The House of Representatives on Wednesday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, over his “lack of capacity” to address security challenges in the country, particularly the killings by herdsmen in Benue State and the insecurity in Kano State.
“We call on Mr. President to replace the IGP with a more professional officer,” the resolution of the House read.
The resolution was passed after lawmakers debated two motions: one on the killings by herdsmen in Benue State, and the second on the “need to curb thuggery development in political activities in Kano and Nigeria in general.”
The motion on the killings by herdsmen was moved by a member from Benue State, Mr. Mark Terseer-Gbillah, while the second motion was moved by a Kano State lawmaker, Mr. Abubakar Danburam-Nuhu.
The two motions were later amended to a motion for the sacking of the IG.
Ruling on the motion to sack the IGP, the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, said, “If we pass this amendment, it means that the entire House has passed a vote of no confidence in the IGP.
“I will go ahead and put the question since that is the decision of the House.”
The House also directed Idris to apologise to the Governor of Benue State, Mr. Samuel Ortom, over a statement made by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, calling the governor a “drowning man.”
Moshood had featured on a Channels Television programme, Morning Rise, on Tuesday, February 6, where the topic of discussion was the killings by herdsmen in Benue State.
The PPRO was on the programme with the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase.
Moshood had reaffirmed the stance of the IGP that the killings in Benue resulted from the enactment of the open grazing (prohibition) law by the state House of Assembly.
In the heat of the discussion, Moshood called Ortom a drowning man, who must also resign his position as a governor.
On Wednesday, the lawmakers did not only condemn Moshood for the statement, they described him as an officer who was not fit to remain in the police force.
Besides asking the IGP to apologise for Moshood’s statement, the House also elected to investigate the statement credited to Idris that the killings in Benue State were caused by the state’s anti-open grazing law.
“The statement alone has exposed Moshood as a man unfit to be the police spokesman.
“A police spokesman is expected to be a professional, he is not a politician. He should speak without bias, which is not the case here”, Terseer-Gbillah, a member of the All Progressives Congress, said.
Another APC member, Mr. Hassan Saleh, said he was alarmed when he heard both the IGP and the PPRO speaking in defence of the “killings by the Fulani herdsmen.”
Saleh noted that it was “disheartening” to hear the police pick what law to enforce and which one to ignore when the primary duty of the police was to enforce every law.
The Peoples Democratic Party member from Rivers State, Mr. Kingsley Chinda, however, blamed Buhari, saying he should have cautioned IGP.
He added, “Everything boils down to Mr. President. It is his body language that the police are interpreting.
“We all know that if a law has issues, the appropriate thing to do is to approach the court for interpretation, not to be killing people.”
Making his contribution, an APC lawmaker from Osun State, Prof. Mojeed Alabi, reminded the House that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) empowers the Benue State House of Assembly to make laws for the state.
“It is not in the place of the police to say a law is bad. The solution to all these problems is true federalism, as well as state police.”
More members, including the Deputy Majority Whip, Mr. Pally Iriase; the Minority Whip, Mr. Yakubu Barde; and the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, supported the motion on Benue killings.
The Kano motion pitted lawmakers from Kano State against one another, further exposing the political rivalry between Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and his predecessor, Senator Musa Kwankwaso.
The Ganduje loyalists, who were led by the Chief Whip, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, opposed the motion, saying that it was planned to “misinform” the House.
“What you have heard are lies. The governor is a peace-loving person. He is not responsible for any crisis in Kano State,” Ado-Doguwa told the House.
But Danburam-Nuhu, Mr. Aliyu Madaki and other Kwankwaso loyalists, insisted that the police took sides instead of giving protection to all political groups in the state.