The sacking of Mohammed Adamu as the Inspector-General of Police on Tuesday came as a shock to many Nigerians as he was fired in a circumstance rare as hen’s teeth —before the expiration of his tenure extension.
Adamu, whose tenure ended in February after completion of his mandatory 35 years of service, got a three-month extension by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), despite objections by many human rights lawyers, civil society organisations, amongst others.
He had only spent about two months out of the three-month extension when the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dingyadi, announced on Tuesday that the President had replaced him.
Adamu was in Owerri, the Imo State capital, when the police affairs minister made the announcement. Adamu had visited the state following attacks on the Imo State Police Command headquarters and the Owerri Correctional Prison.
Adamu had charged men of the state police command not to spare members of Indigenous People of Biafra, adding that there was no hiding place for criminals in the state.
“Those who are attacking police officers and other security agents as well as security facilities should not think that they will get away with it. Never!” he had said.
But just as he charged the cops, the police affairs minister in Abuja announced a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, as the acting Inspector-General of Police.
Born in 1963, Baba, an alumnus of Bayero University, Kano, and the University of Maiduguri, joined the Nigeria Police Force in 1988.
While Dingyadi did not give any reason for the sacking of Adamu, the removal of the IGP might not be unconnected to the rising insecurity in the country as well as the unprecedented onslaught against police formations in the country since last October in the riot that trailed the #EndSARS protests.
The sacking of Adamu might not be also unconnected to the Imo attacks and the horrific crimes perpetrated in the South-East of late.
It had been reported that gunmen early Monday attacked the Owerri Correctional Prison and freed over 1800 inmates.
The attackers also razed the Imo State Police Command headquarters situated in Owerri and burnt scores of vehicles parked at the command headquarters.
The hoodlums further freed the suspects in almost all the cells at the State Criminal Investigation Department of the command.
The gunmen reportedly operated from 1am till 3am on Monday and sang solidarity songs at the Government House Roundabout for about 30 minutes before attacking the facilities.
Many Nigerians including the President had condemned the Monday attacks as acts of terrorism.
Though apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, desired an IGP of Igbo extraction, many Nigerians could only wish for a more secured and safe country with the appointment of Baba as acting IGP.