President Muhammadu Buhari and Ibrahim Idris
When the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris ignored Senate’s invitation the first time and sent his deputy, many thought he was busy with security issues.
When he ignored the second time and went to Kaduna state, it was becoming clear that his action was a snub, then the third time, it dawned on all that it is a clear snub and a total disregard for the institution of the Senate.
The IGP, for the third time, ignored Senate’s invitation asking him to appear before its plenary to explain the killings across Nigeria and circumstances surrounding the arrest of Senator Dino Melaye.
The action of the IGP is the latest in the series of unbecoming cases of neglect and disrespect for the constitution and Democratic institution by top appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari.
It would be recalled that the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, have at different times snubbed the Senate’s invitation, promting public outrage and subjection of the Senate to ridicule. A total disregard for section 88 of the constitution which confers on the National Assembly, the power to summon a public official.
The deafening silence of President Buhari and his refusal to wade into this consistent abuse of democracy by his appointees sends a very big signal that they are doing it with maximum support from the President. What more could have led to such disregard if not a Presidential back up?
The IGP’s action didn’t come as a surprise, it only calls for serious concern which should worry anybody who mean well for the Nigerian democracy. Before serving the Senate a piece of his unruly attitude, Idris, in January, ignored Buhari’s order to relocate to Benue State following the deadly attacks on villagers, instead, he was in the state for barely 3 days before heading for somewhere else. It was after over a month that Buhari expressed shock that the IGP flouted his order. Again, nothing was done, no action was taken by Buhari.
When the Presidency in a statement said Idris was summoned and queried by the President. Instead of burying his head in shame for his unruly act, Idris in his usual arrogant and bragadoccio toga, debunked the claim and said he was never summoned, challenging officials to show evidence. For how long will the president continue to harbour such arrogance and flagrant disregard for Presidential orders and other arms of government? Probably there’s more to the IGP’s act than meets the eye.
The act of the IGP and other appointees, must not be allowed to continue, as it is already setting a bad precedence for democracy, one that may take another decade to clean up and correct.
Buhari’s inaction in the face of all these is a sign of weakness and support for the IGP. But one must do well to remind Buhari and his handlers that even if Idris is doing their bidding with his acts of continuous snub of the Senate in total disregard for the rule of law, one day it will get out of hands and may lead to a case of bush meat hunting the hunter.
We have not forgotten how the APC, before the 2015 elections, enjoyed the peddling of falsehoods on the social media because it was in its favour, it feasted on it and rode to power. Since it came to power, the APC-led government have been finding it very hard to quench the fire of falsehood in the country, despite dubbing it hate speech. It nursed the baby of falsehood and now it has grown into an uncontrollable adult, that is the same path the IGP and other Presidential appointees are threading if their act is not quickly nipped in the bud.
Now that the Senate has exhausted all its options on the IGP, and only the President has the power to wade in, it’s now left to Buhari to prove doubters wrong that he is not in support of the IGP’s action which the Senate as described as enmity to democracy.
The IGP latest action is a litmus test for the President and an avenue for the President to prove to Nigerians that he’s not a weakling and a paper tiger who doesn’t have any authority on his appointees.
We are watching the president to prove us wrong. Until he takes serious action, Buhari remains a weakling and a President without power to exercise authority over his appointees.
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