ABUJA— Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar yesterday took over the reins of police leadership from his predecessor, Hafiz Abubakar Ringim vowing to fight the dreadedBoko Haram sect in all its ramifications.
Besides Boko Haram, Abubakar said the Nigeria Police force under him would undergo serious restructuring and declared a state of emergency on Police training institutions in the country saying the way they were presently constituted can only produce ill-equipped officers.
Addressing senior Police officers at the IG’s conference room after the handing over ceremony in his office, the new IG promised to work with the DIG Parry Osayande Committee set up by the President “so that Nigeria can have the Police force it deserves, a police force that will respect the rule of law, that will be committed, and fair in the discharge of its responsibilities”.
His words: “I want to assure all Nigerians that this administration under my leadership will be different from all other Police administrations. I will be a team player because I can’t do it all alone. There is no Commander without troops. We have done it in other places, we demonstrated it and we are going to demonstrate it here. But take note, the police will undergo serious restructuring.
“I do not have a speech for now because I am just taking over and I want to be fully briefed about the challenges, difficulties and the task facing the Nigeria Police. I am not a new comer to it and cannot run away from the fact that I know some of them.
“I do know that we have a very challenging and uphill task and I want to assure all Nigerians that this administration will be different from any other administration because every officer and men of the police belong to the same family. We shall focus on the areas that we know the police are lacking, that is training and re- training programmes, welfare scheme and ability to detect crime.
“We shall move into every nook and corner of this country and do what is expected of us in respect of fighting crime and criminality. This administration will not tolerate any act of indiscipline or corruption and I intend to live by good example. Therefore, all officers and men will be positioned or posted based on competence and ability to perform and not based on whom you are by name”.
While calling for the support of officers and men as well as the media, Abubakar said: “I need your support and I need your cooperation. We are all together and Nigeria is greater than any other group. We need dedicated and committed staff that are fair and firm in the discharge of their responsibilities because you will be asked questions in any area of irresponsibility that you display within or out of office”.
Boko Haram, crime, we shall fight them all
Answering questions on Boko Haram, he said: “I have said we shall fight crime in all its ramification. This includes crime and all acts of criminality, whatever name you give it whether Boko Haram, or armed robbery. We shall fight them all”. He also promised to carry along officers and men of the force in his decisions. According to him, “I hope you will be there to be a living witness. I am a team player.
I do not believe I can do this job without my 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”.
Reminded that arms used by Boko Haram group and armed robbers in some cases were more sophisticated than those of the Police, he said, “I do not know how you came about that. We do not know what they have so that we compare them to know who has stronger arms. We intend to do what we are supposed to do especially in the area of training”.
“Training is an area we are lacking. I will focus on it very seriously. We will put our training centers and colleges on very tasking challenge, so as to be able to train officers and men. I am going to declare a state of emergency in our training institutions so that we can look at the facilities, the staff and what they have on ground. We cannot take policemen to institutions that are bad, lacking in facilities, and expect to produce good police officers”.
I succeeded as IGP —Ringim
Abubakar’s immediate predecessor, Hafiz Abubakar Ringim in his speech at the handing over ceremonies yesterday declared that he succeeded as the leader of the Nigeria Police force in its fight against terrorism, crime and criminality, noting that those who doubted him were free to have their opinion.
Said he: “I gave this challenge (IGP), my best shot and I sincerely believe I succeeded. Some may want to contend this, but I sincerely believe that under my leadership the Nigeria Police Force discharged its functions and its obligations creditably well.
“You are all aware that as I have requested to the President to commence my leave-pending retirement, it became necessary for Mr. President to appoint a new Inspector General of Police.
“I must thank the members of the Force management team, DIG Okoronkwo, DIG Udah, DIG Audu Abubakar, DIG Muhammed Yesufu, and DIG Saleh Abubakar. Those were the members of the defunct police management team that I headed. Because of the fact that I needed to go on retirement, which letter I wrote to Mr. President, and which approval I also received from the SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, It became necessary to appoint a new Inspector General of Police.
“That Inspector General of Police is Mr. Mohammed Dikko Abubakar. I took time to brief the new IGP considering the task ahead of him. Having successfully discussed with him, and briefed him on what I know so far to be his duties and his responsibilities, and have placed him on notice also of the enormous responsibilities that lay ahead of him.
“It is my wish that you all, particularly the officers at the force headquarters, in the wisdom that you have, give the same support, encouragement and assistance that you gave me in order for him to succeed.
“The task is by no means an enormous one. In this regard I will also solicit the support of our friends, our colleagues, the media, who chose to make and unmake, I sincerely wish you would give him the support, he will definitely need your support and I sincerely wish you would give him all the support.
“As you know I would cease to be the Inspector General of Police from the time I handover. I have done my bit within the period that Mr. President has graciously appointed me as IGP. I told you what I was going to do and to some extent I did the best I could do. I gave this challenge my best shot and I sincerely believe I succeeded.
“In this regard I will pray that God Almighty will afford the new IGP also the opportunity and the wisdom to steer to a better course, the ship of the Nigeria Police”.