As discussions on the non-inclusion of Igbo in the appointment of the service chiefs continue to inundate social media, several interest groups have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint an Igbo person as the next Inspector General of Police to compensate the Igbos and quench the feelings of marginalization.
While speaking on a Facebook Live Chat monitored by Punch and other media platforms, Dele Momodu said he's hearing that the next Inspector General of Police will be a northerner, and that he doesn't know if they have even appointed him already. He asked - how can the outgoing Inspector General of Police be a northerner, and the incoming one will be a northerner too?
It should be recalled that it was reported a few days ago that the outgoing Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, is expected to leave office this week, after reaching the mandatory retirement age. Mohammed Adamu is a northerner from Lafia, Nasarawa State. That is why Dele Momodu feels it's a disservice to other ethnic groups, especially the Igbos, for the next Inspector General of Police to come from the north again.
He said he doesn't have any problem with that, but people are complaining about it too, and the truth is that this country belongs to all of us, and everyone needs to be given a sense of belonging. He added that a leader needs to be sensitive to the yearnings of all his people so that no group will end up feeling that they are being marginalized.
The former presidential candidate said that the Igbos have expressed their dissatisfaction over the fact that President Buhari did not consider any Igbo man for appointment as a service chief, and he urged the president to appoint an Igbo man as the next Inspector General of Police.
Dele Momodu said that there are many smart and intelligent Igbo people in the country, and that an Igbo man is capable of holding a top security position, so the president should tap into the brilliance of the Igbo people and appoint them for the position.
He said that the civil war ended over fifty years ago, and the present administration should not make it look like the Igbo people committed an eternal and unforgivable sin when they fought the war.
He said that when he talks in defence of the Igbos, it is not because he is planning to contest for any political position, or he's trying to lobby for any political favours, but he is saying all that because that is the right thing to do.
He said he does not care about where anyone comes from, as far as the person is competent enough to do the job. And that he doesn't care if we have an Igbo man as the president of Nigeria, or as the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, or as the Inspector General of Police. That what matters is competence, and not the origin of the person.
Agitations for an Inspector General of Police of Igbo origin began some days ago following the appointment of the new service chiefs. The president had announced the immediate retirement of the past service chiefs, to the excitement of all Nigerians, and had announced the names of the people to replace them.
Major General Leo Irabor, from Delta State, was appointed the Chief of Defence Staff; Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, from Kaduna State, was made the new Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A. Z. Gambo, from Kano State, was appointed Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I. O. Amao, from Osun State, was made the new Chief of Air Staff.
Several interest groups had expressed their disappointment over what they described as neglect of Igbo race in the appointments. They urged the president to compensate the Igbos by appointing an Igbo man as the next Inspector General of Police after the retirement of the outgoing one.
Soon after that, the presidency had responded to the agitations. The presidency said that the appointment of service chiefs is not based on ethnic identity, but on the competence of the individual. And that the service chiefs were not appointed based on where they come from, but because of their ability to do the jobs.
In a statement which was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the presidential spokesman had said that it is ridiculous for anyone to affiliate ethnic identity to the appointment of the service chiefs. He said that Nigeria has about 250 ethnic groups, and if all of them prevail on the president for the positions, then we will end up having 250 Chief of Defence Staff, 250 Chief of Army Staff, 250 Chief of Naval Staff, 250 Chief of Air Staff, and 250 Inspector General of Police. He said that things cannot be done that way, and such agitations cannot make us move forward as a country.
He asked Nigerians to be more concerned with having service chiefs who are competent enough to guarantee the protection of their lives and properties, rather than having a security chief that cannot do the job.
Well, Dele Momodu's statement cannot be confirmed, and it stands as a rumour for now, since the president has not announced the appointment of the next Inspector General of Police for us to know where he's from. But wherever the person will be from, we hope he will be someone competent enough to do the job, irrespective of where he will come from.
Do you think the next Inspector General of Police should be an Igbo man?
Content created and supplied by: Richiehenshaw (via Opera News )