President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Buhari seized the opportunity of the encounter to query Idris for flouting his directive that he should relocate to Benue State following the killings recorded in the state.
The meeting was said to have lasted about 30 minutes after which Idris left the Presidential Villa without talking to anybody.
A source in the Presidency told journalists last night, “Police IG, Idris, was the first caller this (Tuesday) morning at the Presidential Villa apparently to explain his flouting of the President’s order to remain in Benue at the height of the clash between farmers and herdsmen.
“President Buhari who is believed to have summoned the IG, received him in a private audience. The IG left about 30 minutes after without speaking to anyone.
“It is believed the President demanded for a full report on police operations till date after which he will make further decisions.
“There is a renewed resolve to make sure that the killings and bad security situation in Benue State abate.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed the meeting to our correspondent.
Shehu however refused to disclose details of the meeting.
Meanwhile, the Presidency had earlier on Tuesday said President Buhari would first ask Idris to defend himself against the allegation of disobeying a presidential order before taking any action on the allegation.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, had said this while answering questions during a radio programme, Political Platform, on RayPower FM.
Buhari had during a meeting with stakeholders in Makurdi during his visit to Benue State on Monday said he was not aware that Idris ignored his instruction to relocate to the state when the recent killings started.
“But I did not know that the IG did not stay in the state. I am getting to know this at this meeting. I am quite surprised,” the President had said when he was told that Idris did not spend 24 hours in the state.
Adesina said it would not have been proper for Buhari to act on the matter immediately the allegation was made.
He said being a fair-minded man; the President would give Idris the opportunity to defend himself against the allegation before taking the next step.
“The President should act immediately and not hearing from the other side? That will not be proper. A father does not act like that.
“Even in the home, if there is an allegation from somebody, you listen to the other side before you will do whatever you will do.
“The IG, as of yesterday(Monday) I knew was out of the country. That allegation came from Benue people. Knowing the President as a fair-minded man, he is going to listen to the IG, he is going to ask him to defend himself and then the next step.”
On why it should be the people that would draw the President’s attention to the IG’s attitude when he is supposed to know how his appointees carry out his orders, Adesina said it meant that Buhari was not omniscient.
The presidential spokesman added,
“It simply tells you that the President is not omniscient. No human being is omniscient, it is only God that is omniscient: He knows all things.
“The President said last week that he had his channels of getting information apart from security reports he receives as President but it does not mean that he gets every information under the sun.
“Even in the best countries in the world, the superpowers, there are still security breaches.”
Adesina also faulted those saying the IG episode had further exposed the President as not being in control of his government.
He said the fact remained that Buhari was in full charge of the government and he had been running it efficiently.