The decision arrived to pick former Assistant Inspector General Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar as new Inspector General of Police was not an easy one according to reports.
The new IG before his announcement had received the blessings of eminent Nigerians and many traditional rulers from whom the President had sought advises.
He has been fingered as the only experienced top Police officer capable of handling the current situation in the country because of his past record as a good crisis Manager, especially on the delicate issue of terrorism.
Sources have claimed that the appointment of Abubakar as the Acting IGP was actually a testimony to his competent handling of the Jos crisis (for which a report battered him), his brilliance and respect for all parties in the Plateau crisis.
The particular Jos crisis was one of the reasons he has been written off and condemned as the new IGP by those acting on the Niki Tobi’s report.
The Guardian gathered that a lot of consultations were made before the choice of Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar was made as the Police High Command boss.
It was unanimously agreed by the Federal Government that the person who should succeed Hafiz Ringim must be an operations man, therefore, the government combed the entire hierarchy of force and decided that Abubakar, who had distinguished himself in crises in various states should fit in into the office.
The Presidency was also said to have contacted veteran retired police officers like Mike Okiro, Parry Osayande and others who unanimously agreed on the choice of Abubakar. Also, traditional rulers including the Emir of Kano and the Oba of Lagos, a retired police officer himself was said to have preferred Abubakar as IGP after his track records were relayed.
Until Wednesday when he became the Acting Inspector General of Police, Abubakar was an Assistant Inspector General of Police.
President Goodluck Jonathan who on Wednesday approved the appointment of Abubakar as Acting IGP also relieved six Deputy Inspectors General of Police of their jobs.
Presidential Spokesman, Reuben Abati, said in statement announcing the appointment of Abubakar that it “is a first step towards the comprehensive reorganisation and repositioning of the Nigeria Police Force to make it more effective and capable of meeting emerging internal security challenges.”
Abubakar enlisted in the Nigeria Police Force on July 30, 1979. He was the AIG in charge of Zone 12 Headquarters in Bauchi, before his new appointment.
All Deputy Inspectors General of Police whose immediate retirement Jonathan approved yesterday were: Mrs. Ivy Uche Okoronkwo, DIG POL 2i/c Force Headquarters, Abuja; Mr. Azubuko J. Udah, DIG Administration (“A” Dept); Mr. Sardauna Abubukar, DIG Training (“E” Dept.); Mr. Audu Abubakar, DIG Operations (“B” Dept); Mr. Saleh Abubakar, DIG Works (“C” Dept.); and Mr. Mohammed A. Yesufu, DIG Planning and Info-Tech (“F” Dept.).
The President has also established a special committee to oversee the urgent reorganisation of the Nigeria Police Force. The committee is to be chaired by the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Parry B.O Osayande, DIG (rtd).
Other Members of the Committee are Mr. Casimir T. Akagbosu, AIG (rtd.), Mr. Bashir A. Albasu, AIG (rtd.), Major Gen. S.N. Chikwe, rtd, Prof. S.D. Mukoro, Dr. Fabian Ajogwu (SAN), Aisha Larai Tukur and the Solicitor General of the Federation. The Permanent Secretary, SSO, Office of the SGF is to serve as the Secretary to the Committee.
Abati listed the committee’s terms of reference to include the following:
• identify the challenges and factors militating against effective performance in the Nigeria Police Force and make recommendations for addressing the challenges;
• examine the scope and standard of training and other personnel development activities in the police to determine their adequacy or otherwise;
• determine the general and specific causes of the collapse of public confidence in the police and recommend ways of restoring public trust in the institution;
• examine records of performance of Officers and Men of the Nigeria Police Force with a view to identifying those that can no longer fit into the system due to declining productivity, age, indiscipline, corruption and/or disloyalty; and
• make any other recommendations for the improvement of the Nigeria Police Force.
The committee’s recommendations shall be implemented along with those by previous committees set up by the government on the reform of the Nigeria Police Force.
The new Acting Inspector General of Police, Abubakar had as part of his final appointment procedure arrived at the foyer of the President’s office at about 3.58 p.m. Accompanied by two aides, his convoy came in through the gate usually used by select top government functionaries including the Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police.
By 5.10 p.m., he came down from the President’s office, jumped into the jeep that brought him and drove out of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
A few minutes after he left, the Office of the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity) released the statement announcing his appointment.
As for the former Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, he was summoned by President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday for a meeting. By early yesterday, he was in the President’s office waiting. The President’s meeting with him delayed, by about 40 minutes, the commencement of the Federal Executive Council.
Abubakar’s appointment has thrown up many posers instead of dousing fears over the nation’s security as he had been in Plateau State crisis a year ago. The Justice Niki Tobi panel constituted in September 2001 by former Governor Joshua Dariye on the Jos crisis had recommended the retirement of Abubakar from the police force.
In a White Paper released in Jos, the panel suggested that Abubakar should be dismissed if he refused to retire.
The panel said: “Religious fanatics should not be posted to head state police commands. The commission recommends that for his ignoble role during the September 2001 crisis which resulted in the loss of lives, the former Commissioner of Police, Plateau State Command, Alhaji M.D. Abubakar, be advised to retire from the Nigeria Police Force and in the event of his refusal to do so, he should be dismissed from the service.”
The Niki Tobi panel had reportedly indicted Abubakar, who is from Zamfara State, for alleged sponsorship of Islamist militant group when he was Commissioner of Police in Plateau State.