…urges communities to support neighbourhood security
•We’re in state of anarchy –Police officer
One-time head, Training and Doctrine Command Nigerian Army (TRADOC), Major- General Isola Williams, said the recent show of shame which led to the killings of four members of the Inspector General of Police Response Team (IRT), was not only appalling, but had made the people, whom the security agencies were supposed to protect, the enemy of state. Last week, four members of the IRT were killed in Ibi, Ibi Local Government, Taraba State, when they went to arrest a suspected kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume.
They succeeded in arresting Wadume, but were gunned down by soldiers on the orders of an army Captain, despite the fact that they identified themselves that they were on official and legitimate duty. Williams, in a chat with Sunday Telegraph, said this happened because the army got involved in duties meant for police. “There is a reason you separate military and the police.
One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people,” he said, quoting Admiral William Bill. Gen Williams provided a solution: “The civilians will blow the whistles to support security agencies.
The community policemen must stay in the community and not in the barracks.” A serving senior police officer, who spoke with the Weekly on the condition of anonymity, decried the brutal assassination of the four police officers in Taraba, saying, “It is demoralising for officers to be killed in the line of duty. “Now, the implication is much for the society, the family, the young children and the wives they left behind.
The way and manner they were brutally killed, they did not have to die the way and manner they did. “There is no amount of compensation that can take their place in the family. It will only take the grace of God for them not take it against the society when they get to know the way and manner their breadwinners were wasted.
“Here are officers who were commended for saving military officers when they were abducted. “We are in a state of anarchy. If a serving DPO could be abducted and he paid N3 million for ransom, the ordinary man is not safe. Wiith soldiers killing police men on official and legitimate duty, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
“The situation is dicey as the civilians are part of the problem. The man at the root of it all is a case in point. From all indications, there is the report that soldiers are on his payroll. To worsen the situation, the felled officers rescued military men when they were abducted. The military gave them a letter of commendation.
Look at the celebrated case of Evans. The case is dead when the principal witness is dead. We are just going around in cycles. Only God can deliver and protect us.” In the meantime, over 25 soldiers and policemen have been arrested for their alleged culpability in the dastardly act.
They include the army captain and the latest being the DCO of Ibi Police Division and the Station Officer. The DCO was said to have had over 200 telephone chats with Wadume who is said to be on the run.
President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered a thorough probe into the killing of the IRT operatives who were taking Wadume to the Taraba State Police Command when they died under a hail of bullets from soldiers at a check point. For the Chief Security Officer, Watertight Security Limited, Lagos, Mr. John Effiong, the face-off between the Nigerian police and Nigerian army is a pitiable one as it suggests weakness.
For him, the country has never had it this bad, saying that the situation endangers the lives of over 180 million Nigerians who depend on them for safety and protection.
He said: “This situation has been going on in the Nigeria security apparatus but it’s made clear now by this. You can recall one that happened along Lagos-Badagry Expressway, where army ambushed police officers that went for a peace talk. “It shows that intelligence collection between the two sisters agencies is faulty, which shouldn’t be. They must douse this tension before this blame trading leads to war between the army and the police.
“Those officers loyal to the deceased might want to avenge their colleagues’ death. It’s a bad signal and not good for the country’s security in a time like this when the country is combating crimes and terrorism – herdsmen, Boko Haram and Bandits among others.”
For a retired police DCO Bernard Obiaroko, both the police and army should be made to understand that they work for the good of the country and can’t be working at a cross purpose. He said, “If you go through the roles and missions of the two forces, it is to protect and maintain…
So, they are working for the same government and the same masses at all times. I said this because there have been cases of clashes between the two actors. “They clashed in Ebonyi State the other day, in Rivers, Abuja and Taraba to mention but a few.
This is not good for foreign investors. Insecurity will not allow any country to grow. The principal actors in this crisis must note this. “Having said this, this is the manifestation of what is happening in the country and you wouldn’t expect anything different. “Our security system can’t continue this way. Mr President must show himself a president ready to secure and protect the lives of people under him. This is just one killing too many.”