Kogi: IGP Idris and Promotion of Mediocrity

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The Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, slid from the sublime to the ridiculous all within a week.

Ibrahim had penultimate week ordered the immediate removal of Mr Ali Janga as Kogi State Police Commissioner, and announced Esa Sunday Ogbu, who at that time was Commissioner of Police, Federal Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja, as the new Kogi CP. The IGP also ordered that the Commander of the FSARS in Kogi State should be transferred out of the state. The decisions followed the escape of six suspects who had indicted Senator Dino Melaye and Mohammed Audu in a case of conspiracy and unlawful possession of arms from the A Police Division in Lokoja where they were being held in custody.

But in a twist, the IGP last Tuesday ordered the reinstatement of Janga as Kogi State Commissioner of Police. According to a statement by Kogi State Police Command PRO, William Aya, the IGP gave the order because Janga had met the one week ultimatum given him to re-arrest the suspects who escaped from police custody.

I consider the reinstatement of the CP by the IGP as not just a disservice to the officers and men of the service but an insult to the intelligence of Nigerians. I also see the statement that the reinstatement was hinged on the re-arrest of the suspects as balderdash and a deliberate attempt by the country’s chief law enforcement officer to turn logic on its head. Pray, how could Janga have contributed to the re-apprehension of those suspects if he had been removed as Kogi State Commissioner of Police and was no longer in charge of the command? If the CP had no hand in the re-arrest of the suspects why should he get the trophy for other people’s sweat? Even assuming, without conceding, that Jenga had been involved in the efforts to re-arrest those suspects after his removal, wouldn’t that have amounted to flouting the directives of the IG having been removed from office? Should the reward for his purported disregard for the order of the IG be reinstatement? Even if he were instrumental to the re-arrest of the suspects, should he have been rewarded with reinstatement? Should the suspects have been allowed to escape in the first instance? Excuse me, what manner of reward system is in place in the Nigeria Police?

For the avoidance of doubt, Janga was not suspended from office as Kogi CP; he was removed as the CP. So, it would be unthinkable to say he was given a deadline by the IGP to re-arrest the suspects because his position had been given to someone else. So, that task was not his to perform. Why does the IG have to twist facts just to justify the reinstatement of the CP? If he knew he was not willing to remove Janga why did he hastily make the announcement? The Nigeria Police is not the IGP’s personal fiefdom which he can run as he deems fit but an institution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where everything must be done in accordance with the laws of the land.

If on Janga’s watch as the state CP suspects in such a sensitive and celebrated case could escape from police custody without any form of violence what then would happen in cases that are less sensitive? If a case that is as important as the case in question was shoddily handled, how would cases that do not command much public attention be handled by CP Janga? With the way the case in question is handled by the CP is it any wonder that Kogi State has been turned into a theatre of war? Is it surprising that in Kogi State it is one day one trouble? Is it a wonder that in Kogi State the law of the land is observed in the breach?

In addition to reinstating the CP, the IG has also asked that the 13 policemen, who were on duty when the suspects escaped, to return to their duty posts after being interrogated at the police headquarters. If such is the reward system that is in operation in the service what is the motivation for doing what is right? If that is the reward system in the Nigeria Police is it any wonder that criminal elements overran policemen in Benue, overwhelmed the police in Plateau and overpowered the force in Yobe State?

Even toddlers in the school of leadership know that whatever is encouraged and rewarded by the leader in an organisation blossoms and flourishes in that organisation. If a leader rewards excellence, the generality of the personnel aims at excellence but in a situation where the leader rewards mediocrity, excellence recedes and mediocrity becomes the dominant culture. But excellent leaders don’t promote mediocrity, only a mediocre rewards and promotes mediocrity.

Credit: Tribune

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