AUSTIN OMOS OYIBODE, EDITOR
Delta state chairman of Social Patriotic Youths Initiative, Comrade Efemena Umukoro, has said that the killing of three policemen by troops of 93 Battalion of the Nigerian Army is an embarrassment to the nation, saying such uncivilized action of the Nigerian security apparatus is the reason why the war against insecurity has remained largely unwinnable.
Umukoro, who is also the secretary of the youth wing of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) worldwide, said the killing of the police officers alongside a civilian in Takum, Taraba state on August 6, 2019 was one of the biggest unprofessional, barbaric and inhuman behaviour of one of the topmost security outfits in Nigeria.
Umukoro, a rights activist, condemned in strong terms the killing, saying the Nigeria Army should handover the overzealous military officers who carried out the dastardly act to the police for proper investigation or detain them in the army detention facility pending the determination of the outcome of the joint investigating panel set up by the army and the police and headed by deputy inspector general of police, Mike Ogbizi.
While calling on the panel to be unbiased in its investigation and make report public, he set out certain questions which needed to be answered by the Nigeria army viz: the name of the person who released the handcuffed suspect that was being taken to Jalingo by the operatives and where is the suspect at the moment.
He also demanded for the person who gave the command for the troop to fire at the police officers, and at the moment where are the military officers who killed the policemen and who made the distress call and is the army authorized to fire a car conveying alleged kidnap kingpin?
He also demanded to know why were the police officers killed and the kidnap kingpin allowed to go scot free not even with a bullet injury.
The activist insisted that the matter should not be swept under the carpet as it will kill the morale of the Nigeria police officers and reduce the faith and trust Nigerians have on the military as an institution of government.
He said: “The rate at which the Nigeria army has been involved in extra judicial killings nationwide is alarming and embarrassing to the nation,” asking: “Does it mean that the Nigeria police will protect themselves from being killed by bandit, armed robbers and at the same time being killed by a sister security agency?”
He called on the Nigeria police force and the federal government to look critically at this issue as the enemy of the Nigeria nation is sowing a seed of discord to discourage the Nigeria police from doing their work and thereby giving way to criminals and their sponsors to have a field day on the citizens.
He said: “The Nigeria policeman is someone’s husband, he is someone’s uncle, he is someone’s father and son, who has decided to sacrifice his life time and all for the safety of Nigerians. They need our prayers and support.
“We use this medium to appeal to our president, Muhammadu Buhari, who believes in rewarding hard work with promotion and more work to kindly honor these late heroes with a posthumous award in recognition of their outstanding performance and bravery in fighting crime and criminality in our nation.
“If the federal government can do this, it will awaken the morale of the Nigeria police to continue to work hard, protect lives and properties of Nigerians.
“May I use this medium to send my condolences to the Nigeria police force headed by Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu and letting them to know that they are not alone in this trying time, that they should continue to do their job in safeguarding lives and properties of Nigerians irrespective of the challenges before them.
“As the state chairman of social patriotic initiative, Delta State, I and the Delta council members send our condolences to their families as well. We pray God give them the fortitude to bear this painful and irreplaceable lost.
“We also appeal to the federal government to ensure the widows and families of the slain police officers are not neglected to suffer.”