The police on Thursday reviewed the casualty figure released after the suicide bombing which took place at the Federal College of Education, Kontangora, on Wednesday, stating that apart from the female suicide bomber who died in the process, another student who was badly wounded later succumbed to death, bringing the number of deaths to two. The Police authorities also said they will no longer accept excuses from its men concerning unlawful killing of citizens in the name of ‘accidental discharge’.
Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Emmanuel Ojukwu, who made the declaration at the Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA)/I-Nigerian Initiative media briefing in Abuja also lamented the unprecedented number of casualties the force has suffered due to the ongoing terrorist activities in parts of the country.
Ojukwu said, “There is nothing like accidental discharge because every gun has a safety lever. You must have cocked the gun before it fired and you only cock a gun when you have the intention of firing. If you kill illegally, the police will deal with you.”
He noted with regret that most of the time when casualty figures are reported in the media in the war against terrorism in Nigeria, no mention is made of policemen whereas “police have more widows and orphans than any other agency in the country”.
He appealed that adequate and prompt compensations be given to dependants of these fallen heroes.
Speaking on how the police was able to minimise incidents of cattle rustling in the North-west of the country, Ojukwu said it deployed the 13 helicopters it possessed to engage the thieves in aerial surveillance, while other officers combed the forests on foot to combat the militant marauders in the affected communities in Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna States among others.
He however said the operation would be a continuous one so that those who have gone into hiding will not have the opportunity to return.
The image maker dismissed complaints that despite the creation of other agencies like Nigerian Customs, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence, Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Road Safety Commission and others, policemen still perform those functions.
According to him, Nigeria Police is the oldest law enforcement agency in the country and is vested with enormous powers, but despite the creation of other agencies later, there has been no law removing such functions from the police.
He explained that the police is currently being repositioned for better performance and that it was in that regards that the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, ordered the auditing of the police armoury and constituted another committee to review the technical infrastructure including information technology.
On the contentious issue of the removal of police orderlies from the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, Ojukwu declined to speak much but contended that there was already a decided Supreme Court case on the matter and that it becomes a matter of compulsion for the occupier of the office to vacate the seat once he or she leaves the party upon which he contested and won the election in the first place.