Home » Headlines, Nigerian Police » DIG Haruna John pays last visit to force headquarters…IGP bids late DIG bye at police parade

DIG Haruna John pays last visit to force headquarters…IGP bids late DIG bye at police parade

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friends and relations consoling Mrs Olayinka, wife of the late DIG Haruna John at the funeral parade in Abuja yesterday.
Photo: Sun News Publishing

Goodnight Haruna, may your soul rest in peace”. That solemn statement by the Inspector General of police, Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday marked the beginning of the final journey of the late Deputy Inspector General of police [DIG] in charge of Operations, Haruna John, from the force headquarters in Abuja to eternity.

Even the toughest among police officers and men succumbed to emotions and wept openly when the ambulance bearing the remains of the DIG made its entry into the Quarter Guard at the Louis Edet House at 10.40am for a funeral parade which lasted about one hour.

Represented by the DIG [Administration], Mr. Suleiman Fakai, IGP Abubakar, who is presently out of the country on a Federal Government delegation to Geneva, lamented the demise of Haruna, who was snatched away by the cruel claws of death on Wednesday, March 14.
He described the late DIG as a bright star, a warrior and gallant officer who sent jitters into the spines of armed robbers like a scorpion, and exhibited a rare professional dexterity in resolving difficult challenges with ease.

“The person you are seeing here in this coffin in front of me is no other person that DIG Haruna John. There is no doubt that all of us would certainly be in a casket one day. I am most touched by the death of the DIG not only because of his dutiful and tenacious strength of character, but by the fact that he was like a warrior and he led operations in various areas like a scorpion.

“I salute your gallantary in resolving difficult challenges, you sent jitters down the spines of criminals. Your star shone brightly; even in death, you stood tall among us. You came, you saw and you conquered; Goodnight Haruna, may your soul rest in perfect peace,” the IGP declared amid a pin-drop silence.

Widow of the deceased, Mrs. Olayinka John, who arrived the force headquarters at about 10.14am in company with her children and other members of the family aboard two Toyota Coaster buses in a convoy of police patrol vans, was calm and kept mute throughout the brief ceremony, but Merey shook her head occasionally.
A deafening sound of sirens and revolving lights of about five police outriders heralded the arrival of the remains of the fallen tough cop in an ash and grey-coloured sparkling casket drabbed in full police colours of blue-yellow-green, with a sword and wreath, was lifted out of a white police ambulance marked NPF 5060C at exactly 10.45am, after the all the DIGs had marched past it in honour of their departed colleague.

By 10.48am, an already formed funeral parade comprising officers and men moved to the parade ground within the premises of the force headquarters where the body of the late DIG was laid on a table for prayers and homily by a police chaplain, Assistant Superintendent Fagbeun, who offered words of encouragement to the deceased’s family and personnel of the police force. Ouoting from the book of Revelations in the Holy Bible, Rev Fagbeun said Haruna was not dead as a christian, having used God’s light to serve humanity by protecting lives and property. “He is asleep in this world, but he is awake at the other side,” the police chaplain remarked.

The funeral parade which preceeded a service of songs which held on Tuesday at the deceased’s residence in the Jabi District of Abuja, climaxed with a 21-gun salute fired on the orders of the parade commander, Superintendent Dennis Tumba. A few minutes later, his body was moved by four pall bearers, all Assistant Commissioners of Police [ACPs] in full ceremonial uniform, to the ambulance which exit venue at about 11.35pm in a convoy of police vehicles enroute the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport for the late DIG’s final journey to his hometown in Taraba State, where his remains would be laid to rest on Saturday.

Ironically, he died at the peak of his career exactly 21 days after he was promoted to the rank of DIG, a double-leap w hich he enjoyed alongside four other commissioners of police including Marvel Akpoyibo, Abdurahaman Akano, Peter Gana, Emmanuel Udeoji, all of whom are presently DIGs. Haruna had shuttled twice between Abuja and Jos in the last 72 hours on official engagements before he met his untimely death about noon on Wednesday, March 14, when the police helicopter which was to convey him to Abuja, crashed in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

He was in Jos three days earlier, company with the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Oluseyi
Petirin, shortly after the bomb blast at the St. Finbars’ Catholic Church, during which he took charge of police operations until the situation was put under control before returning to Abuja. The late DIG, who hails from Karim Lamido Local Government Area of Taraba State, had return to Jos in the early hours of Tuesday March 13, where he represented the Inspector General of police, Mohammed Abubakar, at the inauguration of participants for the Intermediate Command Course as the Police Staff College[PSC], as well as to review the security situation in the State. He was returning to Abuja the next day alongside his Orderly, pilot and the co-pilot, when the ill-fated chopper crashed shortly after take-off, around killing all passengers on board.The other three victims included ACP Garba Yalwa– Pilot; CSP Alexander Pwol-Ja, co-pilot, and Sgt Sonatian Shirunam , who was Orderly to late DIG Haruna.

Born on August 16, 1956, Haruna enlisted into the police force June 5, 1978, and rose through the ranks to become commissioner of police on October 22, 2006. He had served in various capacities, especially in the ‘B’ Operations Department of the police, where he once held sway as CP Federal Operations [FEDOPS].
The late DIG who at one time, headed the Anambra State police command, was also one of the longest serving commissioners of police in the Federal Capital Territory[FCT] command. He was later posted to the Benue State command where he served for a few months and was promoted DIG on Wednesday, February 22, this year. Curiously, he died on a Wednesday, exactly three weeks after his elevation, and 12 days after wearing the rank of DIG.

The funeral parade was attended by the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade [retd]; the chairman, Police Service Commission, Mr. Parry Osayande, representatives of the Chief of Defence Staff [CDS] and the three service chiefs, as well as representatives of heads of paramilitary services, among other top government officials


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