Jonathan’s Boko Haram problem and firing of Ringim
By Chido Nwangwu
Special to USAfricaonline.com, the USAfrica-powered e-groups of Nigeria360, UNNalumni, IgboEvents and CLASSmagazine Houston.
USAfrica: First fact, removing all niceties, former chief of the Nigerian Police Hafiz Ringim’s failure to decisively defeat or contain Boko Haram was increasingly seen as President Jonathan’s direct problem and failure.
Worse, with the brazen and bold terror of he December 25, 2011 killing of christians, the violent tit-for-tat in and near Jos for most of 2010 and 2011, the January 2012 Boko Haram assaults on Mubi where christian Igbo families from south eastern Nigeria were murdered, relentless gunfights and bombings in and around Maiduguri, including the last week’s massive, coordinated bombings of Kano (northern Nigeria’s largest city in terms of commerce and population), millions of Nigerians, muslims and christians, became very worried and focused their anger and disappointment on the generally pleasant-mannered Ijaw man from the riverine Bayelsa State they voted into office through a controversial 2011 election.
USAfrica can report, authoritatively, that inside the presidential villa in Abuja and among some of the other security operatives predominantly from the southern and middle belt regions of Nigeria, prior to the January 2012 query, a damaging whispering campaign started late in 2011 against Ringim, alleging that Ringim “knew more” about Boko Haram than he was letting on. The blunt summary: they did not quite “trust” him….
One of the presidential special assistants confirmed this familiar line to USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com that: “IGP Ringim lost the confidence of the President. Plus, many other officers thought he could have done more in this fight against Boko Haram but he didn’t.”
Ringim was then stuck with fighting against Boko Haram as well as struggling for his tarnished reputation. And, the President Jonathan knew his own reputation and capacity as Commander -in- Chief of Nigeria’s armed forces were under the weekly hammer of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram. It got worse for Jonathan and Ringim with every attack of Boko Haram.
Ringim came under open and internal pressures to quit following the embarrassing escape of Kabiru Sokoto, an alleged Boko Haram terror coordinator, from the custody of the Nigerian Police on Sunday January 15, 2012. He was queried to address the issue within an
unfulfilled and unsatisfactory response to the Internal Affairs ministry to the President of Nigeria.
No matter, he (Ringim) was almost killed by the Boko Haram suicide bomber who sought to bomb the police headquarters in Abuja in 2011. A few minutes earlier, Ringim had made it through the gate; and the Boko Haram fellow tried to force his way through the same gate, as reported here on USAfricaonline.com.
Hafiz Ringim, until a few hours ago today January 25, 2012, the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police, has been pressured to retire about 50 days before what would have been a normal statutory period of exit set for March 2012. An Assistant Inspector General, Mohammed Dikko Abubakar, from Zamfara State, has replaced him as Acting Inspector General of Police.
Abubakar, a Muslim like Ringim, has a trail of unproven allegations linking him to radical Islamic groups and the facts of a police panel report criticizing his roles as Police commissioner of Plateau State (which covers the religious-ethnic conflicts decimated city of Jos).
USAfrica learned that Ringim was invited to the office of the President on Tuesday January 24, as the final courtesy of conveying the decision of President Jonathan to let him make a decent exit as IGP rather be outrightly fired.
Ringim, a close associate of Jonathan’s since the latter’s years as deputy Governor and Governor of Bayelsa State (1999-2003), was appointed as IGP on the 8th of September 2010, jumping him ahead of his 9 senior officers who were at the levels of Deputy IGs: Declan Uzoma, Haruna Ahmadu, Uba Ringim, Israel Ajao, Olusegun Efuntayo and Udo Ekpoudom; and at the level of Assistant IGs: Mrs. Ivy Okoronkwo, Azubike Udah and Dawodu).
With every explosion and audacious terror by Boko Haram came more diminished assessment of President Jonathan’s capacity to maintain law and order in Nigeria (or elsewhere). Unless things improve for the security and safety of Nigerians, Jonathan has been severely affected by the actions of Boko Haram that he’s seen, across the country, as weak and indecisive — even by his own supporters. Until then, 160 million people live in Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity.…. Chido Nwangwu is the Founder & Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks.
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Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and the Nigeria360 e-group. http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/ : IF any of the Nigerian President’s 100 advisers has the polite courage for the extraordinary task of reminding His Excellency of his foremost, sworn, constitutional obligation to the national interest about security and safety of Nigerians and all who sojourn in Nigeria, please whisper clearly to Mr. President that I said, respectfully: Nigerians, at home and abroad, are still concerned and afraid for living in what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. FULL text of commentary at USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/
Related insight: USAfrica’s October 17, 2001 special report/alert: Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu. http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html
310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com on July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html
Related and prior reporting on the Jos crises on USAfrica, click here: http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/08/16/10-killed-in-renewed-violence-near-jos/
News archives related to Jos, here http://www.usafricaonline.com/?s=jos
USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin. By Chido Nwangwu. http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/
Tunisia, Egypt . . . Is Nigeria next? By Prof. Rosaire Ifedi http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/02/13/tunisia-egypt-is-nigeria-next-by-prof-rosaire-ifedi/