There is palpable tension at Police Force Headquarters (FHQ), Abuja, over the promotion of an Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) to the rank of an acting Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) but is now heading previously promoted DIGs.
The promotion and deployment of the AIG, Alkali Usman Baba (former force secretary), to the rank of DIG was announced on November 3, 2020, by force spokesman, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Frank Mba, in a statement.
He had said: “The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has approved the posting of Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), Sanusi Lemu, and AIG Usman Alkali Baba as DIG in-charge of the Department of Operations and Ag. DIG in-charge of Finance and Administration, respectively.”
Mba had added: “The promotion/posting of the senior officers is sequel to the recent vacuum occasioned by the retirement of their former heads, DIG Abdulmajid Ali and DIG Abduldahiru Danwawu, after the completion of their statutory years of service.”
AIG Usman Alkali Baba, who is a fellow of the National Defence College, is from Yobe State.
He had headed Zone 5 Police Command, Benin, and Zone 7, Makurdi.
Before then, he was Commissioner of Police, FCT and Delta State commands.
As Acting DIG in-charge of Finance and Administration, he is now the most senior DIG, above previously promoted DIGs.
Investigations by Daily Independent revealed that there are rumbles at Force Headquarters, especially among older DIGs, over Alkali’s new position.
Our investigations further revealed that he once had an issue with the IGP over the promotion of former chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, from Adamawa State.
Based on lack of vacancies, the IGP created a new department called Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB), almost interwoven with Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), which Lamorde is heading in acting capacity.
Lamorde has been in acting capacity since the Police Service Commission (PSC) is yet to approve his promotion.
Similarly, the PSC is yet to approve the promotion of Alkali, notwithstanding he is functioning as the DIG (Administration), and all correspondences from older DIGs are forwarded to him, and they take directives from him.
Alkali was said to have complained to PSC that he was supposed to head the FIB but dependable sources at FHQ and PSC told Daily Independent that “he was persuaded to remain as an AIG because he is nursing the ambition of becoming the next IG”.
Our sources further disclosed that he was persuaded to remain in the rank of an AIG so that “when the IG is retiring, the management team (DIGs) would be asked to go with him while he would have the opportunity of being considered for the IG position”.
However, several officers at FHQ, who pleaded anonymity, the orised that “the IG may have decided to post him to ‘A’ Department so that when he is retiring, Alkali’s ambition of becoming IG will have been cut short, because the president may appoint the next IG from an AIG rank”.
Other officers, however, theorised that “it may be a strategy by the IG to give him the IG position; if the president decides to tell him (IGP Adamu) to hand over to the most senior DIG, Alkali will automatically get it”.
Daily Independent check revealed that there are underground moves by many senior officers against Alkali taking over as the next IGP. One of the reasons adduced is that the new Police Act stipulates that the next IGP must have not less than four years more in service.
Those who spoke under strict anonymity stressed the need for President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint the next IG from the South.
They argue that there is so much animosity in the Force because only northern Muslims are posted to juicy positions.
One of them said: “I want to believe that if the president appoints the next IG from the South, there will be equity in postings.
“The police is now politicised, otherwise officers should be posted based on their pedigree and the ability to combat crime without political coloration, and not on religious or ethnic affiliation.”
Our investigations further revealed that former Chief of Staff to President Buhari, late Abba Kyari, was solidly behind Alkali.
Sources said that the late Abba Kyari had assured Alkali of the IG job.
One of the personal aides to IGP Adamu told Daily Independent that “Oga (IG) is aware of his ambition”. (Daily Independent)