Boko Haram, Kidnappers, My Priority -New IG …Says Mobile Force over-bloated
IG Hafiz RIngim
Newly appointed Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim has unfolded his agenda for the law enforcement agency, saying his immediate challenge was tackling the kidnapping menace particularly in the South-east geo-political zone, and the recurring violence induced by the Boko-Haram sect in the North-east.
Speaking exclusively to Pointblanknews.com Tuesday in Abuja, the new IG said his immediate approach was to deploy young, untainted officers to the trouble spots, admitting that corruption remained the greatest obstacle to adequately protecting life and property.
He described the over 75,000 strong Police Mobile Police Force (PMF) as “grossly overpopulated” and promised to slash the population of the PMF by more than 50 percent.
Said Ringim: “People complain about some activities of our Mobile Policemen, and sometimes they are right. We have men who have no business being in the PMF, yet they are there and soiling the image of the PMF.
“I was a Squadron Commander. In my days we had just about 60 men in one unit, and five units make up a squadron bringing the total population of a squadron to just about 300 men. We were very effective. Today you find over a thousand men in one squadron. How can you effectively superintend over a thousand men?” he asked.
The police boss disclosed that an immediate answer to the poor performance of the PMF was the slash the number of men and officers in the squadrons, stressing that those chosen to remain would be adequately retrained and “truly made Mobile policemen.”
Ringim, a former INTERPOL boss, also disclosed that he was withdrawing policemen who have been converted to domestic aides by politicians and businessmen, saying such had hugely dented the image of the force.
“Yes, our politicians expectedly would kick and fight back when we withdraw these policemen. For God's sake, these are men who are paid by taxpayers to protect life and property. You now convert them to guards and domestic servants. This we are putting a stop to.
“We want to build a very efficient police force. Our thinking is that if we have a very efficient police force, then there would be need for any politician or businessman to want to have a policeman or men in his house as an orderly,” he offered.
On the kidnapping menace in the South-east, Ringim, who was the immediate Assistant-General in charge of the zone, said he was abreast of the problem and would use his new office to tackle the problem.
“We are going to pay special attention to the South-east. We are going to get our lawmakers earmark funds for special equipment. For instance, we don't have a single helicopter in the zone. And knowing how dense the forests are in these areas with high incidence of kidnapping, it is virtually impossible to track the kidnappers without the aid of helicopters,” Ringim told Pointblanknews.com
He promised to embrace Information Technology and modern methods of crime detection and control, saying the “time has come for the Nigerian Police Force to indeed prove that it has the best men and officers in the world.”