• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Tears for slain policemen


These are indeed trying times for men of the Nigeria Police. The police, whose primary assignment is to protect lives and property, have continued to pay the supreme price for the job they enlisted in.

Since the Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009, Nigeria has lost a huge number of policemen and soldiers to the terrorists and other ethnic militias that have been riding roughshod over the country. News about killings of policemen has become so rampant in the country that most Nigerians have lost count of such unprovoked attacks. Of particular note and worrisome is the episode in Nasarawa State where an ethnic militia, Ombatse, ambushed policemen and massacred over 40 of them. A few days after, a military, police and prison formation in Bama, Borno State, was attacked by members of the Boko Haram, while police barracks in the outskirts of the township were invaded by the terrorists with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and petrol bombs.

Our hearts go out to the many widows and children of the slain policemen who were cruelly launched into their current unenviable statuses in the twinkle of an eye. 

Expectedly, President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a probe into the recent killings. He also convened a meeting with security chiefs to review the worsening security situation in the country. The president has also shown his sadness over the state of affairs in the country, particularly the challenging security firmament. As usual, the president ordered the security apparatchiks to unravel the perpetrators of the dastardly act in Nasarawa, and to pluck the Boko Haram insurgency. 

In line with the presidential directives, Mohammed Abubakar, the police IG, has deployed to Lafia Mike Zuokunmor, AIG in charge of Zone 4, to take full charge of the area to reassure the natives of their safety. We, however, point out, sadly, that past tough talks by Abuja or deployment of police highest chiefs to boiling spots did not yield any desirable result.

Over the years, there have been criticisms of government over poor funding of the police. Those who have attempted to defend government have always blamed the leadership of the police for the agency’s rag-tag appearance among their peers in the country. It is alleged that a few highly placed people in the system steal away allocations to the agency.

If it is so, government must also take the blame because it has consistently turned a blind eye to the rot and has over the years refused to find out the true position of things in the police. When recently an electronic medium tried to bring to the front burner the lamentable training and living standards of members of the Nigeria Police, government said its enemies were at work to score a cheap political goal. But that report could have afforded Abuja the opportunity to score the bull’s eye; it was bungled!

It is our belief that unless more proactive and practical steps are taken, all the grandstanding and consultations would amount to naught. We strongly believe that at the heart of dealing with the type of security challenges we currently have is intelligence; otherwise, continuous deployment of troops to the volatile zones will be tantamount to sending defenceless lambs into the lions’ den.