By Ibrahim Sarafa
The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has dismissed as allegations claims that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, failed to heed the president directive to relocate to Benue State.
President Buhari had ordered the IGP to relocate to Benue shortly after the January killings in the state.
But stakeholders from Benue informed the President during a visit to the state on Monday that the IGP failed to heed Mr. Buhari’s directive as he spent less than a day in the state before moving to Nasarawa.
In his reaction, the President who apparently expected otherwise, said he was unaware the IGP ignored his order to relocate to Benue.
The development have generated reactions from Nigerians, some of who criticised the comment of the President as a ‘failure of leadership’.
But faulting criticisms on the disclosure, Mr. Adesina observed that the claim of disobedience against the IGP remains an allegation that is yet to be proved.
The Presidential spokesman believed that until Mr. Idris is allowed to give his own account of the development, the claim of shunning the President order will remain an allegation.
“They were in the realm of allegations until the key stakeholders mentioned it yesterday,” Mr. Adesina responded to a question on the development when he featured on a current affairs programme on Channels Television, early on Tuesday.
“They were just allegations as far as I’m concerned,” he stressed, insisting that “Even now, they are still in the realm of allegations until we hear from the IGP.”
Though, he accepted that Mr. Idris left Benue for Nasarawa, but he maintained that nobody could yet ascertain that he didn’t spent a night in the state, saying the President may not know everything.
“It’s in the public domain that he went from Benue to Nasarawa but nobody knew that he did not spend a night in Benue,” he said.
“I’m aware of it but I did not know the length of time he stayed in Benue before moving to Nasarawa.
“The president may not know everything. He didn’t know that the IGP allegedly left Benue after one day but he got to know yesterday. So there are some things you can’t hide forever. So yes, the president may not know everything.”
On what may become of the IGP upon the disclosure of not heeding the President directive, Mr. Adesina said it’s beyond him and he (Buhari) alone would decide the fate of Mr. Idris.
When asked of who the IGP reports to, the presidential spokesman seemed to belabour the matter, as he tried to explain the line of order which he believed the Police chief may have interface with.
“Well, you know it’s a line of order. I know that the IGP is responsible to the president, the minister of interior. In a way, he also works with the PSC and maybe to the NSA,” he said.
But one of the anchor of the programme seemed not convince and probed to know if the IGP does not report directly to the president, which Mr. Adesina said “It depends, if the president needs a direct interface with the IGP, he has said it before that he called him up.
“The president is the commander-in-chief so he can relate with anyone he wants directly. But depending on the nature of interface that needs to take place, there are some that he will call for through the immediate superior.”