NIGERIA: ‘Stay away from politics,’ APC urges new Police IG

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged the new Acting Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, to be professional in his job and not attempt to curry favour from the ruling party of incoming President, Muhammadu Buhari.

The APC also urged Arase to shun crass partisanship in the discharge of his duties.

The party’s comments were made via a statement released on Thursday, April 23, 2015, by by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed.

The statement reads:

“We do not know the reason for the sack of the immediate past IGP, but we have read, just like other Nigerians, that it might not be unconnected with the role he either played or did not play in the last general elections.”

“What we do know is that the police force under the former IG was a major actor in the massive rigging and violence that characterized the elections in some parts of the country, especially in Rivers ,Akwa Ibom Sokoto and Gombe states just to mention a few.”

“Now, Mr. Arase faces perhaps the biggest test in his new capacity with the supplementary elections coming up in Abia, Imo and Taraba. We do hope he will not allow the police under him to be used to thwart the will of the people in those states or to give cover to those who will engage in violence”

“Any IG worth his salt does not need to pander to the President or the ruling party in carrying out his duties. All he has to do is to make sure the police carries out its statutory duties in accordance with the law and without fear or favour.”

“When Mr. Arase’s predecessor issued an illegal order directing Nigerians to vote and immediately vacate polling units during the last elections, he knew he was acting against what the law stipulates, but he chose to do so anyway to please his masters. However, armed with the position of the law, Nigerians simply ignored the illegal order, voted and stayed behind to defend their votes.”

“When that unlawful order is placed side-by-side with other acts that ran contrary to the maintenance of law and order under the immediate past IG – including the cover given to the OPC to wreak havoc in Lagos, the illegal withdrawal of the security details of House of Representatives’ Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, whom he (former IG) refused to recognize as Speaker in a clear usurpation of the role of the judiciary, and the shameful role of the police in the Osun Governorship election last year, during which hundreds of APC members were arrested and detained without cause – one will realize to what extent the police was dragged into partisan politics under him.”

“But in the end, those for whom the IG desecrated the police had no qualms about humiliating him out of office. We hope Mr. Arase will learn a lesson from this, toe a different path and not run the police like his private company and a tool in the hands of unscrupulous politicians.”

Arase was appointed on Tuesday, April 21, after the sack of former IG, Suleiman Abba.

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