Niger Deltans urge Jonathan to take drastic action against Boko Haram, sponsors

2012-01-21
The Nations Newspaper

As Nigerians continue to express disbelief and anger over the escape of the alleged mastermind of the

Christmas Day bomb blast at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, Kabiru Umar,

prominent Niger Deltans have called for more drastic action against Boko Haram.

Comrade Joseph Evah of the Ijaw Monitoring Group called for the trial of the Inspector General of Police,

Mr Hafiz Ringim, and the Commissioner of Police, Zakari Biu, who was with Umar (aka Kabiru Sokoto)

when he staged the ‘mysterious’ escape.

Speaking in a telephone interview with The Nation yesterday, Evah said: "What surprised me is the

conduct of Biu. I am not surprised that the man escaped. I am surprised because this man is still in the

force in spite of the allegations against him during the MKO Abiola incident."

Evah reserved his harshest criticism for IG Ringim who he said should be sacked immediately along

with Biu and made to stand trial for the disappearance of the Boko Haram suspect, stressing that

President Goodluck Jonathan must be bold and decisive at this critical time.

He said: "This man (IG) and Biu should face trial. I advised President Jonathan before to declare a state

of emergency in at least two states in the north to serve as deterrent to other politicians who could be

harbouring and aiding Boko Haram."

The president must be bold in handling this issue now just like former President Olusegun Obasanjo did

with the Jos crisis. He should declare a state of emergency and sack the houses of assembly.

In the present disgraceful act, Ringim should not just be removed. He should be made to face trial. This

is not an issue that can be swept under the carpet; it is a big shame. I cannot believe that Biu has been

placed under house arrest! We need total investigation and those found culpable should be brought to

book, Evah added.

For his part, the National Coordinator, the Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, Comrade

Oghenejabor Ikimi, said the incident has made the Nigeria Police a laughing stock across the world.

Ikimi, who called for the immediate sack of Ringim and other top police brass from the force, said only

such drastic move would restore some respect for the nation and the force.

He said: "The culpable act of negligence has made our police force the laughing stock before the

comity of nation, and, as such, we call for the sack of the IGP and CP Biu and the prosecution of all those

policemen found culpable in the entire saga in a bid to restoring public confidence in the force."

Speaking in the same vein, AnnKio Briggs of the Ijaw Republican Assembly expressed anger at the

unbelievable incompetence of the police force that led to Umar's escape, hinting that there was more to

it.

She lamented perceived double standard in security agents handling of situations in the nation, saying,

Some criminals and perpetrators of despicable acts of terrorism in this country seem to find a way of

escaping from custody.

"Someone who is believed to have carried out this heinous crime that led to the death of over 30

Christians on such a significant day managed to escape from police custody. This follows the trend

where some criminals manage to get bail or escape while others rot in jail." she said.

 

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