Nigeria sacks police chief following attacks on prison, police headquarters

The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu addressing journalist at the state house in Marina, during the Inspector General Police visit to Lagos on November 3, 2020. The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, visit Lagos urged men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force in Lagos State not to be discouraged by the destruction and killings of their men during #EndSARS protest in the state, the IG admitted that the morale of the police was down after the ugly incident, in which six cops were lynched and 36 critically injured (Photo by Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Nigeria’s Inspector General (IG) of Police Mohammed Adamu was sacked on Tuesday less than a day after armed separatists launched surprise attacks against a Nigerian prison and police command headquarters in the country’s southeast region.

FILE PHOTO: Former Nigerian Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu addressing journalists during a past event. (Photo by Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Adamu’s sacking came as he toured the capital of Imo State, Owerri, to review the extent of the damage in the wake of the attacks which saw the separatists loot the prison’s armoury, burn 38 vehicles and release 1,844 inmates.

The government has yet to give a reason for Adamu’s firing.

Usman Alkali Baba, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to replace Adamu, Police Affairs Minister Maigari Dingyadi announced.

Baba assumed formally assumed office on Wednesday with a pledge to “harness all human and material resources of the Force towards improving security, safety, law and order.”

Dingyadi added that the change at the top was aimed at restructuring and enforcing adequate security.

Adamu had been due to retire at the beginning of February but then had his term extended by a further three months by Buhari.

The 60-year-old’s tenure was plagued by several insecurity incidents, including the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolchildren and the killing of more than 100 people in an attack on farmworkers in the restive Borno state.

The operations of Nigeria’s police force also came under scrutiny in October last year following widespread allegations of police brutality leading to nationwide protests with the hashtag #EndSARS going viral.

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