By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
LAGOS— ACTION Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Wednesday , accused the police and the military involved in the Badagry face-off of behaving like mere militia groups, rather than the disciplined forces they are supposed to be.
Reacting to the Tuesday killings, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the leadership of both forces failed to discipline their men not to engage in such extra-judicial killings and lawless acts, which have disgraced Nigeria in the comity of nations.
The party blamed the Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, for preferring not to visit the scene where the killings took place, though he was in Lagos when the incident occurred.
ACN said: “The police boss should have taken time off to visit the scene where three of his men, including two senior officers, were killed in cold blood after they were lured into a supposed peace meeting. For the IGP, no assignment can be more important than the well-being of the men and women who serve in the force.”
The party traced the disgraceful behaviour and classic cases of indiscipline by some men of the police and the military, which led to the Badagry killings, to the fact that policemen and soldiers have become used to turning their guns against innocent civilians, with little or no consequences for the killers.
‘’Hundreds of Nigerians have been killed or maimed by policemen and soldiers, with most of them getting away with murder. This is why they are now emboldened to turn the guns, given to them by taxpayers to protect the people, against themselves.
‘’Had the leadership of these forces taken concrete measures to stop extra_judicial killings by their men, the incident in Badagry would not have happened. The latest killings have been played up because policemen and soldiers were involved.
“We must do everything possible to stop extra_judicial killings, whether the victim is a Molue driver or an Army General,’’ it said.
ACN tasked the leadership of the police and the military to act urgently to ensure that the senseless killings in Badagry never repeated itself, and to also take measures to ensure that their men behave like their counterparts in other climes, who would not take innocent lives for whatever reason.
‘’If the only thing that comes out of the Badagry killings is that innocent Nigerians will never again be mowed down in cold blood by trigger_happy policemen and soldiers, those who were killed in that moment of madness will not have died in vain,’’ the party said.
The police in this axis in the early hours of each day are fond of mounting road blocks at different strategic points in the local government, to carry out their stop and search activities.
But on Wednesday, the entire roads were free of police road blocks with the residents and motorists heaving assign of relief from the early morning traffic often encountered along the roads.
The police however, mounted road blocks in front of the Ajagbadi Police Stations to carry out their daily routine as against their usual style of mounting road block on all the major roads in the local government.
Also, none of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) patrol team was found on duty at the area.
Following the Tuesday shootout, commercial motorcyclists popularly called, “Okada” riders at Okokomaiko and other major areas had a swelled business as commercial buses kept off the roads leaving only the Okada riders.