Uba Bala Ringim, a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), was a Commissioner of Police when the dreaded Boko Haram was in its infancy in Borno State.
In this interview, he spoke on the steps he took towards curtailing the insurgency at that early stage and how those who succeeded him bungled the efforts.
He also spoke on general policing, including the recent #EndSARS protest across the country, as well as his current experience as chairman of the Jigawa State Local Government Service Commission.
How would you describe your early years in life?
I was born in the mid 1950s. I had primary education at Ringim and attended secondary school at Rano in the present Kano State, after which I moved to the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kano campus and graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education (BA.Ed), with specialisation in Psychology. I did my national youth service in Niger State.
After the youth service in 1979 I joined the Nigeria Police Force as a cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).
My first station was the present Katsina State while it was under Kaduna. I rose through the ranks to the position of DIG.
I served for 33 years and retired on December 31, 2010. I engaged in farming until July this year when the Governor of Jigawa State invited me to be the chairman of the State Local Government Service Commission (LGSC).
I accepted the assignment willingly and thankfully. That’s what I have been doing.
How would you compare your point of entry into the Police Force as a cadet ASP and what obtains nowadays?
The only difference is that when I joined, we were only 36 in the whole country, but today, I think 1,000 or more people apply.
However, recently they scrapped cadet ASP because it is like the military’s Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), where you spend five years and become an officer.
So, the competition is high now. Everybody now wants it, unlike before when very few people wanted to join the police.
I was the first officer with a degree to join the police in the old Kano State. Some people thought that I wouldn’t stay, but I stayed.