Friday, January 27, 2012

I’ll fight Boko Haram with seriousness —New IGP •Unfolds agenda for police •As police arrest 200 Chadians over Kano attacks •Kano residents flee over bomb scare

ACTING Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, has vowed to fight crime with all seriousness, be it Boko Haram or armed robbery.
Speaking on Thursday after taking over the mantle of leadership from his predecessor, Hafiz Ringim, the Acting IGP assured all Nigerians that his administration would be different from all other administrations.
According to him, “we shall go to every nook and cranny of this country to fish out these criminals that have been troubling this country; they will not sleep as we will continue to pursue them.”
Abubakar said that competence and merit would determine the posting of officers, as favouritism would not work in his administration.
He declared that he was a team player, as there was no commander without troops. “I can’t do it alone; we have worked in other places. We demonstrated our capabilities and we are going to replicate it under my administration.”
“I will not tolerate any act of indiscipline, corruption, as I intend to lead by example,” stressing that he had been fully briefed about the challenges, difficulties and the task facing the Nigeria Police.
He noted that he was not a new comer to it and could not run away from the fact that he knew some of them.
The new IGP declared that he knew that the police had a very challenging and uphill task and assured that they will confront the challenges.
“We shall focus on the areas of interest that we know the police are lacking: in training and retraining programme, welfare scheme and ability to detect crime. We shall move into every nook and cranny of this country and do what is expected of us in respect of crime fighting and criminality.”
He added that the police needed dedicated and committed staff that were fair and firm in the discharge of their responsibilities, because they would be asked questions in any area within or out of office.
He added that as a team player, he did not believe he could do the job without his officers and men. “We shall do what we shall do and you will be a living witness to what we shall do. But we need prayers,” he said.
The new IGP revealed that the police would undergo serious restructuring, as they were going to work together with the committee set up by the president, so that Nigerians could have the police force they deserved; a police that would respect the rule of law and be committed and fair in the discharge of their responsibilities.
He added that they would put their training centres and colleges on very tasking challenges so as to able to train officers and men. “I am going to declare a state of emergency in our training institutes, so that we can look at the facilities, the staff and what they have on the ground.”
According to him, they cannot take policemen to institutions that are bad, lacking and which cannot produce good police officers.
In his handing over remark, the outgoing IGP, Hafiz Ringim, said he had done his best within the period the president deemed it fit, as he gave the challenge the best shot. “I sincerely believe I discharged my duties creditably and I succeeded; anybody can contest it,” he said.
Ringim declared that he needed to go on his pre-retirement leave over which he had written to the president, while he received the approval on Wednesday, signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.
He added that he had briefed his successor on the enormous responsibilities ahead of him and urged all officers and men to give him the utmost support they gave him.
Meanwhile, Nigeria Police has arrested 200 people, mostly Chadian “mercenaries,” after last week’s attacks in Kano, a police source said on Thursday, as a fresh blast struck the same area.
There were indications the Chadians had been paid to participate in the recent attacks attributed to Boko Haram, the source added.
A United Nations (UN) report on regional security released on Wednesday said there was evidence suggesting the Nigerian group had Chadian members who had received training from Al-Qaeda's North Africa affiliate.
But a Nigerian specialist with the International Crisis Group (ICG) said it was unlikely the sect had such a high number of foreigners in its ranks.
The police source, who reported the Boko Haram arrests, also said suspected members of the sect had reached out to the police for potential dialogue, with an emir as mediator.
In another development, a popular bus terminus in Kano, from which many people travel to other parts of the country, witnessed a bomb explosion on Thursday afternoon, leading to the closure of activities in Sabon Gari where the park is located.
An eyewitness, who preferred anonymity, told the Nigerian Tribune that the small bomb that exploded was packed inside a school bag and dropped between two luxury buses set to be loaded.
The source revealed that the passengers were carrying their luggage into the buses when the explosion occurred shattering the side windows of two luxury buses.
The policemen, who arrived at the scene of the incident, advised the passengers to vacate the motor park to enable them to investigate the incident.
Subsequently all the luxury buses moved to their old park, which is about one kilometre away from the new park.
Bomb disposal unit operatives cordoned off the area, but it was not certain whether any other explosive device was discovered or not.
However two people were whisked away by the police to an undisclosed place.
All efforts made to get the comments of the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Idris Ibrahim and the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Magaji Majiya, over the incident failed.