In what could be considered a vote of no confidence on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the House of Representatives wednesday passed a motion calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to replace him with a more professional police officer.
The resolution came as the Senate summoned the Minister of Defence, Brig. Gen. Mansur Ali (rtd), over the recent invasion of some border communities in Cross River State by Cameroonian soldiers.
The House resolution arose from a motion sponsored by Hon. Danburam Nuhu (APC, Kano) on the need to curb thuggery in political activities in Kano State, in particular, and Nigeria, in general.
But in the build-up to the resolution, the lower chamber had separately approved a motion instructing Idris to tender an unreserved apology to the Governor of Benue State, Mr. Samuel Ortom, over the derogatory statements by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Jimoh Moshood.
The House asked the IG to relieve the PPRO of the position immediately.
The motion further mandated its constituted committee on the recent killings and insecurity in the nation, to investigate the alleged statements made by the IG and the implications on his ability to superintend the resolution of the killings in Benue and other parts of the country if found to be true.
The motion sponsored by Hon. Mark Terseer Gbillah (APC, Benue), bothered on the derogatory statement by the police PRO against an executive governor of a state and the seeming unwillingness of the IG to recognise and enforce a constitutionally enacted law by the legislative arm of government.
He said Idris, who had failed to apprehend the perpetrators of the killings in Benue, where 73 lives were lost, had before a Senate committee, blamed the killings on the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranching Law by the Benue State House of Assembly, calling for the suspension of the law.
Also, the police PRO reportedly made derogatory statements about the Benue State governor when he appeared on a live television programme on Tuesday and not only deriding Ortom as “a drowning man” he also called for his resignation while responding to questions about the alleged statements by the IG and the clamour for his resignation and lack of confidence in his stewardship as expressed by the Benue State government.
Nuhu, in his motion, condemned the development and sponsorship of thuggery in political rallies and called for an end to it.
He said disgruntled politicians were often responsible for the growth of thuggery in the country, adding that the recent incident of thuggery in Kano was supported by a high ranking member of the lower chamber.
He regretted that the police, that are sometimes present at scenes of thuggery incidents deliberately refuse to take appropriate actions against the perpetrators of the illegal acts.
He said: “This ugly development has denigrated the Nigerian political system home and abroad.”
However, both motions enjoyed an overwhelming support of members.
Contributing to the debates, the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, who also recanted his personal experiences of police inadequacies, said going by the Law of Agency, if the principal (IG) had not come to deny all allegations, it could be deduced that he is in support of the development.
The lawmakers also condemned the increasing incidents of thuggery especially in Kano State, fuelled by the bitter rivalry between the governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, and the erstwhile governor of the state, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The police were largely blamed for failing to promptly arrest the situation and making itself a willing tool for the incumbent governor to use and suppress the rights of the opposition.