Daily Sun - The tenure of the incumbent Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, would soon come to an end, having attained the mandatory age of 60 is no longer news. The news is who steps into his shoes when he bows out in June?
As Arase’s retirement date draws nearer, there is intense lobby among top police officers for the plum office. The lobbyists are busy, going from one place to another to convince their sponsors why they should be the ones to occupy the most exalted office in the police. Those involved in the hot chase are using every means to achieve their desires.
With the retirement of Arase, which will likely send home all the DIGs, who are also members of the police management team, it is expected that the president would appoint his next IGP from the rank of the AIGs except, of course, the president thinks otherwise. And to make their dreams come true, the contenders are not only consulting with the gods, but also with top politicians, traditional rulers, religious leaders and those who they think have the ears of President Muhammadu Buhari, to make them IGP.
According to investigations, there are seven Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIG) and 24 Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs).
As the lobby continues, the drama is gradually assuming political, religious and tribal dimensions as some zones have vowed to ensure one of their own assumes the position.
While it was gathered that the profile of all the DIGs and AIGs have been forwarded to Buhari, observers are of the opinion that the president may disregard the list and go down the ladder to make a pick. This, sources say, is because some of the contenders have corruption cases hanging on their necks. It was gathered that security reports indicated that some of them might have soiled their hands in one form of corrupt practice, ranging from fraudulent acquisition of illegal property, certificate forgery and other messy deals in the course of their career.
Security sources told Daily Sun that the Presidency had forwarded names of the DIGs and AIGs to the relevant security agencies for proper investigations and advice on the 31 names.
The top contenders include Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIG) Bala Hassan Abdulahi, Bala Magaji Nassarawa, Umar Abubakar Manko, Mbu Joseph Mbu, Olufemi Adebowale Adenaike and Johnson Ogunsakin.
Umar Abubakar Manko
AIG Umar Abubakar Manko was a one-time Commissioner of Police for Lagos State, and AIG in charge of zone 2, comprising Lagos and Ogun states before he assumed his current position at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos.
Born on June 14, 1958 in Bida Local Government Area, Niger State, Manko who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Sokoto, enlisted into the police as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police on December 31, 1984.
He has held several positions, including Commissioner of Police (administration), at the Police Academy, Kano; CP, Airport Command; CP, Kaduna and Sokoto states commands.
He is believed to have the backing of former Inspector General of Police, Musilu Smith and the Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu. His sponsors, according to Daily Sun investigations, are working round the clock to ensure the prince from Nupe becomes the next IGP. They believe that with Manko as IGP, the much-desired change of the present administration would indeed affect the police. Manko is due for retirement in June 2018.
AIG Hassan Bala Abdulahi
Born on August 25, 1959 in Nasarawa Local Government Area, Kano State, AIG Abdulahi holds a degree in Chemistry from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1981), Masters degree in Law from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology and M.Sc Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan.
Abdulahi, who is currently the AIG in charge of Zone 2, has held several positions, including Commissioner of Police Edo, Rivers and Abia states. He is also one-time commissioner in charge of Mobile Police Force at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
He is believed to enjoy the support of former Inspector General of Police and current chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Sir Mike Okiro. Abdullah is expected to retire from service in December 2017.
AIG Johnson Ogunsakin, former Commissioner of Police, Rivers State, became a possible successor to Arase shortly after President Muhamadu Buhari was declared winner of the presidential elections in 2014.
Born on August 1, 1957 at Ikere, in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Ogunsakin holds a degree in Political Science/History from the University of Ife (1980) and enlisted into the Nigerian Police Force on December 8, 1982.
Ogunsakin, who is due to retire from service on August 1, 2017, is presently AIG in charge of Zone 10 with headquarters in Bauchi, has held various command positions, including Commissioner of Police, Rivers State, Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit, and head of operations, Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions (EFCC).
He is believed to have the backing of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other prominent South-West leaders.
Mbu Joseph Mbu
Outspoken and controversial, Mbu Joseph Mbu, former Commissioner of Police, Rivers State, is said to be banking on God to become the next IGP. He may have a rough time with people like Rotimi Amaechi, cabinet minister in the present administration to contend with in his march to becoming Arase’s successor.
Born on April 10, 1958, in Etung, old Ikom Local Government Area, Cross Rivers State, Mbu, a 1983 graduate of Political Science from the University of Lagos, enlisted into the police on December 31, 1984.
He has held several positions, including Commissioner, Police Mobile Force, Commissioner of Police, Rivers, Oyo and Federal Capital Territory commands, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 7 and Zone 2. He is presently the Commandant, Police Staff College, Jos.
He retires from service on April 10, 2018.
Insiders say it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for Mbu to become the next IGP, considering what Amaechi suffered in the hands of the former CP while he was governor of Rivers State.
Although Mbu does not have the support of any known prominent politician or traditional ruler, observers believe he is in good stead to becoming the number one police officer, if integrity is a strong factor in the appointment of the next IGP.
Olufemi Adebowale Adenaike
Not much is known about this officer until a few weeks ago when his name started trending as one of the hopefuls for the IGP office.
A native of Ijebu, Ogun State, Adenaike, who is currently the AIG in charge of the Department of Training and Development at the Force Headquarters reportedly have the endorsement of Bola Tinubu and other prominent chiefs, politicians and business mogul from the South-west.
Born on December 3, 1958 in Ijebu- East Local Government Area, Adenaike joined the police as Cadet Assistant Superintendent on December 8, 1982.
He has held various positions, including Commissioner in charge of Kaduna State command and Commissioner of Police, Federal Operations at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
A 1981 graduate of Sociology from the University of Lagos, Adenaike also has a Masters degree in Sociology from the same university. He is due for retirement from service in December, 2017.