Undie Adie, the Plateau State police commissioner who was announced removed yesterday, has been reinstated, the police chief told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday
Mr Adie, Plateau police commissioner since September 2017, was replaced by Bala Ciroma in a directive issued by Inspector-General, Ibrahim Idris, on Tuesday morning.
Mr Adie confirmed his redeployment to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday morning, and the police spokesperson in the state subsequently issued a statement confirming the development.
The replacement was initially deemed a response to the weekend killings of over 100 people in the state, a development that has sparked renewed anger across the country. He told PREMIUM TIMES he was directed to immediately hand over to Mr Ciroma and report at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
But on Wednesday morning, amidst reports that he was sacked and not replaced as he claimed, Mr Adie told PREMIUM TIMES he had been asked to remain in Plateau as the commissioner, and Mr Ciroma handed over the office back to him on Tuesday night.
“My IG graciously rescinded the decision by himself,” Mr Adie told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone, Tuesday morning. “I was asked to take over back and continue the work here.”
He said security situation in the state was under control, and the police have received supports to aide their efforts.
“The situation is under control,” the police chief said. “We have more personnel deployed and monitoring is going on with more material, too.”
A statement by the Plateau police on Wednesday said the Inspector general of police resversed the deployment Tuesday night.
“The Inspector General of police Ibrahim Idrus has reversed the earlier deployment of CP Udie Adie t force headquarters, Abuja back to Plateau state command Jos,” the statement signed by spokesperson Terna Tyopev.
Mr. Tyopev said the former commissioner of police who succeeded Mr Adie, Mr Ciroma had been redeployed back to the force headquarters.
“Commissioner of police CP Bala Ciroma has since handed over and returned the the force headquarters Abuja.”
According to the press release the reversal of the deployment was due to Mr Adie’s knowledge about Plateau state.
“Moreover, it is the reasoning of the Inspector general of police Ibrahim Idris that CP Undie Adie understands the terrain better, as such he is to remain and steer the ship off the tides,” the statement said.
He denied the earlier deployment was punitive.
“The Nigeria police Plateau state command Js, wishes to inform member of the public that , posting and deployment of police personnel is at the discretion of the Inspector general of police, and it is normal routine in the force” It explained.
Jimoh Moshood, a spokesperson for the Force headquarters, did not immediately return requests for comments about the confusion around the officer that would lead in the aftermath of the killings in Plateau.
Already, Joshak Habila, the deputy inspector-general of police in charge of operations, has been asked to relocate to the state as part of the initial police response to the killings, which occurred between June 22 and 24.
Mr Habila was asked to relocate to Benue State following deadly attacks linked to herdsmen in January. It was unclear when he left the state and returned to Force headquarters, where his office is domiciled.
On Monday, Mr Habila relocated to Plateau from Abuja, where he had been for several weeks before the directive, according to a source at the Force headquarters.
How much impact Mr Habila’s presence in Plateau would have was yet to be seen, especially as killings continued unabated throughout his stay in Benue, said political and security analyst, Shola Olubanjo.
“When the police announced that they relocated the DIG Operations to Plateau, I immediately knew that (they) have no new strategy to combat the killings,” Mr Olubanjo said. “What did Joshak Habila achieve in Benue for the many weeks he was there as the coordinator of police security?”
Mr Olubanjo said, going by Mr Habila’s antecedent in Benue, Nigerians should not expect him to pursue the killers into their hideouts.
“When he was in Benue, he stayed at a hotel in Makurdi, which is the capital,” the analyst said. “In Plateau also, no one should look for him anywhere outside of Jos.”
Mr Habila told PREMIUM TIMES in late January, a few weeks after he arrived in Benue, that he was coordinating security efforts from Makurdi. In some cases, the police chief would deny knowledge of an attack on a remote village, even after it had been confirmed by the police commissioner there.
Mr Habila did not return requests for comments about the concerns Wednesday morning.
Although security agencies are still working to establish those responsible for the latest killings in Plateau, members of the Miyetti Allah pastoralist group have linked them to an alleged rustling of cows as well as deadly attacks on Fulani residents in the state.
They made similar claims when suspected herdsmen stormed a village in Agatu parts of Benue State in 2016, killing at least 500 villagers.
President Muhammadu Buhari commiserated with the people of Benue following the attack at the time, and promised actions.
He was in Plateau yesterday with similar assurances to the residents, but many are skeptical about the administration’s ability to curb the killings and bring perpetrators to justice.
In some quarters, the president has been accused of being lenient towards the killers, saying he had been reluctant to deal with them headlong unlike how he unleashed state security mechanisms to crush separatist uprising in the Igbo-dominated South-east.
Mr Buhari rejected the allegations, saying he was a victim himself and charged security agencies to be ruthless against violent herdsmen, especially those caught with lethal weapons.
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