as police launch probe, threaten bloggers’ arrest
Oyetunji Abioye, Adelani Adepegba, Gbenro Adeoye and Afeez Hanafi
A Liberty Television journalist, Aminu Nurudeen, suspected to have posted the viral video showing the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, struggling to read a speech at a public event in Kano, has gone into hiding, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.
Impeccable sources told Saturday PUNCH that the Kano State Police Command invited the reporter to its office immediately the video went viral. The video, shows the IG struggling to read his speech at the inauguration of the Police Technical Intelligence Unit in Kano, Kano State on Monday.
It was learnt that Nurudeen’s whereabouts had been unknown since the Kano State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Musa Magaji Majiya, invited him on Thursday.
Sources said the police authorities were upset with the journalist because he had allegedly disobeyed a directive by the Kano State Police Command to journalists present at the event not to report the IG’s blunder or make the video public.
According to sources, the IG’s blunder brought an abrupt end to the event, leading the police chief’s handlers to hurriedly usher him away from the venue of the event.
The viral video showed the IG delivering an incoherent speech, which had since exposed him to public ridicule.
In a part of the transcription of the footage, Idris said, “I mean, transmission, I mean effort, that the transmission cooperation to transmission, I mean transmission to have effect, ehm, apprehend, I mean, apprehensive towards the recommendation, recommended formation effective and effect, I mean, apprehensive at the transmission of…and transmission and transmission for the effective in the police command.”
Voice of Liberty had posted the video on Wednesday. It was gathered on Friday that the IG was embarrassed by the trending video and had ordered an investigation into its release.
In the video, the police boss stumbled over nearly every word in the address, pronouncing transition as transmission and generally bungling his remarks.
The over two minutes video showed Idris apologising to the audience intermittently as he struggled to read the speech which appeared to be a few pages long.
As he battled to read the speech, a senior police officer moved to his side to assist him, but he still flunked the speech.
A source said that the IG explained away the video to his officers, describing it as doctored.
“He has however ordered an investigation into the leakage of the video but we are watching to see how he intends to deal with the individuals behind the viral video without further embarrassing himself and the force,” a senior police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told one of our correspondents.
It was gathered that detectives were using the police technical platform to track the original source of the video on social media.
It was learnt that bloggers that posted the video might be interrogated by the police for allegedly “peddling a doctored video meant to cast the IG in bad light and embarrass the police leadership.”
Idris, in an interactive media chat on the police Twitter handle, Nigerian Police @PoliceNG #Askthepolice, had also told Nigerians that the video was doctored.
“Yes, it was doctored,” he said in response to a question from a twitter user who wanted to know why he bungled the speech.
The mood at the Force headquarters on Friday was solemn as policemen believed the video was sponsored by the enemies of the IG.
“I believe the IG may not be the most intelligent officer, but he is capable of presenting coherent speeches,” a Deputy Superintendent of Police who also spoke on condition of anonymity said.
The police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood could not be reached for comments as he did not respond to calls.
He had yet to respond to a text message as of the time of filing this report.
Nigerians react to IG video clip
Nigerians have, however, reacted to the video.
A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, in his reaction to the video on Twitter, urged Nigerians to pray for Idris.
He said, “Our IG of Police needs prayers and we must treat him with compassion. What happened to him whilst reading his infamous “transmission” speech was not ordinary. He is the victim of dark spirits and satanic forces. We must not gloat over it or laugh at him. Instead we must pray for him.”
But the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Diaspora Matters, Abike Dabiri, on Twitter defended the IG, saying, “This video is definitely doctored.”
Nigerians however asked Dabiri to prove her assertion by posting an original video.
A former head of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Joe Abah, said the IG might be suffering from dyslexia.
@JoeAbah, he tweeted, “If this video is genuine, I’ve been advised the IG may be dyslexic. If that is the case, it is no laughing matter, and not something he should be ridiculed for. A lot of kids are dyslexic. We must ensure that they are not bullied or stigmatised. They too can become IG of Police.”
Abah was, however, countered by critics, who said the symptoms showed by the IGP were not typical of dyslexic patients.
According to a definition by NHS.co.uk, dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling. It’s a “specific learning difficulty”, which means it causes problems with certain abilities used for learning, such as reading and writing. Unlike a learning disability, intelligence isn’t affected.
Police comment on IG video
The Nigerian Police Force has, however, claimed that the video was doctored.
On its Twitter handle during a forum tagged, #AskThePolice, one Dr. Adekola Adewale asked the Force to provide clarification on the video going viral about the IG.
Nigeria Police Force replied, “Thank you for your question. Yes it was doctored. #AskThePolice.”
But a source told Saturday PUNCH that police were being cautious in issuing an official statement to debunk the video in order not to further escalate reactions already generated by the clip.
The source said, “The video was doctored and it was meant to embarrass the Force and the IG. The police don’t want to issue an official statement because no TV station, or newspaper has carried the story. The moment a statement is issued, the doctored video would be revisited and it would escalate things. Even if the police issue an official statement, it may still backfire.”
Another source, a senior police officer, claimed that the Force had “the original version of the doctored video,” dismissing allegations that the police had invited the journalist that released the video.
“The original version of the video is available. As far as I know, the police have not ordered the arrest of anybody in connection with the video. The journalist might say the police invited him, but there was nothing like that. There is nothing like a spell being cast on the IG. Besides, there is nothing like that in law. The video was done mischievously. IG is mentally sound and he has been coming to the office every day after that event was held,” he added.
The officer stated that the video was under investigation, adding that the outcome would determine the next line of action.
The officer sent “the original video” to our correspondent on Friday evening.
But Saturday PUNCH observed that though recorded at the same event, it did not capture where a man, who appeared to be the IG’s personal assistant, assisted the police chief to check the speech he was presenting for correct pronunciation.