AN alert and dedicated policeman on duty made the difference between life and death for many members of the University of Maiduguri, UNIMAID, academic community when he shot and killed a male Boko Haram suicide bomber with deadly Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, strapped to his body in the evening hours of Monday, February 19, 2018.
According to a routine situation report made available by the Borno State Commissioner of Police, Mr Damien Chukwu, to the Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, the Mobile Police officer, Mr Baba Zakari (F/No.241253 of 53PMF) at 7.20 pm on that day sighted the deadly intruder trying to get into the university’s compound and shot him dead without injury or danger to any other life or property.
If not for the vigilance and commitment of this gallant officer, some of the law-abiding members of the university community who are still alive and going about their normal livelihood would have added to the gory statistics and body count that the Boko Haram Islamist terror has wreaked in the state, especially the University of Maiduguri, in recent years.
Baba Zakari, by this feat, draws our attention once again to the importance of our law enforcement agencies in our national life. Despite the fact that all our uniformed and security forces are routinely linked to so many acts of malfeasance, corruption, dereliction of duty, partiality, special treatment for “sacred cows” and human rights violations, they are still very indispensable for the protection of our lives and property. No matter what may be their faults, the Police are still our friends.
Our security agencies still have a good number of patriotic and dedicated officers like Baba Zakari who are ready to give their all to keep our country safe. It is unfortunate that these officers are often distracted by the many failings of governance which force the average Nigerian to look for ways of making ends meet. The Police and other security agencies are part and parcel of our society and its prevailing attributes. They will definitely improve in their performance when the crucial issues of good governance are addressed.
As a society, we must find ways of motivating those who have signed a contract to risk their lives to protect us. We must show them respect and appreciation for their services. Highly motivated national security architecture will focus more on their jobs and help secure this country.
We commend the Borno State Government and the State Police Command for steps taken to appreciate Mopol Baba Zakari’s gallantry. It will not only spur him to do more for his country, it will also encourage more officers to go the extra mile on their duty posts.
Sometimes it takes only one individual to make a huge difference.