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‘Transmission transmission’, police marriage… 7 things we would remember ex-IGP Idris for

Ibrahim Idris, outgoing inspector-general of police (IGP), like many public officers, is not bereft of controversies during the discharge of his duties.

The ex-IGP, who clocked 60 on Tuesday, has made news headlines for many reasons — good, bad and ugly. His name is, currently, on many lips and news pages regarding his years of active service.

Mohammed, a former Enugu state commissioner of police, was appointed acting inspector-general of police, signalling an end to Idris’ reign.

We take a look at seven of the controversial happenstances since he assumed office, until the time he bowed out of service.

Idris transmitted waves through headlines when a video of him stuttering surfaced online. The police chief struggled to read an address as he kept repeating “transmission”.
The IGP’s performance got people questioning if he is dyslexic.

While it was obvious that the video was doctored, it was also evident that Idris had a hard time reading the speech as at some point, one of his aides walked up to him to offer help. He also apologised to his audience. This soon became a nickname — transmission, transmission.

The dust was yet to settle on Idris’ transmission saga when another uncomplimentary video of him popped up.
In the undated video, Idris made a premature salute when he joined his fellow service chiefs to lay wreaths during the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Abuja.

Owing to the heightened tension and insecurity in Benue, President Muhammadu Buhari, in January 2018, ordered Idris to relocate to the state to check the reported cases of attacks.
However, Idris only spent a day in the state and returned to Abuja. Days after his return, pictures of him cutting his 59th birthday cake appeared online, while the state recorded more killings after his departure. He reminded Nigerians of the Nero, the Roman Emperor, who fiddled while Rome burned.

In Nigeria, Nero cuts cake, while Benue burned.

When he failed to appear before the senate, Senate President Bukola Saraki, said Idris is known to flout orders.

The senate had summoned the IGP on two different occasions — to brief them on the travails of Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, and on the security situation in the country — but he sent a representative.

“Again, we cannot say it is just to us because the president told us that he told him to go to Benue and the man refused to go,” Saraki had said.

President Buhari would later confirm that he found out late that Idris disobeyed presidential orders.

In October 2017, Isah Misau, senator representing Bauchi central, accused the IGP of having an affair with two policewomen whom he reportedly gave special promotion.

The senator said Idris married one Asta, a deputy superintendent of police (DSP), an act which he says contravenes the Police Act.

Misau alleged that the police chief had a secret wedding with Asta because she was “four months pregnant” for him.

But the IGP said no law prevents him from marrying a serving policewoman, and that he is also religiously allowed to marry up to four wives.

The family of the wife also said that the wedding was done publicly and a marriage certificate was issued.

TheCable fact-checked the allegations and found that Misau’s claim that the marital affair is contrary to the provisions of the Nigeria Police Act is false.

Idris never wanted the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) and he made no attempt to disguise his position about the organisation.
The PCN was involved in various controversies since the bill came to limelight at the national assembly.

Idris described it as a threat to Nigeria’s security, saying the corps ran against laws in the process of its establishment.

In June 2018, the police sealed off the PCN’s headquarters in Abuja and despite two court orders and a resolution passed by the house of representatives, the police refused to unseal the office.

A month later, the police and members of the corps clashed in Abuja during the 20th anniversary of the PCN. A similar occurrence also happened in 2017

After the many setbacks witnesses by the corps, Buhari, in February 2018, rejected the bill proposing the establishment of the agency.

The president cited security concerns and financial burden of funding the organisation as his reasons for rejecting the bill.

Idris might have had an influence on the president’s decision.

Twice, despite the security challenges in the country, Idris said the country was secure.

First was in September 2017, when clashes between clashes between security operatives and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) erupted in Abia and Rivers states.

Idris had said there was no tension in the country after a meeting with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

“Which country, this Nigeria? No. Nigeria does not have tension. At least you are in Abuja you have gone around there is no tension,” he had said.

In January 2018, despite the continued attack and unrest in several parts of the country, Idris, again, said the country was secure.

“I think Nigeria is well secure. I have to be frank. I think what we should be praying for is for Nigerians to learn to live in peace with each other, I think is very important,” he said.

The most recent controversy that trailed Idris is the proposed extension of his tenure.
The IGP was appointed by Buhari in March 2016 and was expected to retire on
January 3 when he reached the mandatory 35 years.

However, Idris arrived at his office on January 3, fuelling speculations that there are plans to extend his tenure.

Commenting on the extension of tenure of the service chiefs, Buhari said he had not changed them because he was being careful.

He also said he was not afraid of Idris, saying he would take appropriate action.

Nigerians will definitely miss Ibrahim Idris and his controversies. Salute!

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