Ringim denies meeting Boko Haram bomber
Inspector general of police, IGP Hafiz Ringim has denied ever having a meeting with the Police Headquarter bomber of June 6, 2011 or inviting him to join his convoy, describing various reports to that effect as untrue.
“Let me correct the impression that I personally received the bomber in my resident and asked him to join my convoy as reported…it is not true and you all have my phone number and that of the PRO (Public Relations Officer) to enable you confirm your stories.
Pointblanknews.com had revealed on the day of the bombing that the police boss had met with the Bomber at his Maitama residence. The Punch Newspapers, Thisday Newspapers and others also reported same few days later.
Mr. Ringim who did not give reason why an alien car would be allowed to join his convoy said investigations were ongoing to determine if the blast was caused by a suicide bomb or a time bomb.
“This is spreading falsehood to millions of innocent Nigerians who believe in anything they read in the newspaper. I assure you of my continued cooperation in your efforts to give correct report about happenings in any police formation.“I call for the cooperation of all Nigerians to rid the society of criminally-minded few who are trying to paint the country as insecure.” The IGP who did not take questions from journalist said the meeting with senior police officers was meant to review the current security situation and to chart a way forward.
In his first statement since the bomb blast at the Police headquarters Ringim said “Investigation has not been concluded to confirm the motive as to whether it is a suicide bomb or time bomb or otherwise.” “This is to correct the impression and analysis of the unfortunate incident,” Mr Ringim said in the statement.
“Taking cognizance of the incident, there is certainly an urgent need to review the security situation in the country as well as plot how the police and other law enforcement agencies will tackle it,” he said, adding, “The last blast was certainly a big wake-up call and we need to rise to the challenge.”
The Force in a statement titled: “Press statement by the Inspector General of Police” made available to newsmen after the opening session of the IGP's conference in Abuja said investigations have not been concluded to determine whether it was a “suicide bomb or time bomb or otherwise.”
Ringim had after the incident, through the Force spokesman, Mr. Olusola Amore, blamed the attack on a lone suicide bomber suspected to be a member of the Boko Haram Islamic sect.
The statement reads in part: “Gentlemen of the press this is the first time I will meet with you after the unfortunate incident of the bomb blast at FHQs (Force Headquarters) on 16/06/2011. Many write up and analysis have come up in the mass media, some true, some half true and some totally false.
“Let me start by correcting the report about the fact that it is suicide bombing. Investigation has not been concluded to confirm the motive as to whether it is suicide bomb or time bomb or otherwise. This is to correct the impression and analysis of the unfortunate incident.
“Investigation into the bomb blast is on course and when there is development members of the media will be updated about the investigation but you will be patient and not allow your report to jeopardize investigation.
According to him: “First I want to start by apologizing to invited members of the press and other members of the public present here. There has been delay in this address, which is occasioned by lot of activities. As you are aware, ladies and gentlemen, this is a period that is very critical to the Nigeria police Force.
“I want to seize this opportunity to condole with the country and the police force over the loss of our gallant people that lost their lives in the last explosion at the police headquarters premises. Similarly, I want to condole with the family of the late Dattim Nangwor, the gallant officer that lost his life in order to save us all.
“We invited you here this afternoon to share with you the experience of the last blast as well as to afford you the opportunity to get first-hand information of the damage caused by the blast and also draw some lessons.
“In this regard, I want to seize this opportunity and to graciously thank Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief for his personal visit to this headquarters and his kind words. I also in this regard want to thank Her Excellency, the First Lady for her gracious visit to our ladies in POWA (Police Officers Wives Association).
“As senior police officers of the Nigeria police force we invited you to this meeting because of all your experience in law enforcement, we sincerely believe that you have a lot of contributions to make in our efforts to chart a course forward. The last blast was sadly a big wakeup call and we are all challenged.
“Taking cognizance of the incident there is certainly an urgent need to review the current security situation in the country as well as plot how the police and other law enforcement agencies will tackle it. I am pleased that you have spent the last 24 hours reviewing what we have on the ground and proffering solutions that would ensure as well as guarantee the security of the nation now and in the future.
“I have seen the wonderful works that your various committees have put up and I am indeed pleased to announce that, God willing, when we adhere to some of your recommendations, we shall certainly move forward. I have asked the management team to review the work that you have done so far and produce a working document that would serve as guide to our future security now that our personnel and our respective security as well as all other national assets in the country.
“May I seize this opportunity and thank all Nigerians for their support and encouragement since the incident. I also want to thank members of the mass media and assure them that their various comments have been noted and would be fully utilized.”