The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a recent statement urged President Muhammadu Buhari to allow Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector General of Police, to retire on January 15.
According to the PDP, not extending the tenure of the IGP is one of the ways of convincing Nigerians that he (Buhari) is committed to have free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
“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,” the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said on Wednesday while responding to questions in Abuja.
“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,” he added.
He further noted that the Nigeria Police has many officers that were capable of leading the force.
However, Mr. Festus Keyamo, the spokesman for the Buhari Campaign Organisation, in his response noted that the PDP was raising a false alarm.
According to Keyamo, President Buhari has the right and power to extend the tenure of the IGP as he deems fit.
He noted that former President Olusegun Obasanjo also extended the tenure of a police boss during his time, saying that he wondered why the PDP never complained when Obasanjo did it.
“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.”