The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to extend the tenure of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba for another four years.
This is as he’s due for retirement on March 1, 2023, at age 60.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement said the extension of the tenure of the IGP who is from Geidam, Yobe State, confirms the nepotistic tendencies of the President and his religious sentiments in all his appointment into public office.
The group alleged that Buhari would not have extended the IGP’s tenure if he were a Southern Christian, warning of the implications of setting this type of precedent and abuses of the laws of the country hiding under nebulous reasons.
HURIWA equally said the President did a similar thing in the case of his appointment of Dauda Ali Biu as the acting Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps last year. Biu, who was born in the year 1964 in Zaria, Kaduna State but hails from Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State, joined the FRSC in 1988.
Amid overwhelming calls for his retirement at the mandatory age of 60 on March 1, 2023, according to the Federal Civil Service Rules, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, last week announced that the IGP would not be retiring midway into the general election, as earlier expected since his tenure had already been extended by Buhari.
The minister explained that the Police Act 2020 had changed the rules for the IGP, revealing that Baba has a four-year tenure.
Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “President Muhammadu Buhari illegally confirmed the FRSC Corp Marshall who is already 59 and will retire next year but because he is a northern Moslem from Borno State the President violated civil service rule on retirement and gave him a tenured appointment far beyond his retirement time.
“Same as IGP who ought to retire in March this year but the minister of police affairs distorted the interpretation of the law by claiming that the IGP is not going when he is due to retire even when the Police Act is not an alteration of the constitutional provision which says IGP must be appointed from the police force and the civil service rule says the IGP will retire upon reaching 60.
HURIWA said the current IGP Usman Alkali Baba should be retired in March on the attainment of 60 years, insisting it was wrong to use the excuse of the forthcoming election to mock the Force.
According to HURIWA, extending his tenure means that the Nigeria Police Force cannot function well without one Baba Alkali Baba as the IG.
“This is a nonsensical argument because thousands of better qualified, better fit, better educated and more competent guys are in the Police waiting to take over, to give the Country a more efficient NPF,” the group said.
The rights group said this has also confirmed the allegations of nepotism, religious bigotry and tribalism because the two persons are from Yobe and Borno and are Muslims.
“The President should know that he cannot, through fiat or a letter of appointment, amend the Constitution of Nigeria. Section 215(1)(a) of the Constitution 1999, states that the appointment must be made ‘from among serving members of the Nigeria Police Force.”