, ABUJA, Jan 25 – Nigeria’s president, accused of failing to contain intensifying Islamist violence, fired the country’s police chief on Wednesday, saying a new leader was needed to run the force.
President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Mohammed D. Abubakar to replace Hafiz Ringim, “as a first step towards the comprehensive reorganisation and repositioning of the Nigeria police force to make it more effective and capable of meeting emerging internal security challenges,” said a statement.
Ringim was removed along with six of his assistants as the country reeled from a wave of bomb and gun attacks by Islamist group Boko Haram in the country’s second city of Kano that killed at least 185 people.
The attacks were the deadliest single operation by the group and targeted mainly police stations.
Pressure piled up on Ringim last week when a suspect thought to belong to the sect and believed to have masterminded the deadly Christmas day bombing of a church near the capital Abuja allegedly escaped from police custody.
That bombing killed at least 44 people.
Jonathan also set up a special police reform committee to “oversee the urgent reorganisation” of the force.
It will also identify members of the force that should be removed from the system due to disloyalty, corruption or indiscipline.