Nigeria sacks police boss after separatist attack on security command

Muhammadu Buhari

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Photo credit: Pool

Abuja. Less than 24 hours after separatists launched surprise attacks against a Nigerian prison and police command headquarters in the South Eastern part of the country, Inspector General (IG) of Police Mr Mohammed Adamu has been sacked. 

Mr Adamu, 60, was fired while he was on a tour of Owerri, the Imo State capital, to assess the damage done in the attacks carried out by separatists. The government, through police affairs minister Maigari Dingyadi, announced that he has been replaced with Mr Usman Alkali Baba, the Deputy Inspector General of Police. 

The tenure of the embattled IG had expired on February 1, 2021 but was renewed for three months by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Mr Dingyadi explained that Mr Adamu's removal was to rejig and enforce proper security. 

Gunmen belonging to Eastern Security Network (ESN), a militia group of the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), yesterday attacked the Imo State Police Command headquarters and the local prison. The separatists looted the prison's armoury, burned 38 vehicles and set free 1,844 inmates. 

The government is reportedly thoroughly embarrassed that a State police command was destroyed and vehicles set ablaze without any resistance. 

Ignored warning of attacks

The daring attack is thought to have led to the IG's sack just before the end of his tenure. It is also believed to have been caused by refusal of the police to heed warnings of impending attacks. 

The secret police (Directorate of State Services) and the Nigeria's Intelligence Agency had earlier warned that an attack was to be carried out by IPOB members fighting for the re-enactment of the sovereign state for Southeast, a motive which caused a three-year civil war between 1967 and 1970. 

Mr Adamu has also been blamed for leaving the commissioners of police (CPs) and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) to their own devices without proper supervision and funding, as well as the shoddy handling of the re-organisation of his forces after the anti-police protests (EndSARS) in October 2020.