Nigerian troops block protesters in Lagos after the Federal Government imposed a settlement regarding the general strike over cancellation of fuel subsidies. People have objected to the deployment., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Jonathan set to drop IG Ringim, DIGs
By Yusuf Alli and Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
THE President seemed set yesterday to tell police chief Hafiz Ringim: time is up.
Baring a last-minute change of mind, Dr Goodluck Jonathan will ask Inspector-General Hafiz Ringim and all the Deputy Inspectors-General of Police to go.
An Assistant Inspector-General of Police is likely to stop into Ringim’s shoes. He is also from the North.
The President is said to have planned the overhaul of the Police management to address the increasing insecurity in the country.
It was learnt that the President may have confided in Ringim yesterday his plan to ask him to proceed on retirement with his colleagues. The police chief is believed to be due for retirement in about two months.
He was at the Presidential Villa yesterday, but he was not his usually boisterous self.
Ringim avoided reporters, pleading that he would brief them later.
The DIGs, who may retire with Ringim, are: Mrs. Ivy Okoronkwo, Second in Command (2i/c); Mr. Azubuko Udah DIG “A” (Administration); Audu Abubakar DIG “B” Operations; Saleh Abubakar DIG “C” (Logistics and Supply); Alhaji Sardauna Abubakar DIG “E” (Training); and Mohammed Yesufu DIG “F” (Management Services).
A source, who pleaded not to be named, said: “The government has opted for a breath of fresh air in the police by asking the police management to step aside. A new IGP is due to take over from Ringim.
“The government is looking beyond the DIGs because they were part of Ringim’s team that did not achieve much in policing the country. They have all reached their limit.
“To avoid ethnic insinuations, the new IGP, who is a tested hand, has also been picked from the North. He has a mandate to address the Boko Harm menace.
“So far, the AIG has undergone security checks ahead of the formal disengagement of Ringim by the Presidency.”
The source added that the need to cleanse the police informed the President’s cancellation of his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos.
But a Presidency source said Dr Jonathan will be at the AU Summit in Addis Ababa from January 28 to 30.
Responding to a question, another source said the new IGP’s appointment will be in acting capacity, until the President convenes a session of the Nigeria Police Council and the National Council of State.
Sections 27 and 28 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution states: “The Nigeria Police Council shall comprise the following members:
(a) the President who shall be the Chairman; (b) the Governor of each state of the Federation; (c) the Chairman of the Police Service Commission; and (d) the Inspector-General of Police.
“The functions of the Nigeria Police Council shall include (a) the organisation and administration of the Nigeria Police Force and all other matters relating thereto (not being matters relating to the use and operational control of the Force or the appointment, disciplinary control and dismissal of members of the Force) (b) the general supervision of the Nigeria Police Force; and (c) advising the President on the appointment of the Inspector-General of Police.”
In the past six months, Ringim has been engrossed in a game of survival, with calls for the government to fire him.
But his fate became clearer, with the escape of a Boko Haram suspect, Kabiru Sokoto, from police custody. The suspect was alleged to be one of the masterminds of the Christmas Day bombings in Madalla, Niger State in which 44 people died.
Besides the suspension of a Police Commissioner, Zakari Biu, the IGP was also queried by the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade.
A source said: “The IGP lost whatever goodwill he has been enjoying. He has to proceed on retirement before his exit date.”
The IG is facing a panel set up by National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi to look into his response to the query issued him following Sokoto’s dramatic escape.
NSA’s panel is expected to submit its report on the IG’s response to the query on Friday.
Ringim, who was at the Villa for the first time since Sokoto’s escape, told reporters: “Please, please, not now. I will brief you later.”