Hafiz Ringim, Nigeria’s former Inspector General of Police, popularly believed to have underperformed in fighting crime and reforming the police, says he gave the job his best effort.
“I gave the job the best shot and I have no doubt that I succeeded,” Mr. Ringim said Thursday while handing over to his successor, Mohammed Abubakar.The former IGP’s chest thumping amused not a few people at the ceremony given that during his reign, Nigeria became more insecure than it has ever been, with rampant kidnapping, armed robbery and terrorism turning the country to one of the most chaotic in the world.At the ceremony, which drew a formal curtain on his era, the former IGP said his job was “by no means a small one,” but that he gave it his all.He declared that the force, largely perceived as inept and corrupt, did creditably well in discharging its functions.On Wednesday, President Goodluck Jonathan placed the police’s top officials on “terminal leave” following serial incompetence leading up to the deadly Boko Haram attack on Kano city the previous week. While in office, Mr. Ringim was given a national honour despite his inability to lead his officers to reign in criminals and stem the tide of crimes across the country.
The former IGP is reputed for his oft-repeated refrain, “we are on top of the situation” after each bomb attack.Mr. Ringim denied he was sacked, Thursday. He said the appointment of the Acting IGP followed his request to President Jonathan to proceed on pre-retirement leave.Mr. Ringim urged members of the police force and the media to accord the new police boss the support and assistance he needs to succeed.His successor, Mr. Abubakar, will remain in acting capacity for six months, sources say. But he has promised Nigeria Police Force will, under his leadership, fight crime and criminality in whatever ramifications including the dreaded militant Islamist sect, Boko Haram.“We shall fight crime and criminality in all ramification whatever name you give it whether Boko Haram or armed robbery,” the new IG said.Mr. Abubakar said his administration would be different from others before it, pledging to introduce “team work.”“I have always been a team player,” he said. “We shall do what we shall do and we all will be witnesses to what we shall do.”He added that officers would be posted based on ability and performance.Mr. Abubakar, who has been recommended for sack, twice in the past decade, over his roles in the assassination of Shola Omoshola and the 2001 Jos crises, said his major areas of concern would cover training and welfare of officers.