Okiro, Arase in war of supremacy


All seems not to be well between the current Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, and a retired Inspector-General of Police, Sir Mike Okiro, who is the chairman, Police Service Commission.

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Checks by The Point revealed that the senior police officers, from the outset, had a robust understanding on how best to position the police in line with world–class standards. But now, according to findings, the tiny thread binding the duo’s relationship appears to have snapped.

Investigations by The Point also revealed that the working relationship among the Police, especially the leadership, has been bad in recent years, leading to image problems.

“This problem between the IGP, his deputy and others in the management team has always been there. The Police will continue to suffer leadership problems, particularly in the hands of bad managers that cannot fix the unregulated administrative lacunas; such as police transfers, promotions, allowances, and housing among others. This is the core of the present face–off,” a top police source told our correspondent.

According to the source, when Mr. Tafa Balogun became the Inspector- General of Police, he promised and actually effected radical changes. He said some police officers, who had been on a particular rank for over 10 years, were promoted and salaries were paid promptly.

“Then, it was very glaring that Balogun and his deputy, Ehindero, were not ‘seeing eye to eye.”

Aside from the in-fighting, the radical changes being championed by Balogun were short-lived when he unceremoniously left the scene,” the source noted. The exit of Tafa Balogun, paved the way for Mr. Sunday Gabriel Ehindero, a mathematician cum lawyer.

What the Ogbagi-Akoko, Ondo State-born Ehindero met on the ground was, however, quite overwhelming, according to reports. He reportedly tried as much as he could, especially in the area of the basic qualifications needed to get enlisted into the police force, and the upgrading of the Police Academy, Kano to a university status, amongst other laudable ideas.

It was learnt that Okiro was not, however, happy over how Ehindero deprived him from paying estacodes to police officers who had returned from foreign missions. The two senior police officers apparently worked together under tension until Ehindero’s retirement, having attained the retirement age.

“The sour relationship between the duo, as a matter of fact, later led to a petition against Ehindero before the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission,” a source told The Point.

Meanwhile, the latest face-off between Ehindero and Okiro, according to a reliable source at the Force Headquarters, “has to do with who takes the glory for the positive changes within the police force.”

Although Arase is the current Inspector-General of Police, Okiro, as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, reportedly sees himself as the focal point for “every police officer, from the rank of Assistant Superintendent, if they must get further promotions,” the source said.

It was further learnt that, while about 75 per cent of the police officers were pleased with the leadership of Arase, who they see as an apostle of change, about 15 per cent tow the line of Okiro as the man who brought the desirable change. Ten per cent are reportedly neutral.

However, enquiries at the Force Public Relations Department could not yield results, as none of the officers contacted was ready to comment on the matter. “You want me to comment on my oga; impossible. I do not have any other job. Please, let the sleeping dogs lie….I do not want any trouble,” a police officer, who would not want his name in print, said.