Barring last minutes change,Presidency may retain the Nigeria's Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase beyond his retirement tomorrow in a plot to reshuffle Service Chiefs, Nigerian Pilot has revealed.
According to information privy to Nigerian Pilot, no Deputy Inspectors General of Police, DIGs may succeed the outgoing Inspector General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase, who is supposed to retire tomorrow having attained the statutory age of 35 years in service on June 21.
However, there are strong indications that the presidency may not let him go due to circumstance surrounding the federal character principles.
Nigerian Pilot gathered authoritatively that President Muhammadu Buhari may delay Arase’s retirement to enable him reorganise the security leadership of the country to balance the imbalance in the zoning arrangement in the country.
Sources from the Force headquarters have confided in our correspondent that Buhari has appreciated the 18th indigenous IGP’s contribution to his (Buhari’s) anti-corruption war that he is slow to name Arase’s successor in a hurry.
Besides, the sources revealed that none of the DIGs is qualified to success Arase not even the two most senior police officers namely, DIGs Dan’Azumi Job Doma from Nasarawa State and Chintua Amajor-Onu from Abia State.
Other DIGs that may be shutout of succeeding Arase are DIG Sotonye Leroy Wakama (Operations), DIG Mamman Tsafe (Logistics), DIG Kwake Christopher Katso (Investigation), DIG Hashimu Argungu (Training & Development) and DIG Jibril Olawale (Research).
Another source has told Nigerian Pilot that Buhari is going to reshuffle service chiefs within the week to pave way for a northern to emerge new IGP.
Currently, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Y. Buratai (Borno State) and Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar ( Bauchi State) are from North-East, the DG DSS, Lawal Daura from Katsina State, (North-West), while the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin hails from Ekiti State (South-West) and the South-South has Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas (Cross River State) and the retiring IGP, Solomon Arase Arase from Edo State.
If the reorganisation story of the service chiefs is true, then, the president is trying to substitute Arase with a northerner.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that Arase, the most proficient IGP in recent times, was appointed Nigeria’s number one policeman by former President Goodluck Jonathan in April 2015 and as he quits service 14 months after, the expectations are high on who to succeed him.
As at today (Monday) the presidency is supposed to have named an acting IGP to success Arase, but information from the presidency has indicated that president Buhari is in a fix to name acting IGP due to the fact that none from the Southern part of the country has favour with the presidency.
According to sources, out of the 24 Assistant Inspectors General of Police, AIGs, 18 of them are from northern Nigeria and from the remaining six, the most qualified are controvertial AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu and the current Force Secretary, AIG Patrick Dokumor, a former AIG in charge of zone 7 comprising FCT Abuja, Kaduna and Niger States.
Against all odds, if DIG Amajor-Onu, who holds a degree in law enforcement and criminal justice, is favoured, she would also be making history as the first female IGP. She is currently in charge of the department of Information and Communication Technology, ICT, at the Force headquarters, while, Doma is currently in charge of the Admin and Finance at the Force Headquarters as well.
Nigerian Pilot gathered that the North-Central zone and the South-East are the most favoured in order to create equation in the distribution of service and security chiefs.
Based on this standing, the South-East and North-Central have none and to correct the imbalance, Nigerian Pilot gathered that the Presidency is considering DIG Dan’Azumi Job Doma or DIG Chintua Amajor-Onu to succeed Arase.
Despite this consideration, some source said Doma may not be the man that the cap fits in this instance as other top police officers are also qualified for the top job because apart from IGP Ogbonna Onovo (rtd), who succeeded Mike Mbama Okiro as number two police officer in the hierarchy, seniority had not been the determinant for choosing an IGP.
AIG Ibrahim Kpotum Idris, who hails from Niger State (North-Central) is also qualified for the job should the presidency decides to retire all DIGs.
Idris holds an LLB (Honours) in Law from the University of Maiduguri, and was enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force as a Cadet ASP in 1984 and rapidly rose through the ranks.
Another senior officer from North-Central is AIG Mohammed J. Gana, who is currently the AIG in charge of Zone 4 Makurdi, Benue State and he is also from Niger State.
In the case of IGP coming from South-East, if DIG Chintua is not the right choice, a person from police commissioners from the zone would be elevated and that may mean that many senior officers would be sacrificed because the zone does not have an AIG in the first instance since Chintua is the most senior officer from the zone.
Arase was supposed to proceed on a three-month pre-retirement leave, but history showed that previous IGPs never proceeded on such leave and so it is expected that Arase may spend his last day in office as the police boss.
Arase, who was born on June 21, 1956, hails from Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State and holds a degree in Political Science from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1981 and has as well, bachelors and master’s degrees in Law. Before his appointment as IGP, Arase was the Head of the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department.
DIG Doma is seen to have an edge over most of his peers, given his international and local exposure and exemplary performance as a police officer. He was promoted to the rank of an AIG in 2012, and was promoted to DIG in 2014.
Doma, it is believed, will be appointed the next IG because of his seniority, zone and faith. First, he is the second most senior in the police after Arase and is from the North-Central.
Also, the president may settle for him on account of his religion, which will make him acceptable to other parts of the country, in addition to his home, the North.
Insiders described him as a tough cop who has been playing a very critical role as a member of the police management team. He still has up to 2019 to remain in the force.