Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police (IGP), was present at the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport, Abuja, on Tuesday when President Muhammadu Buhari returned from his trip to Katsina.
Adamu was expected to leave office on Monday, following his retirement having clocked the age of 60.
However, on Tuesday evening, the IGP was present at the airport in official capacity, and welcomed the president on his return from Katsina.
Although there have been speculations over who will replace Adamu, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, has insisted that the choice of a new IGP will not be based on ethnicity.
“If you are going to appoint the service chiefs from every ethnic group in this country, you are going to have more than 250 inspector-generals of police, 250 chiefs of army staff, 250 chiefs of naval staff. It’s not going to work like that. And they have their own systems of producing leadership,” Shehu said in an interview on Channels Television on Monday.
“If we say we are going to use ethnicity or region as the basis, then we have lost it. This is about law and order; it is not about ethnic identity. This country finished with tribalism in the 1960s; why are we back to it now?
“But if you have two, three positions — look at what happened with the service chiefs just appointed. Two from the south, two from the north. If you are talking about religion, two Muslims, two Christians. So what do you want again?
“The president will rather have an inspector-general of police who will make you and I safer, protect lives and property, than one who is more pronounced by his tribal marks.”
The president had travelled to his hometown in Daura, Katsina state, last Friday on a four-day “official trip”.
During his visit to Katsina, he participated in the nationwide registration exercise of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in his hometown on Saturday.