By Ifeanyi Okolie
Mr. Addulmajid Ali, is the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Police Anti-Bomb Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, in his interview with Crime Guard, he talked about the preparedness of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit the Force in responding and curtailing bomb attacks in the country.
What would you say is behind the success of the command anti bomb squad
first of all, we need to thank the Inspector General of Police, MD Abubakar, he has been our back bone, we lucky to have him as an IGP, he has given a lot of support, in equipment and man power. In fact his support has been phenomenon which can not be quantify. You know without his support things wouldn’t have gone smoothly the way it did last year as it did.
Last year we made a lot of success, it as so marvelous. We enjoined through our everything was fine and the credit goes to the IGP. Last year we observed that you had series of training, both locally and abroad, I want know how efficient and swift you men can be in arrest a bomb situation all over the country. Our men are highly profession and technical as you said they have been trained extensively. And their response are very quick and prompt and here .
If you observe during one of the blast in Port Harcourt , our men were the first on ground who conducted a sweep in the area and I even saw them on television telling people of the result of the investigation conducted. If there is any blast we go there for post blast assessment and we come up with technical report and professional report on what really happened.
If there is any use of IED we will tell them and if it not a bomb we will tell. How is the synergy between the bomb squad and veracious command across the country. All command work close with the bomb units in their command and the bomb units work operationally under the CP of their command. But we control them departmental but when it comes to operation, they are under the CP of any command they are posted to because the CP is more closer to them than us.
How are you going to ensure that our airports are safe from IED attack.
The IGP has approved the deployment of sniffer dogs to our airports and we intend to use them maximally particularly not only on departure hall but also on the arrival because we need to check what are coming in and going out of our country. Because we consider more on the people going our but we must concentrate on people coming in. just as in the case Abdulmutalab, he brought in the IED from Ghana and also left the country with it.
So we have to concentrate more on the arrival hall this time. Dog are very effect in detection of explosive and are very accurate as well. A side defusing of bomb and investigating bomb situations, do you run an intelligence unit that can as curtail terror. How effective is squad’s intelligence unit. We have our own surveillance unit and our men go on patrol to look around on things is happening .
But remember that we must be there before any gathering, even when the president is visiting a place, bomb squad must be the be the first to arrive at that venue to sweep the place and an sure that the whole palace is safe and we will be the last to leave that place to ensure that there is safety and everybody has left the place to there various houses. How is 2014 going to look like, are we going to have a bomb free society with the hi-tech equipments given to the bomb squad we are fully prepared and I want to assure you that the days of the insurgents are numbered because we will be fishing them out one by one.
How would ensure the successful deployment of Detective Canine at the arrival hall of the airport .
We are going to work in consultant with the FANN security unit and we are going to work out the modalities. The responsibility of security at the airport is soly the police responsibility because if anything happens there they will ask the police first not the FAAN officials and if they say they should investigate it is we that will investigate not them but you know we just have to be on ground. If its not the Nigeria Police Bomb Unit, then it is not a bomb unit.
Those other people coming up learnt from us . we trained them before they opened their own , even the military call the police. FAAN also call the police the moment the discover any suspicious bag in the airport they will start looking for bomb unit to come and identify. Nigerian should stop the proliferation of agencies it does not help. Because it duplicate function every boy is trying to do the same thing.
People who are specialized in it should be allowed to do it. The EOD men are highly trained, they have been trained in the United State of American, Germany, Britain and even Israel. Highly technical and highly professional and they usually excel. In fact the last squad was one of the best squad we have ever had in the US, they don’t even want them to come back.
You know we are bless with brains in this country, even one of the directing staffs said if those people were to be Americans the sky would have been their limit . He used his money to register them into the bomb squad association in American. Some of them were crying when the boys were passing out. They said have being training people from other countries but these Nigerians are just marvelous and that is hat God made us to be. have the brains.
What is your message for Nigerians, how would you want them to react hen there is a bomb scare
they said to whom much is given much is expected , we have been given the resources to work and e I can assure you that we will do our best. We enjoyed relative peace during the yuletide period all of the country, there was no threat from any where. Even the insurgents in the north were also relaxed. I ill wan to assure Nigerians that we are up to the task and the EOD unit will do all it can to ensure that t we maintain this peace that we are enjoying now.
I will also want the public to be aware that e entering into a very dice period particularly the electioneering champagne, where a lot of gathering will be happening anything can happen. We don’t want what is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, where they detonate bombs places in crowed places, to happen here. That why we have these Germans who are meant to detonate any type of hand set devices and when you have Germans nothing can happen. We still urge members of the public to give us information. We are currently all over the federation we have increased from 27 to 57 under the watch of this present IGP.