The Sun newspaper in Nigeria reported today (March 4, 2008) that the Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro said, while visiting his personnel in Lagos yesterday that he was ready to die for President Umaru Yar’Adua.
To quote the newspaper:
He urged his men to be prepared to die for the president and the nation.Explaining why he was ready to make the supreme sacrifice, Okiro told over 500 officers at the Zone “2” Command Headquarters, Onikan, Lagos that Yar’Adua was a listening president, who had been granting every request of the police.
He said: “If someone pays you good wages and takes care of your welfare, you must be ready to die for that person. Now policemen should stop collecting N20 on the road because the president is doing his best for us and we must also be at our best.”
Pray, how did we get such sycophants as this to take up a high responsibility as this? Okiro and his likes should be informed that even though they are appointed by the president, their allegiance is to the State called Nigeria and NOT to the president or presidency.
I recall that one of Okiro’s predecessors in office, Tafa Balogun was fond of referring to then President Obasanjo as ‘My Father, Sir’.
The call by some of us to reform the Nigeria Police by insulating the office of IGP from influence by the political class, especially the president becomes even more crucial now than ever.
I doubt whether an IGP whose tenure is guaranteed and whose tenure is even longer than that of a sitting president would have any need to say a thing like this.