator Omo Agege saga. The man had some issues with his colleagues in the Senate, which led to his being suspended. But while still on suspension, Omo Agege led some thugs, in broad day light and in the watchful eye of police officers and other security agencies posted to the National Assembly, to invade the Senate plenary and made away with its mace.
When the Inspector General of Police was later summoned by the Senate to say what he knew about the invasion, in addition to the growing insecurity in different parts of the country, the man ignored the summon. For three times, the Senate issued invitation to Ibrahim Idris, and for each of these three times, he ignored the invitation.
Ibrahim Idris was a thorn in the flesh to some opposition politicians, in particular, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and controversial Senator from Kogi State, Dino Melaye.
Saraki was branded a criminal by association, because of his alleged relationship with some of the suspects involved in the Offa Bank robbery, where several lives were lost. He was severally summoned by Ibrahim Idris or rather, by the police, and even threatened with arrest, to come and explain what he knew about the robbery incident.
Ibrahim Idris was chief tormentor of Dino Melaye, who the police had accused of several misdemeanors. He suffered some bodily injuries while trying to resist police arrest. The police would insist to have Melaye in their net, but the Senator would try to resist, claiming that he had it on good authority that Ibrahim Idris was after his life, and would poison him.
Meanwhile, while Ibrahim Idris was busy pursuing political opponents of the administration, he allowed criminality or terrorism to take control and to fester, people dying in their numbers almost on a daily basis because of herdsmen attacks in states like Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, Plateau and several other parts of the country, as well as cattle rustling, banditry and kidnapping in states like Zamfara and Katsina, not to talk of Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.
As a matter of fact, the number of deaths recorded in Nigeria through violence between March 2016 and January 15, 2019, when Ibrahim Idris held forte as Inspector General of Police, far surpassed those who died violently in the country since it attained nationhood in 1960. This, indeed, is not a very good testimony.
We hope the incoming Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Adamu will learn from the many mistakes of his predecessor and toe the path of honour. It will help write his name in gold.