What was a police spokesperson thinking when he insulted a governor?
Police spokesperson Jimoh Moshood had no troubles insulting Gov Samuel Ortom on national television. He erred.
Ortom had called for the resignation of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who had told lawmakers that the anti-grazing law being implemented in Benue State, should be suspended.
According to media reports, Idris blamed the anti-grazing law for the herdsmen/farmers clashes that have claimed hundreds of lives in the north central region of Nigeria.
Police Spokesperson Moshood was defending his boss in the studio when he said, "It is irresponsible for the Governor of a State to have called for the resignation of the IG because he's supposed to be the one to resign first for not being able to sustain peace in his State.
"You don't join issues with a drowning man…"
Moshood went beyond his brief here and Terver Akase, spokesperson of Gov Ortom, was right to ask the police officer to withdraw his statement.
Moshood's unfortunate choice of words brings into sharp focus the State police debate that has been raging forever. If Governors were in control of police commands within their borders, a police spokesperson won't pour odium on a serving Governor on national television.
And Moshood should have known better than blame a Governor who can only work with police officers assigned to him from Abuja.
Moshood's haughty posturing is one more reason why we have to consider restructuring this misnomer we call a federation.
A Governor who is mourning the deaths of hundreds of his people and who is chief security officer of his State only in name, shouldn't be the subject of nasty words from a police vuvuzela.
Ortom is well within his rights to ask for the resignation of officers who should stop the violence from happening in the first place, if he feels that those officers haven't been up to their tasks.
Moshood should tender an apology to the people of Benue State and the Governor for running his mouth at a time he should be zipping them.
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