•Ringim’s last moments
From MURPHY GANAGANA, Abuja
Thursday, January 26, 2012
After several weeks of intense lobby and battle to secure his office, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alhaji Hafiz Ringim was shown the exit door yesterday, as President Goodluck Jonathan bowed to pressure and announced an Assistant Inspector General of police (AIG), Mohammed Dikko Abubakar, as his replacement. President Jonathan also announced the retirement of all the six Deputy Inspectors Generals of police (DIGs).
They are Mrs. Ivy Okoronkwo who was second-in-command to Ringim, and Mr. Azubuko Udah, who was the DIG ‘A’ Department. Others are Messrs Sarduana Abubakar, Audu Abubakar, Saleh Abubakar, and Mohammed Yesufu.
Out of the six DIGs, two of them, namely, Audu Abubakar and Saleh Abubakar, were due for retirement on March 1, 2012. Others had a period of about one or three years to remain in the service. For instance, while Ringim’s second-in-command, Mrs. Okoronkwo was to retire on August 1, 2013, the DIG ‘A’ Department, Azubuko Udah, was expected to bow out of the force on August 1, 2014, and the DIG ‘E’ Department, June 5, 2013.
The statutory date due for retirement for the DIG ‘F’, Mohammed Yesufu, is April 30, 2014. Ringim’s sack came amid efforts by an influential clique of high ranking officers in the security community to shield him from the sledgehammer, which had dangled over his head for about six months, following the spate of bombings and rising insecurity across the country.
Daily Sun learnt that the ex-IGP, who was expected to retire from service on March 1, was asked by President Jonathan to prepare his handing over notes yesterday at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting. He had been summoned to the Villa earlier in the morning. Indications that the Jigawa State-born number one cop might have lost the battle to retain his job emerged shortly after he departed the Aso Rock Villa at the end of a closed-door meeting with the President on Tuesday.
Sources hinted that Ringim’s mood was in sharp contrast with his usually boisterous self as he drove out of the presidential villa, where he had earlier shunned the State House correspondents, as he pleaded to be left alone. Checks indicated that after the meeting with President Jonathan on Tuesday, the ex- IGP drove to his official residence located at the Maitama District of Abuja, where he pulled off his uniform and spent some hours before he left for his office under the cover of darkness at about 8:00pm. He rode to his office in an SUV and back-up car, without the usual blare of siren.
His mission to the office at that period could not be ascertained, but it was believed that he might have been there to remove his personal belongings, since he got wind of his replacement on Tuesday. He reportedly told some of his close aides before leaving to see President Jonathan yesterday morning that his time was up.
Speculations on Ringim’s removal were rife as early as 10:00am yesterday, amid conflicting signals in respect of the official quarters from where the pronouncement would be made. Suspense and anxiety mounted as reporters awaited an official statement on his sack from the Presidency, the Ministry of Police Affairs, or Police Service Commission [PSC].
But by 2.30pm, reports indicated that AIG Mohammed Abubakar, who was in charge of the Zone 12 police command with headquarters in Bauchi, had been flown from his base aboard a presidential jet to Abuja. And by 4:00pm, it was confirmed that the new IGP was at the villa where he met with President Jonathan and departed at about 5:10pm. As at press time, the new IGP was being awaited at the police force headquarters.