Ribadu: Restoration of Order, Not Demotion

2 Comments » August 13th, 2008 posted by // Categories: General Articles



Ribadu: Restoration of order, not demotion

 

What is all the noise about the recent forced reversion of some senior police officers to lower ranks all about? Yes, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, the former chairman of the EFCC whose course mates are Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs) has been asked to revert to the rank he ought to be wearing instead of the triple promotion he was given by the immediate past “anything goes” administration. So what?

What I understand the opponents of the decision taken by the Police Service Commission to restore order to the process of promotions in the force to be saying is that even if the earlier promotions done by the previous administration were unfair, sleeping dogs should be allowed to lie undisturbed. It is the same thing as saying that since a cheat has succeeded in his trickery, he should be allowed to keep his loot. What happens to other police officers who had no godfathers but who had been performing their duties with dedication without promotion? We might as well allow all the governors, senators and so-called honourable members who rigged their way into office to keep their positions because they have already been sworn in and a reversion to their former status of being nobodies would make them look bad in the eyes of the public. I find that kind of logic stultifying.

I am not one to go along with the crowd in matters like this because I believe that for our country to make progress, it is about time we start examining issues thoroughly no matter who is involved. The truth is that as far as the promotion system in the Nigerian Police Force is structured, Nuhu Ribadu and his colleagues are not qualified to wear the ranks donated to them by the previous administration allegedly in gratitude for being faithful lapdogs.

Take Ribadu for example. Newspaper reports say he was number 129 in the DCP staff list of 2006, twenty years after joining the force. He had been promoted Assistant Commissioner in 2004 and Deputy Commissioner in 2005. Again he was promoted Commissioner of Police (CP) on December 18, 2006. Then on April 9, 2007 he was catapulted to the rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG). All this happened in a force where some of Ribadu’s classmates who have served this nation so well on the national and international fronts were still Assistant Commissioners until recently when they were lifted to the next rank.

What exactly is so special about Ribadu to warrant rubbishing laid down procedures in order to give unfair advantage to a favourite godson? According to the Police Service Commission which is the body statutorily saddled with the task of assessing and promoting officers of the force, for an Assistant Commissioner of Police to be promoted to the rank of deputy commissioner, the officer must have put in a minimum of three years as ACP, must have attended and passed “C” course with a score of at least 60 percent, must have good annual performance evaluation report with classification in categories A and B. The officer must also have attended and passed the ACP-DCP promotion interview. Nuhu Ribadu skipped all that to become DCP, CP and AIG and was even reluctant to proceed on course to the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) when asked to do so. Was he expecting to become Inspector-General of Police without attending relevant courses and undergoing the normal procedures?

As with all such forces all over the world, the system allows promotion in recognition of exemplary performance. But it has to go through due process. In the case of the Nigerian Police Force, recommendation for exceptional promotions must be made to the Police Service Commission through the State Appraisal Promotion Committees and the National Appraisal Promotion Committee as applicable. The guidelines add that “there shall not be more than one special promotion (promotion in exceptional circumstances) for any one officer within a three-year period”. All those ordered to revert to their rightful ranks – 140 senior police officers in all – had not gone through due process.

The other 139 police officers are not raising hell; nor are they threatening that the police force would collapse unless they were restored to their undeserved heights. In fact, one of them, Haz Iwendi, is not in a position to protest, having answered the call of the Ultimate Policeman in the celestial realm.

But Ribadu’s media warriors have been literally setting newspaper pages ablaze with their propaganda. First, when the young man was sent on course, his loyalists said it was because the government wanted to kill the anti-corruption war. They proceeded to mount a sustained campaign (some of it bordering on libel) against Farida Waziri, the imminent successor to the chair of the EFCC. It was as if Mrs. Waziri, a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police who helped in training Ribadu while in active police service, was just a female armed robber commissioned by the Federal Government to bleed Nigeria dry. EFCC was dead without Ribadu, they said. But we are all witnesses to the giant strides EFCC has been making since Ribadu’s exit. Some of his erstwhile godfathers are themselves in the dock now. There was no way they could have been called to account for their alleged crimes if Ribadu was still in charge.

Nobody perceptive analyst is fooled by the media blitz meant to scare the government to reverse the recent decision of the Police Service Commission. The question that the Ribadu Fans’ Club has refused to answer is, what kind of country can we build on inequity (different measures for different folks)?

I do not pretend to be in a position to adjudge Ribadu’s level of competence as a police officer. I hear he is a good officer, like many of the 139 others affected by the recent order. But being good just shows that you are qualified for the job you are doing; it doesn’t mean that you have become a superman, he for whom all rules must be bent. The beauty of the exercise is that it was a WAZOBIA affair. The officers affected come from all the zones of the country.

One lesson that must be learnt in the current turn of events is the importance of ‘tomorrow’.  That is one word in the dictionary which many myopic slaves of power ignore to their peril. Tomorrow, the nemesis of kings and kinglets. Tomorrow, the undoer of deeds done in dark and secret places. Tomorrow the antithesis of what man had all along accepted as thesis.

Some people think tomorrow never comes, but it soon creeps in and catches up with them. Before our very eyes, yesterday’s men are finding out that expediency has its limits. It says something for the Yar’Adua administration that some of those affected are serving directly in the presidency. They could have been removed from the list if the former lord of the manor was still calling the shots. It is a credit to Yar’Adua that he has kept faith with his ‘rule of law’ mantra. Boys will eventually become men, but let them pass through the motions first – puberty, adolescence, manhood. Anyone who chooses to perpetually reside under the imagined cave of victimhood is welcome to his self-inflicted claustrophobia.

And what about the little matter of Emmanuel Nwude’s petition against Ribadu?

Nwude was the man arrested for alleged 419-related crimes. The man reportedly petitioned the president that his assets were auctioned at ridiculous prices by the EFCC under Ribadu while his case was pending at the Court of Appeal. The assets in question included the imposing multi-billion naira Russel Centre, Abuja; a property (18 flats) at 34, Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi; an eight-storey building at 70 Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos; and Nwude’s shares in Union Bank and Nigerian Bottling Company.

Nwude made several other allegations against Ribadu in his petition. No fair-minded person would take everything he hears as gospel truth. To tell the truth, I probably wouldn’t consent to buying a used car from Nwude. But I would want the authorities to separate the grain from the chaff by thoroughly investigating his allegation and causing the accounts and entire operations of the EFCC under Nuhu Ribadu to be comprehensively audited. In the mean time, let no one refer to what the Police Service Commission did recently as a demotion exercise; it was an attempt to restore order, pure and simple.

 

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2 Responses to “Ribadu: Restoration of Order, Not Demotion”

  1. Muyiwa says:

    Really,
    this is very funny. I wonder if you really pay attention to details at all? What great strides have been made by EFCC recently? What about the prosecution of Governors? Bode George was long overdue. Who did the investigation in the first place and found Bode George wanting?Yes Ribadu may have been used by the OBJ regime but we cannot deny that the man served his country. The fact is first he was asked to unceremoniously proceed on a course next he was then demoted to a point where he was now not qualified to take the course? Does that seem sane to you? Obciously better minds can see what is going on anyway. Time will tell.

  2. Udom, Bassey says:

    Are your insinuating that the PSC , the IG who recommeded Ribadu’s promotion and confirmed by the PSC are ignorants of the rules regarding special promotion? His promotion was legal , the Court will restore his rights and be vindicated

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