The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, is expected to proceed on terminal leave any moment from now, having spent the mandatory number of years in service. Abubakar, from Zamfara State, enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force on July 30, 1979 and is due for retirement on July 30, 2014, based on the mandatory retirement age. Findings indicated that the replacement for Abubakar who became the acting IG on January 25, 2012, might be announced early next month by the government.
The Federal Government had dashed Abubakar’s hope of tenure extension and he was said to have been given the hint that he would not get an extension. Investigations showed that it was only the tenure of IG Sunday Ehindero’s tenure that was extended by one year by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. It is widely believed that an acting IG would be picked from the ranks of the Deputy Inspectors General of Police or Assistant Inspectors-General of Police. The appointment of a new IG is usually done by the Nigeria Police Council which is chaired by the President.
There had been speculations that Abubakar’s tenure might be extended till after the 2015 general elections, having impressed the government with some innovations and policies he introduced into the NPF. Among other things, the police boss successfully stopped police checkpoints on the highway through which they extorted motorists and other road users. Though his appointment as acting IG attracted criticisms over his alleged support for religious extremists in Plateau State when he was the Commissioner of Police in charge of the state, Abubakar had managed to change the tide of public opinion against him by taking tough measures against corruption in the Force.
The IG made accommodation for personnel one of his objectives by strengthening the Police Cooperative Multipurpose Society Ltd., which acquired a primary mortgage institution, Fokas Savings and Loans Limited. The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said he could not confirm when the IG would proceed on terminal leave, adding that he had no information on it. “I’m sorry, but I don’t have any information on what you asked,” he said on Monday. When contacted, the Assistant Director, Public Relations, Police Service Commission, Ferdinand Ekpe, promised to find out and get back to our correspondent, but he could not be reached again for an update as of the time of filing this report.