Boko Haram has declared war on Nigerians, says NSCIA
ALTHOUGH reactions to President Goodluck Jonathan’s appointment of Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar as Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) are mixed, the opposition to it is fierce. Only a section of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) hailed the decision.
Political parties, Christian bodies and civil society groups, which commented on Abubakar’s choice yesterday, raised posers over his suitability for the office.
Among the critics of the President’s action were leaders of the 19 Northern State chapters of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Lagos League of Political Parties (LLPP), and the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO).
Even the Governor of Zamfara State Abdulaziz Yari (Abubakar’s home state) does not believe that the removal of Mr. Hafiz Ringim as IG from office by the President would lead to improvement in the security situation in the country.
At the Presidential Lounge of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos yesterday, Yari said rather than sack them, security chiefs should be encouraged to do their jobs, especially on intelligence gathering.
In a statement issued in Kaduna yesterday, CAN said the “new IG’s appointment came to us as a big surprise because this is a man whose career is trailed by controversy based on religious fanaticism. For him to be appointed as the acting IG, we wonder whether President Jonathan meant well for the country?”
The Publicity Secretary of Northern CAN, Mr. Sunday Oibe, who signed the statement, said, “to us, the appointment of Abubakar is an extension of terrorism in Nigeria. Christians in Northern Nigeria will not feel safe following his antecedents as the Commissioner of Police in Plateau State as documented by the Justice Niki Tobi Commission of Inquiry into the bloody killings during the 2001crisis in Jos.
“To us, it is a licence given to him by President Jonathan to unleash terror on Christians and we reject his appointment as acting IG. The profile of Abubakar is not befitting of an acting IG of Police. One begins to wonder why a man who was indicted for religious fanaticism by the Niki Tobi Commission, which equally recommended him for retirement or outright dismissal, could be allowed to remain in the Police.
“It appears that some unpatriotic characters, especially in the Nigeria Police are being allowed to have their ways in this country,” Oibe said
According to him, there is a similarity between Zakari Biu, the commissioner of police, who allegedly freed the suspected Boko Haram bomber and Abubakar, who “supervised the killings and wanton destruction of lives and property in the 2001 crisis in Jos.”
But the Chairman of PFN in Anambra State, Prof. David Eberechukwu, has commended Jonathan for appointing a new IG, saying it was a step in the right direction that could polish the battered image of the Police.
He told reporters yesterday at the headquarters of Overcomers’ Holy Ghost Bible Ministries, Umunze, Anambra State that the move was aimed at restoring sanity in the country and creating confidence in the Nigeria Police.
Eberechukwu tasked the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Parry Osayande, to seek more opinions from Nigerians before taking the final decision on security matters.
Yari however said: “Personally, I want to say that the removal of service chiefs does not improve security in the country, but let the security men do their job, especially when it comes to the issue of intelligence gathering.
“In Nigeria today, we know the situation of security and I don’t put the blame on our security personnel because in some countries, the citizen support their security agencies with required information. The situation is different in our nation.”
The LLPP also faulted the appointment of Abubakar as the police boss and appealed to Jonathan to vet him thoroughly.
The coalition of parties in a statement by its Chairman, Chief Udoka Udeogaranya, urged the President to scrutinise the vetting machinery, which recommended Abubakar as the most suitable person for the job, stressing that “it is still not too late to make a review of the action.”
The parties therefore urged the President to follow the constitutional provisions in section 215 and 216 as stipulated as well as thoroughly review the Tobi panel’s report, which indicted Abubakar.
“We acknowledge Abubakar’s outstanding performance in fighting armed robbery attacks, but are quick to raise an objection that armed robbery fighting is different from fighting terrorism against a group that shares his religion and ethnicity.”
The CLO also picked holes in Abubakar’s appointment. The group’s Executive Director, Mr. Steve Aluko-Daniel, told The Guardian yesterday that CLO’s fear is based on the fact that the process of appointing IGs in the country had been far from global practices.
“The situation where junior ranking officers are being appointed as IGs over and above their seniors is not the best and in the process you lose the best hands you could have used in building security synergy to fight criminality,” he said.
But the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), yesterday condemned last week’s killings and wanton destruction of life and property in Kano by Boko Haram sect, describing the incident as the worst in the history of the country.
In a statement issued in Abeokuta, Ogun State yesterday by its Secretary-General, Dr. Lateef Adegbite, lamented the threat the activities of the sect posed to the security and stability of the nation.
“These hard faced rebels (Boko Haram) have declared war on all Nigerians hence it would be wrong for any Christian leader to call for reprisal against Muslims, Adegbite said.
The Council called on all Muslims to offer special prayers to Allah in Mosques throughout the Federation (today) Friday, “praying Allah to ward off Boko-Haram menace from the land and any other threat to National security.”
Lagos political group faults Abubakar’s appointment as Acting IG.