June 22, 2011

Bomb blast: NSA summons IGP…as police postpone meeting

ABUJA—The National Security Adviser, NSA, Gen Owoye Andrew Azazi, yesterday, summoned the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, over last Thursday’s bomb blast at Force headquarters in Abuja, which claimed lives and destroyed property in excess of millions of naira.

The summon led to the postponement to today  the much expected meeting between the IG and top shots of Nigerian Police Force, which was meant to deliberate on the security situation in the country, especially the continued attacks on policemen by  members of the Boko Haram sect.

The delay came, even as it emerged that the Police High Command, had set in motion a machinery to carry out mass transfer of both senior and junior police officers at the force headquarters to guard against alleged laxity of some officers that led to the bomber forcing his way into force headquarters.

Already, there is palpable fear and anxiety occasioned by news of impending mass transfer of officers in all cadres, including Commissioners of Police, DCP’s, ACP’s CSP’s, SP’s, DSP’s, ASP’s and rank and file.

As early as 9 am yesterday, Assistant Inspectors General of Police from the 12 Zonal Commands, Commissioners of Police from the 36 states and Abuja, as well as the Deputy Inspectors General of Police had converged on the conference room of force headquarters for the IG’s briefing on the outcome of investigation into last Thursday’s blast.

However, minutes before the IG was expected to move into the conference room to commence the briefing, information came that he had been summoned to an emergency meeting at the office of the National Security Adviser.

The suddenness of the information created some kind of anxiety at the force headquarters, particularly among journalists, some of whom had arrived the conference room as early as 8 am to scale the huddle of the tough security measures put in place since the bombing incident.

Some even speculated that the manner the IG was summoned to the meeting, when it had been made public that he would be meeting with Police top shots from across the country, was a signal of trouble looming for him.

However, Vanguard was able to confirm that the meeting at the NSA’s office was occasioned by the rapidity with which the Boko Haram group had carried out their attacks in several states and Abuja, killing several Nigerians, including policemen, and sacking of a police station in Katsina.

As a result of the meeting at the NSA’s office, the IG then directed through his DIGs, that the Police top shots be asked to brainstorm on the present security challenges in the country and proffer recommendations that would be made available to the Police High Command at the end of today.

In this regard, the officers were divided into groups for the deliberation.

Present at the NSA meeting were General Azazi, the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal O. O. Petirin, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ola Saad Ibrahim, DG SSS, Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General Babagana Mongunu, DMI, DAI, DNI, DG NIA and other relevant security organs.