The Presidency has reacted to calls for the appointment of an Inspector-General of Police of Igbo extraction, saying it is not by ethnicity but by the ability to secure lives and property in the country.
Speaking on Monday on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily monitored by VANTAGE NEWS, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said that there are over 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria, noting that there would be over 250 police chiefs if the appointment is based on ethnicity.
Calls for someone from the South-East geopolitical zone to be appointed the IGP grew as the current police chief, Mohammed Adamu is expected to officially retire from service today (Monday, February 1).
Shehu also said that Buhari was fair by appointing two service chiefs each from the North and South.
Recall that Buhari last Tuesday appointed four new service chiefs: Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
Irabor and Amao hail from Delta and Osun states respectively while Attahiru and Gambo are from Kaduna and Kano States.
The presidential spokesman said, “The language that is being used is that there should be an Igbo service chief and this is a country with more than 250 ethnic groups. If you are going to appoint a service chief from every ethnic group in this country, you are going to have more than 250 Inspector General of Police, 250 Chief of Army Staff, 250 Chief of Naval Staff. Things are not going to work like that.
“If we said that we are going to use ethnicity or religion as the basis, then, we have lost it. This is about law and order and not about ethnic identity.
“Look at what happened with the service chiefs appointed now – two from the South, two from the North. If you are talking about religion, two Muslims, two Christians.”
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Commenting on Adamu who reached retirement age today, Shehu said that he is yet to hear from the president on the matter, noting that he knows Buhari would prefer someone that would deliver.
Shehu added that Buhari will make a decision on the IGP upon via return from his hometown in Daura later in the week.
Buhari is currently in Daura, Katsina state where he went to revalidate his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) among other official duties.