President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday that he opted to retain the immediate past Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, because of his high level intelligence and competence.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina at a book launch in Lagos, Buhari said he retained Arase, not because of his strategy and tactics as a police but, because of Arase’s intellect and capacity as an operation person.
The president said, at the public presentation of Cascade of Change…, a book written by Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, that he was impressed by the efficiency and operational style of the recently retired police boss.
Buhari spoke at a farewell dinner held in honour of the immediate past IGP, he said Arase had expected to be sacked before the end of his tenure, but he thought better of the general expectation.
“Arase told the president it was very strange for him to have been invited for a farewell dinner because, what we know in Nigeria is that, you are sacked on the pages of newspapers.”
According to Adesina, Arase also had the fear that, since, he was inherited by Buhari’s administration, he was not sure of being retained; so, everyday, he had the trepidation he would hear he had been removed.
Further, Adesina said: “When it was the turn of the president to speak, he explained why he kept Arase as IGP. He said he saw the quality of his mind and he saw the quality of things he had written.
“You know Arase has many publications to his credit and he also saw his capacity as an operations person and he decided to keep him till his tenure expired,” he said, adding that
Buhari appreciates sound mind and intellect and that shows the goodwill he has for Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the author of the book.
The spokesman went on to praise Ayorinde, who was a veteran journalist before his appointment and urged Nigerians to emulate him and always contribute to knowledge.
Also at the occasion, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State lauded Ayorinde’s contributions and participation in public discourse, especially in his capacity as the arrowhead of the media and strategy team during his gubernatorial campaign.
“He represents a generation of conscious journalists who have committed to working towards a better society. We are proud to have him in the Lagos State Executive and he has been involved in various stages in the implementation of our Change Agenda.
“He has deployed his professional skills, competence and experience in promoting our socio-political reforms through a liberal and focused policy implementation strategy.”
The governor used the opportunity to re-state his administration’s determination to take the state to the next level, and make it a globally competitive city-state.
“In the last one year, we have laid the foundation to make Lagos a globally competitive city-state. In the coming years, we will build on this foundation to move Lagos to the next level, a level of first class infrastructure, services, economic growth and opportunities for all,” he said.
Ambode, who noted that the state has the privilege of housing the largest collection of media houses in Nigeria, canvassed support of every journalist, editor, columnist and blogger in the development of the state.
“Our government will always do its part and we call on the media to be our partner as we build a Lagos State where everybody has a voice, a chance and opportunities,” he said.
The governor commended Ayorinde, saying the publication will enhance knowledge “as well as shed more light on issues of public discourse and enrich policy design and implementation process.”
Chairman on the occasion and former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba said in the last one year, Ambode has silently embarked on massive transformation of the state. Osoba said he was happy that the administration has continued in the tradition of excellence that the state has always been known for.
He appreciated the clearing of Falomo Roundabout in Ikoyi, the ongoing dualisation of Epe-Ijebu Road, among other infrastructural projects in the state.
Professor Pat Utomi, also recalled the early days of Ambode in office and said he was initially misconstrued to lack the capacity to lead the state, “but, in no time, he proved critics wrong.”
Former managing director of Concord Newspapers, Dr. Doyin Abiola, expressed pride in the role Lagos has always played as the centre of excellence that produces people of excellence.
“I have never met the governor and I have never had any discussion with him but, from what he has been doing so far, it is clear that he was prepared for the job and he has been moving from step to step. I have always wondered how Lagos survived when the local government allocation of the state was withheld by the federal government.
“I could not understand it and it was said that governor Ambode successfully managed the account of the state at that time and so, I want to commend them for the good works they are doing and urge them to continue,” she said.

READ ALSO  Woman to pay $60,000 damages to ex-husband for deceit