I have forgotten the last time I had such a good laugh. That attempt to read a prepared speech by IGP Ibrahim Idris rectified the ‘last time I had a good laugh’ situation for me.
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I had heard talk, online mostly, about how IGP Ibrahim Idris fumbled dramatically while delivering a speech a couple of days ago at an event in Kano. I didn’t bother to investigate or listen to it because top government officials in Nigeria are never famous for their eloquence.
Sometimes, some of them speak or read like illiterates who took a bad crash course in the English language as preparation for the speech.
But you know how things work when you are constantly online. Trending stories have to be investigated or else they become an irritating itch that would not go unless you scratch it.
My ‘scratch it‘ moment came when a Facebook friend posted a robust response in defense of IGP Ibrahim Idris. Well, it was more of a defense based on the police head honcho’s educational and operational background.
This is what he said:
Inspector-General Of Police who hails from Kutigi, Lavun in Niger State, was born on 15th of January 1959, and was enlisted into the Nigerian Police Force in 1984, after graduating from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria with a Bachelors degree in Agriculture. He also holds a degree in Law from the University of Maiduguri. AIG Idris has served in various commands and formations in the Nigerian Police Force, working in the Police Mobile Force for17 years as Unit Commander, Squadron Commander, and Commandant. He served as Commissioner of Police in Nasarawa and Kano States and was also the Commissioner of Police in charge of Police Mobile Force at the Force Headquarters. He was also at the United Nations Mission in Liberia and East Timor and was awarded “Medal of Merit” by the President of the Republic of East Timor in recognition of his service. AIG Idris, who was in charge of Operations at the Force Headquarters before his appointment as the Acting Inspector-General of Police, will act in that capacity pending his confirmat…….This is not a man that cannot read abeg. Let’s cut the Nigerian Police some slack. Something is definitely wrong somewhere and we should be wise enough to know so.
Okay. That is impressive. It is clear though my friend doesn’t know promotions and appointments in the security services in Nigeria are hardly based on your eloquence in the English Language.
All sorts of characters with different levels of ineptitude in English Language get to have fulfilling careers in the police. Interaction with them will bear that out especially those officers from the northern part of the country.
Like all trending news, the reactions to this mess by IGP Ibrahim Idris have come in thick and fast. Naturally, most of them reflect badly on the President Buhari who appointed him.
An unfortunately large number of the populace believes the President doesn’t have a secondary school certificate. Following from that, the conclusion is that he must be illiterate.
This is why, according to some people, he didn’t see anything wrong with appointing an illiterate to become the IGP.
Okay, let’s not go into whether the President has a certificate or the definition of illiterate is seriously stretched.
Let’s just stick to the fact that IGPs are not picked off the shelf like buying something in a mall. They are selected from a pool of senior police officers of the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP).
So for this people, the question to them is who promoted Ibrahim Idris to the position of DIGP. For that matter, who had been promoting him all those years from a junior police officer right up to the point he was next in line to become the IGP?
Definitely not President Buhari. There must be an association of illiterate power brokers in the country. And that must include elements in the last administration that promoted Ibrahim Idris through the ranks.
From the presidency came a response that the video was doctored just to embarrass poor IGP Idris. This is ludicrous. That video wasn’t doctored any more than the original articles on Nigeria News are plagiarized.
There was nothing doctored there. Shame on Mrs. Abike Dabiri, who spoke on behalf presidency, for coming up with such a lame excuse.
So what really happened?
For context, I listened to IGP Idris reading a speech on a different occasion. It was at the defense of the 2018 Police budget at the National Assembly.
He was as articulate as you would expect from a Police officer. It was nothing like the mess that happened in Kano.
I believe the problem had to do with the prepared speech. Whoever typed the final draft did not cross-check the printed copy to make sure it was okay.
The IGP’s aides must have been in a hell of a hurry to pass him that speech without reading it first.
Unfortunately, IGP Ibrahim Idris, like most top public officers in Nigeria, can’t present a speech to an official gathering without reading from a prepared text.
A good orator would have simply thrown away that piece and improvised an impromptu speech right off the top of their heads. The lesson from this episode for our leaders is that all of them must take an intensive class in the art of public speaking.
Speeches read from a prepared text are always boring anyway.
I know heads would roll over this mishap. But as for me, I’m raising a toast to whoever was responsible for that speech. The laughter that speech elicited from me turned my day from average to awesome. It was that funny.