Nigeria Police Chief Tarnished Over 2001 Violence

By Salon Staff

Published January 26, 2012 1:54PM (EST)

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's president has selected a new officer to lead the nation's police force as a radical Islamist sect increasingly targets it for attacks. However, that man already has a past tarnished by allegations he allowed religious and ethnic violence that killed 1,000 people to spiral out of control.

Mohammed D. Abubakar served as police commissioner in Plateau state in 2001, leading up to rioting that saw Muslim and Christian groups attack each other in the restive central Nigerian city of Jos. While some victims burned to the death in the street, civil society groups said Abubakar refused to send officers into the street to stop the violence.

A presidential spokesman did not respond to a request for comment Thursday. Abubakar replaced Inspector Gen. Hafiz Ringim, who has been widely criticized over his response to attacks by the sect known as Boko Haram.

Salon Staff

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