By Suzan Edeh, Bauchi
State Police Commissioners are now to be held accountable anytime a police station or command is attacked by armed robbers or members of the Islamic Boko Haram sect.
This is coming against the incessant attacks on police stations and some Police Area Commands by suspected members of Boko Haram leading to the untimely death of several policemen in some parts of the country, especially the north.
Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, Zone 12, Mohammed Abubakar, made this known yesterday while on a familiarization tour to the Bauchi State Police Command. Zone 12 comprises Bauchi, Borno and Yobe States.
‘’It is no longer business as usual as any Commissioner of Police who allows his command to be attacked shall bear the consequences of his inaction; same with Area Commands and Divisional Police Officers, DPOs,” Abubakar said.
According to the AIG, “Bauchi State has suffered various invasions in six police divisions and eight banks in less than six months in which cash, arms and ammunition belonging to the Nigeria Police Force and several millions of Naira were carted away by dare-devil armed robbers.
’’In one the attacks about two weeks ago, by the attackers stole about N32 million from the vaults of two new generation banks in Azare in the state.
’’I call on all of you to continue to be committed, dedicated by putting in your best in this trying period so that we can all face these daunting challenges of ridding our society of all forms of criminality while obeying the mantra of the rule of law.
’’We can no longer fold our arms and watch criminals taking the law into their hands by killing innocent citizens and burning police stations; attacking and looting banks unchallenged.
’’We need to fortify the security networks around our stations, barracks, banks, key and vulnerable points, government establishments and guarantee the security and safety of members of the public.”
The AIG who warned that in no case should the police leave the issue of intelligence to the Criminal Investigation Bureau, CIB, alone adding that every member of the force should be involved in intelligence gathering, to enable them combat criminal activities in the state.
He then charged officers and men of the police to wake up from slumber and take the challenges of fighting crimes and criminality with all seriousness, warning further that they should stay away from corrupt acts capable of tarnishing the image of the force.
Abubakar however, noted that one of the major challenges facing the police was what he described as ‘’the unhealthy relationship cum social distance between the police and the people they are protecting.’’
Earlier, the Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, had informed the AIG that his command remained undaunted despite the security challenges in the state, as he had since devised strategies to counter the problems.
‘’Within my short spell in the state, I must not fail to point out the invasions of four of our divisions: Alkaleri, Gamawa, Ganjuwa and Azare Area Commands by dare devil armed robbers/hoodlums.
’’Unfortunate, as it is, it has further spurred us to constantly devise new strategies to contain them. ‘’We have also taken time to enjoin officers and men to brace up to the current security challenges in the entire country, and assiduously guard their stations against any form of criminal onslaught,” Aduba added.