President Muhammadu Buhari had on January 9, 2018, ordered Idris to relocate to Benue state where clashes between farmers and herdsmen had claimed over 70 lives.
The IGP acted on the order the next day as he moved to Benue but he did not stay there – he reportedly directed the Deputy Inspector-General, operations, Joshiak Habila to take over while he moved to Nasarawa State.
A photo has now emerged, showing Idris cutting a cake on the occasion of his 59th birthday which was on January 15, five days after he left his duty post in Benue.
It is, however, not clear if the birthday get-together took place in Abuja or Nasarawa.
Over 50 more people have been reported dead in attacks carried out by herdsmen in the state since Idris’ departure.
The IGP’s inaction came to light on Monday, March 12, when President Buhari visited Benue two months after he gave the order.
Buhari was told that Idris did not spend up to 24 hours in the state.
“I’m not aware that the I-G did not spend 24 hours in the state as directed by me, I am getting to know in this meeting,” the President had said.
As usual, criticisms have trailed the development, with the opposition reiterating that Buhari is incompetent and out of tune with the realities in the country.
Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, who is an ardent critic of the Buhari administration, said the President is ignorant of what goes on under his nose.
“What manner of a President will give order to the IGP on January 9, only to be telling Nigerians on March 12 (2 months after) that he never knew that the IGP disobeyed his order?” Fayose asked.
Also, a former governor of Benue state, George Akume, who was present at the meeting Buhari had with stakeholders in the state, said the Tiv people are angry with the President.
Akume said that Buhari’s body language towards the killings in Benue upsets the ethnic group.
The President was in the state for a one-day official visit. He met with a select group of Benue indigenes before proceeding to Nasarawa state.