President Muhamadu Buhari has assured that he will act on the lingering controversy surrounding the retirement of Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
Speaking exclusively to ThisDay/ Arise TV, Mr Buhari took responsibility for not changing his military and security chiefs since 2015.
The president has come under criticisms in recent days over his inaction on the police IG’s retirement despite his perceived inefficiency.
According to public service laws, the occupant of the office of the Inspector-General of Police is to retire after spending the mandatory 35 years in service or attaining 60 years of age.
Mr Idris is expected to retire from service after clocking 60 on January 15.
On Monday, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), a group of opposition political parties, threatened a mass protest on January 15 if Mr Idris is not retired.
In reaction to this and other calls for action, Mr Buhari said he was not “afraid” of the police boss, and that he would take action.
“I saw on the television, somebody has given me last warning to…I have accepted responsibility, I don’t think I am afraid of him and I don’t think I have organised roadblocks and got collections from it to say that I will lose some part of my revenue from him,” he said jokingly.
“I will take action,” he added.
Responding to questions on why he has not changed service chiefs, Mr Buhari said he is waiting for the ‘appropriate time’ as making changes during emergency would be counterproductive.
“I am measuring the options critically. When you have a case of emergency, if you don’t wait for an appropriate time to do it, then you create competition within the service,” he said. “There are so many ambitious people waiting, only one man can be Chief of Army Staff in the army, only one man can be the Inspector-General of Police. Don’t forget that it was this administration that appointed all the three.
“I didn’t know them on personal basis. I followed records and thought I picked the best then. Of course, their performance may be disappointing but I accept responsibility for not changing them. My reason is based on my own experience.”