The first task of Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), when he assumed office in 2016, was to probe Solomon Arase, his predecessor.
Idris had alleged that Arase privatised official vehicles on his departure, rendering him “immobile”. But this turned out to be a ploy by the IGP to ingratiate himself with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The zeitgeist at the time was “fighting corruption”, and Idris was trying as much as he could to show himself an anti-corruption crusader. Even then, I knew this IGP was a joker.
It was not long after the noise-making and showmanship that allegations of corruption punctured the IGP’s paper shield. Senator Isah Misau revealed how he was feathering his own nest by not-so kosher means – instead of reforming and strengthening the institution he heads.
Soon reports of how this IGP impregnated a junior female officer and “surreptitiously” had her promoted rippled in the news-sphere. He did not deny impregnating his subordinate, instead he rationalised his action by saying that he married the officer and that there was no law prohibiting him from doing so.
Idris’ tenure has been one of vile controversy; controversy after controversy. He is, perhaps, one of the few police officers, who have brought disrepute to the office of the inspector-general. When the World Internal Security and Police International Index ranked the Nigeria police as the worst in the world, the IGP and his team rustled up fictive excuses to defend of their incompetence.
Inebriated by power, Idris had two journalists – Daniel and Tim Elombah – arrested for a critical report allegedly published on their blog; the IGP’s one in many attempts to intimidate the press.
When news of herdsmen killings in Benue broke, the IGP without carrying out any investigation said it was a “communal clash” – a streak of sycophancy. He later apologised for the gaffe, but the action showed the undertow of his underbelly.
And when the president asked him to relocate to Benue state to stop the killings, this IGP visited the state and returned to Abuja a few days later to celebrate his 59th birthday. He stayed in the Federal Capital Territory afterwards.
It is not surprising that he flouted the president’s order. Idris is a splitting example of the average Nigerian policeman, who derelicts duty and who is abrasive, uncouth, abusive, defensive and power drunk.
However, I find it incredible that the president was not aware of the IGP’s dereliction of duty. One thing is clear though, it is either the president was genuinely not aware of it or was not made aware of it. In all, I think Nigerians have had enough of this IGP and his fancy of controversies.
Fredrick is a journalist and media entrepreneur. You can reach him on Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo, Facebook: Fredrick Nwabufo