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Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has said President Muhammadu Buhari would first hear from the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on the allegation of disobeying a presidential order to relocate to Benue State, before taking any action on the matter.
Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said this when he spoke during a radio programme, Political Platform, on RayPower FM, in Abuja, yesterday.
Buhari had, during a meeting with stakeholders in Makurdi, during his state visit to Benue, on Monday, expressed surprise that the IGP did not adhere to his instructions to relocate to the state, in the aftermath of the January 1, 2018 killings.
Yesterday, 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 will give Idris the opportunity to defend himself before taking the next step.
“The president should act immediately and not hear 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 at yesterday (Monday), 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 who will draw the president’s attention to the IG’s disobedience of the order, when he was supposed to know whether his appointees were carrying out his orders or not, Adesina replied that Buhari, although he is president, “is not omniscient.”
The presidential spokesman added: “No human being is omniscient, it is only God that is omniscient; He knows all things.
“The president said last week that he has 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 super powers, there are still security breaches.”
Adesina disagreed that the IG’s disobedience has further exposed the president as not being in control of his government.
He contended that the fact remains that Buhari is in full charge of government and is running it efficiently.
“Those who said that have a right to their opinion. This is a democracy.
“We don’t stifle opinions. Comments are free, facts are sacred. Those comments are not facts, we know the facts and we stand by the facts. The fact is that the president is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and he runs his government hands-on and efficiently.”
He said contrary to opinions, Buhari’s ongoing trips to troubled states are not belated and reiterated that the president decided that the time was ripe for visit to the states, after he had received and studied reports on the various clashes. He added that the reports came first so that Buhari could have a balanced and proper perspective of what actually happened, before embarking on the trips.
Adesina also said the trips were meant to be sympathy and condolence visits, based on proper information.
The presidential spokesman also disagreed with opinions that Buhari should have visited the bereaved families in Benue.
He insisted that those Buhari met with were stakeholders from across the divide, including Tiv, Idoma, Fulani, and others.