Six weeks to the general election, there is anxiety over the expected retirement of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Usman Daba, 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.
IGP Baba would turn 60 in March, having been born in 1963 and therefore due for retirement. Also, three DIGs and scores of AIGs are due for retirement between this month and March ending. Others due for retirement by March are 10 Commissioners of Police (CPs), five Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs), about 30 Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs), over 35 Chief Superintendents of Police (CSPs), 47 Superintendents of Police (SPs), 55 Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) and 70 Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs).
Findings showed that the retirement of close to 50 policemen in one fell swoop, including the IGP and 16 AIGs, at a period of elections, has become a serious concern for the authorities, especially the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“There are fears over security during the general election as the full compliments of police personnel is needed nationwide in February when the presidential and National Assembly elections hold as well as March, when the governorship and state Houses of Assembly election will take place,” a source said.
It was gathered that before IGP’s statutory retirement in March, three DIGs are expected to leave the force this month as they reach their retirement age.
Sources in the police revealed that among those expected to retire are Mobile Squadron Commander and Area Commanders, and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs). Usually, such police officers get strategic postings during elections owing to their critical positions, it was gathered.