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Buhari Extends Police Chief Usman Baba’s Tenure Ahead of Nigeria’s 2023 Elections

The IGP was previously expected to retire after clocking the mandatory retirement age of 60 years on March 1, 2023.

Nigeria’s Federal Government has cleared the air over the likely retirement of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, before the 2023 general election saying the nation’s number one police officer will remain in office even after the polls.

Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, made this clarification on Wednesday while speaking with newsmen after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja.

He said the IG will not be retiring midway into the general election, as earlier expected, as he already has his tenure extended via a letter by the President.

The Minister explained that the Police Act 2020 has changed the rules for an IGP’s retirement.

Answering questions from newsmen on whether or not the IGP would be retiring after clocking the mandatory retirement age of 60 years on March 1, 2023, Dingyadi said “I don’t know where you got your record, but let me say that by the provision of the Police Act 2020, the IG is now supposed to have a kind of four-year period and Mr. President has already given him letter of appointment in that regard. 

“So the issue of IG going out during this election period does not arise,” he revealed.

President Muhammadu Buhari appointed the then DIG Baba as the acting Inspector General of Police in April 6, 2021 while the Police Council confirmed him as the substantive Inspector General of Police in June 2021.

There had been concerns over the expected retirement of the IGP, three Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs), many Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs) and 290 other policemen in the first quarter of this year.

The Minister also affirmed that the level of corruption within the rank and filenof  Nigeria Police has drastically reduced as a result of the reforms initiated by the All Progressive Congress (APC) administration.

His words: “I must say that even before this police proposal or bill, our findings has shown that levels of corruption has drastically reduced because of this government reforms.”

Dingyadi also disclosed that FEC approved draft bill for an Act to establish Nigeria Police Institutions, which he said is to provide legal backing to the existing training institutions across the country and not to build new ones.

According to him: “It is worth it to note that as part of Mr. President’s reform of Nigerian police ecosystem, the ministry is championing police reforms with the strong backing of the presidency, and stakeholders to address observed gaps in the training and retraining of police officers. 

“They have rehabilitated and upgraded available police training institutions and facilities nationwide. Tackle lack of funding to take care of the training institutions and create a robust structure for effective management and administration of the institutions. 

“In consideration of the above, the Federal Executive Council has today graciously approved the draft bill for an act to establish Nigeria Police Force College Training Schools and Institutions to serve as centers for professional training of officers, Nigerian police force and other related matters. 

“It has also directed the Attorney-General and Federal Minister of Justice to transmit the draft bill to National Assembly for enactment into law. 

“By the time this draft bill is passed by the National Assembly, it is expected to change the narrative in our institutions. In addition to giving legal backing to this institutions and financial autonomy, it will also have to mobilize the much needed technical and financial support from within and outside the country for the modernization of police training facilities, towards improving the quality of officers that are produced for deployment, in furtherance of federal government’s agenda on police reforms for effective policing in the country”, he said.

Deji Elumoye

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