The Peoples Democratic Party has implored President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow the Inspector general of police, Ibrahim Idris, stay in office beyond his retirement day which is due on January 15, the IG’s 60th birthday.
The party said this was one of the ways the President could convince Nigerians and the international community about his commitment to have free, fair and acceptable elections this year.
Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, while fielding question from journalist, didn’t sees ant reason why the President will want to keep the IG beyond his service years.
Ologbondiyan argued that there are a lot of police officers who are capable of holding the position.
There are insinuations that the Presidency is plotting to extend the tenure of Idris because of his alleged closeness to Buhari and the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress.
He added that President Buhari should make good his word to conduct a free, fair and credible election in his new year massage by appointing a new IG.
Nevertheless, Ologbondiyan said that if the APC and the President were not planning anything negative, they should allow Idris to retire.
He said, “One of the ways to demonstrate or show that he (President Buhari) is committed to free, fair and credible elections, is not to extend the tenure of the IG, who is due for retirement this month.
“He has said that he is committed to having transparent elections. He needs to tell Nigerians by his actions, and not merely with words of mouth.”
In his reaction, however, the Spokesman for the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN) said the President had the right to retain or extend the tenure of the IG as he deems fit.
The senior advocate said, “The highest statutory rank you can get as a policeman is commissioner. Every other rank is a political appointment. So, it is at the discretion of the President to appoint or not. Let the PDP wait till they get to power in many years from now before they dictate to the President on who to appoint.
“Nobody dictated to Obasanjo when he extended the tenure of the IG. These things are done sometimes for the purpose of convenience in terms of planning and arrangement because the ultimate desire of all of us is to have a peaceful election.
“The PDP is jittery because they used to use the police and INEC to rig elections until the game changed in 2015. Even the former IG, Suleiman Abba, said he was sacked because he refused to help them rig 2015 elections.”