IGP: Trapped in Gongosu and Edidare kingdom

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari extended the tenure of office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu by three months. He also nominated erstwhile service chiefs to the Senate as non-career ambassadors-designate.

The extension of the IG’s tenure was announced by the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dingyadi. He said Buhari found the elongation of the IGP’s tenure necessary so as to ensure a robust and efficient process of the appointment of a new IG.

The president’s twin actions took me on an immediate shuttle into D.O. Fagunwa’s classic, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole (brave hunter in a forest of a thousand daemons) where Yoruba’s own Charles Dickens told the story of a town inhabited by fools called Edidare where a more talented fool was their king. Rotimi Ogunjobi, in his Edidare, even took the Fagunwa epic a notch further. In that epic poem, Ogunjobi carved the burlesque of a deteriorating country called Edidare, with Omugodimeta (triple idiocy) as their king. The country of Èdìdàré carved by Ogunjobi reeks of indescribable filth and its inhabitants’ suffering and hopeless existence under a dynasty of idiotic kings and gluttonous parliamentarians are mind-boggling. The vices of their kings are of epidemic proportion and they govern with unchivalrous stupidity.

After reading the story government’s two decisions last week, I was transfixed. I wasn’t sure that I had not, all of a sudden, gone on a visit to the country of Edidare. I began to commune with Fagunwa and Ogunjobi’s fictive Gongosu and Omugodimeji characters. Do the people in authority not believe that Nigerians live in Edidare and that we are a coterie of idiots who have no propensity to think for ourselves?

How did Buhari, with a presidential history of being decidedly laid back and who drawls in presidential policies like okra soup, suddenly take on the hubris of a cheetah, when it came to Buratai and co? His police chief, who had served for 35 years and whose date of retirement, in a place not Edidare kingdom, should be on the president’s table with an alarm buzzing daily a year before the date, needed extension “to allow him to get into the process of appointing a new one.”

What then could have got the Nigerian okra presidency to nominate service chiefs who overstayed in office about five years apiece, spending 36-40 years in office, 78 hours after their sack, as ambassadors? If we were not a country of Edidare, the jigsaw puzzle of why this cheetah speed nomination had to come and why the service chiefs’ retention, years more than the norm, should by now have unraveled. The fear of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is the beginning of wisdom! Only Edidare people would not know that by giving Buratai and others diplomatic duvet to cover their alleged crimes against humanity, the king hoped that they would not be tried in Hague.

But how does Buratai, who earlier called the bluff of ICC, hope to live outside the country? In October last year, he had said he never went outside the country in a long while. If you ask me, I think the joke of the king is actually on us. If we are not a people living in Edidare, we should tell the king that we know the contours of his lies.


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