As Nigerians were still trying to recover from the shock of the blast that wasted lives at the Abuja Headquarters of the Nigerian Police, within hours of the explosion, Olusola Amore, the spokesman of the police went on air narrating how the incident happened , it was concluded that it was a suicide bombing incident.
Street Journal however debunked the claims that it was a suicide bombing incident; we also went on to report that the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim was the likely target of the bomb attack by the aggrieved members of his force over unpaid allowances during the last General Election.
Investigations conducted by Street Journal revealed that though the Boko Haram sect has claimed responsibility for the explosion, the bombing was not without the prior knowledge of some police officers especially those in the rank and file. Investigations revealed that most police officers have one thing or the other against the Inspector General and a number of officers were said to have had a direct connection with the incident. Some sources within the police disclosed that the plot was mainly to embarrass the Inspector General.
Although the police made a 360 degree turn yesterday when it recanted the suicide bombing theory it had propounded about the June 16 incident, the move confirmed Street Journal’s earlier report. The Nigerian Police retracted its claim that it was carried out by a suicide bomber. The Police Public Relations Officer of the force, said investigations were continuing to determine the actual cause of the blast.
Street Journal Investigations revealed that some men of the force were not unaware that the explosion would take place. They just decided to keep mute.
The officers who felt short-changed by the IG are alleging that they have not received the money promised them for election duty. It will be recalled that senior police officers who participated in the election duty in 2011 were promised N9,000 each, Inspectors N7,500 each, and the Rank and Files were to be paid N5,000 each.
Street Journal however found out that most men in the rank and file were either not paid or did not get full payment, so many officers who have been nursing grievances against the IG’s way of doing things have resolved that he should be punished.
While some officers feel Ringim was actually not the right candidate for the Inspector General’s job, some others among them are of the opinion that the IG is incompetent and he can hardly function effectively. Hafiz Ringim was in charge of the Abia zone as an Assistant Inspector General when Osisikponkwu, the notorious kidnapper held sway in the region and Ringim could not bring the kidnapper to book.
It is also being said in some quarters that Ringim’s credentials testify to his incompetence; unlike the last few occupants of the position who have Law degrees and post graduate degrees, Ringim only holds an Advanced Diploma in Public Administration.
The situation was almost similar when Tafa Balogun was the I.G during the 2003 elections. It was alleged then that Balogun paid the junior officers just 10% of the N 3,000 that should accrue to them for taking part in election duties. He was later convicted for fraud involving billions of Naira.
It is also an open secret that allegations of fraud and misappropriation are not peculiar to Tafa Balogun; his successor, Sunday Ehindero too had his fair share. Just before he was officially pulled out, about N21 million was confiscated from Ehindero’s close aides, John Obaniyi, the then Commissioner of Police in charge of Budget; and Olu Monday, then a deputy Superintendent of police in Obaniyi’s office.
Many questions were raised on how police allocations under Ehindero’s tenure, especially the funds released for the payment of estacode and election duties of his men were expended. The said money ran into billions.
It is already being said that the last might not have been heard about the allegations against Ringim. Though they are still being discussed in hushed tones within the force, they may come up in the next few weeks if the Inspector General does not rise to address the situation. The aggrieved men of the force too may also adopt other measures to press home their demands.