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DCP Abba Kyari’s 96 hours

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BY ZAYYAD MUHAMMAD

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There is a popular saying; Life is a flip. Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Abba Kyari just witnessed one. Just within 96 hours, his life flipped. Just within 96 hours, his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was made public. Nigeria’s inspector-general of police, Usman Alkali Baba, set up a four-man special investigation panel (SIP) headed by Joseph Egbunike, the deputy inspector-general of police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), to investigate the indictment.

The IGP recommended Kyari’s suspension, the Police Service Commission (PSC) suspended Kyari, some senior police officers were reported to have scrambled to replace Kyari. The IGP appointed DCP Tunji Disu as the new head of the elite force — Police Intelligence Response Team IGP-IRT — replacing Kyari.

Six big ‘moments’ in just 96 hours. Just 96 hours changed many things about Kyari’s 20 years promising career. This is a strong indication that some public jobs are difficult. When one accepts them, he or she has chosen to be a ‘saint’ and must labour to appear as one.

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Public trust is the key in such kinds of jobs. Once eroded, it can never be restored. For example, top security agents, anti-corruption czars, and people holding ‘delicate’ positions should rarely talk in public, but when they do, they should carefully choose their words. They should not wine and dine with just anybody, attend lavish wedding ceremonies, be present at extravagant events, traditional title investiture, or personal project fundraising ceremonies, then expect complete public trust. One should be in a self-imposed incommunicado – what a life to live in!

However, as humans, we have our weaknesses, but the point is that people holding delicate jobs can’t preach fasting in the morning and practice gluttony at night. They have chosen to be ‘saints’, and must labour to appear so.

On the other hand, one of the big lessons to public office holders from this Kyari-Hushpuppi saga is poor public relations (PR) management. Kyari’s first public response was just a big mess and unprofessional — it complicated the issue. The same mistake was made by a current minister in his response to an accusation against him.

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To be fair, before his arrest by the FBI, Ramon Idris, aka Hushpuppi, was a normal young businessman. He has interacted with many high-profile Nigerians. In fact, Hushpuppi was a role model, inspiration, and motivational speaker to many gullible young Nigerians.

In just 96 hours, many things about Kyari’s 20 years promising career changed.

So many Nigerians have commented for and against Kyari- all with convincing and valid points. However, many people wish and pray that DCP Abba Kayri’s next flip in life will be a positive one, that he will come out clean and more committed to his job. His dilemma is heartbreaking, but the law must be respected. The inspector-general of police (IGP) has promised Nigerians that the police will strictly follow the rule of law and the sanctity of the probe. The IGP also promised absolute respect for all the rights and privileges of DCP Abba Kyari throughout the period of the investigations.

Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Abuja and can be reached via zaymohd@gmail.com, 0803607090

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