NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA
24 March, 2014
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr
Mohammed Abubakar, on Monday said
that four units of mobile police (about
600 personnel) had been deployed to
tackle the communal crisis in Benue.
He announced this while addressing
newsmen shortly before going into a
closed door meeting with Assistant
Inspectors-General (AIGs) of Police. The AIGs are in charge of the 12 police
zonal commands across the country. He said the meeting would review the
security situation in states under the
zones and adopt strategies to address
“As I talk to you today (Monday), I have four units of mobile policemen right from the headquarters inside the bush in Benue. “They are led by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations) and Commissioner of Police (Mobile Force);they are there to protect innocent people,’’ he said.
Abubakar listed Benue, Plateau, Taraba,Kaduna and parts of Zamfara as some of the locations in the North where there were communal clashes mostly between herdsmen and farmers. He also said that difficult terrain, delay in getting information due to network problem and lack of police presence in those areas were some of the challenges in tackling the clashes.
“These attacks take place inside the
bush; most of the people attacked are in the villages and sometimes, some of the difficulties we encounter are in the terrain of the places. “Secondly, information comes to the police very late because of network situation; remember, most of these places, if you check, there’s no existence of police station or posts.
“So, the Commissioner of Police in each command has to grapple with how to take policemen to such places and how they will remain there for the duration of their work,’’ he said.
Abubakar also noted that years back,
there were grazing areas and routes for the herdsmen, adding “today, the story is different; no grazing places and no routes; so this is part of the problem’’.
On the situation in the North-East, he said it was getting better following the continued efforts of the police and other security agencies. “The issue of terrorism in the North East, I am glad to say that we are making serious efforts; the situation is getting much better than ever before as can be noticed,’’ he said.
On whether the police had failed in the fight against terrorism, Abubakar said the force had not but admitted that the military had taken the lead in the campaign. “You need to understand the difference between the declaration of war and issue of internal security in Borno.
“When it comes to the issue of war, the military is in the lead; it is not because of the failure of the police. Once there is war, the military takes lead. “In Borno state, we work jointly with the military; where the military finishes its job, the police occupy the place and provide security and allow constituted authorities to exist,’’ he said.
The I-G also said that armed robbery and kidnapping had witnessed significant decline across the country but added that the force would not relent in providing security. “You will agree with me that the issues of armed robbery and kidnapping have
declined significantly all over the country but we are not taking any chances,’’ he said.