Misau: A Whistle Blower Or Rabble Rouser

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By Adekola Rahman –

Last week, Chairman of Senate Committee on Navy and member of the Senate Committee on Police, Mohammed Isah Hamma Misau, dominated the limelight for exposing what he referred to as large-scale corruption in the Nigeria Police Force.

His allegations that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris is collecting bribes ranging from N10million to N15million from Commissioners of Police, State Mobile Commanders and State Protection Units (SPU) Commanders, for favorable postings made Nigerians breathless and speechless.

Misau who left the Force as Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) also alleged that the Police make up to N10billion monthly from oil companies, banks and private individuals who enjoy special protection from the security agency.

The lawmaker who represents Bauchi Central Senatorial District in the upper chamber of the National Assembly enjoyed generous and flattering media attention while reeling out these “weighty issues” of massive corruption in the Police Force.

His fans commended his “courage” for exposing alleged corruption in his former constituency, ranging from promotion racketeering by the Mike Okiro-led Police Service Commission (PSC) to allegations of massive corruption, which he said had the “potentials to undermine the operational capacity of the force”.

While Senator Misau’s allegations have sparked renewed calls for the cleansing of the nation’s Police Force, questions are also being asked not only as to the veracity of the Senator’s claims but on whether such claims would pass the public interest test.

Sources familiar with the issues raised by Misau said the Bauchi lawmaker started his revelations after he failed to secure juicy postings for his course mates who are now Superintendents of Police (SPs) and Chief Superintendents of Police (CSPs).

Again, while speaking on Sunday Politics on Channels Television on Sunday, August 27, 2017, the Senator confessed that for many years, he partook in the business of receiving millions of Naira from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) on behalf of the Nigeria Police Force while he provided security cover for the oil company. One is then tempted to ask: While DSP Misau was enjoying his own share of the booty, which he didn’t deny; did it not occur to him that wrong doings were being perpetrated by the Police against the Nigerian public?

Therefore, is Misau a whistle blower or a rabble rouser? A whistle blower is not motivated by personal reasons or selfish interests.

Whistle blowers are primarily influenced by public interest; they are not driven by reasons of revenge because they failed to secure juicy postings for their friends. Whistle blowers are persons with strong character who can die for the public interest.

Conversely, a rabble rouser is a person who speaks with the intension of inflaming the emotions of a crowd of people, typically for political reasons. They are usually not driven by any ethical duty to expose evil against the public interest, and therefore, private motivation, such as the one being displayed by Senator Misau is a basic attribute of rabble rousers!

To drive home my point, a whistle blower is motivated by a principle, but a rabble rouser is not. This difference is, therefore, important in determining where Senator Misau belongs.

In fact, whistle blowing is so recognized as a sacred public duty that those involved are protected by law from reprisals. Does Misau fall into this category, in all honesty? The answer is no, and this explains why the case is losing momentum.

But perhaps the most important reason Senator Misau is no longer taken seriously is the fact that he has nothing tangible to substantiate his claims in spite of calls by well-meaning Nigerians to bring forward evidence that the Inspector General of Police was involved in the habit of collecting up to N10billion monthly on behalf of the Force from oil companies, banks and private individuals who enjoy special protection from the security agency.

The Senator’s inability to substantiate his allegations against police authorities has given bite to the position by top police officers that the lawmaker was allegedly projecting his in-law, who is an Assistant Inspector General of Police (IGP), currently teaching at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) to take over from Ibrahim Idris as IGP.

Some have even said that the purpose of Sen. Misau’s projection of his in-law for the position of the IGP is to allegedly clear his criminal records in the Force. From available record, it is said, that Senator Isah Misau, who is an Ex- Police Officer; with Police number AP No. 57300 left the Force at the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police after being charged with several acts of serious misconducts, unprofessional wrong doings contrary to discipline and other discreditable behaviors unbecoming of a Police officer.

The Police Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood told a crowded press conference in Abuja that Senator Misau’s case was under Pending Disciplinary Matter (PDM), and was to appear before Force Disciplinary Committee (FDC) before he hurriedly exited unceremoniously from the Force.

Whether Senator Misau deserted the Police Force or he resigned following due process, is immaterial in the face of damming allegations of corruption against his former bosses. What is important is for Misau who has made weighty allegations to come forward with evidence to prove his claims or forever remain silent.

So far the lawmaker has not shown that he has any tissue of evidence to substantiate his claims. When he appeared on Channels Television last Sunday, Nigerians stayed glued to their TV sets with the hope that the man would prove his allegations and shame the devil!

Nigerians waited with bated breath to see him appear on the popular Sunday Politics to defend his allegations against his Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission (PSC), but their hopes were dashed.

Disappointingly, Misau started stammering, while trying to put the burden of proof on some anonymous sources who told him that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris was collecting bribes ranging from N10million to N15million from Commissioners of Police, State Mobile Commanders and State Protection Units (SPU) Commanders, for favorable postings.

Didn’t Misau disappoint his own fans and indeed well-meaning Nigerians who waited with enthusiasm for the lawmaker’s side of the story? And now that he has disappointed even his arduous supporters, what would Misau tell his fans for not pursuing the fight to logical conclusion?

With so many questions begging for answers from Senator Hamma Misau, only time will tell if indeed the federal lawmaker is a hero or a villain, a whistle blower or a rabble rouser.

–  Rahman wrote in from Abuja