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Buratai to soldiers: Avoid confrontation with policemen

The Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has enjoined military personnel who are travelling to do so in mufti in order to avoid confrontations with policemen.

Buratai, army, Nigeria
Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai is still the Chief of Army Staff

The COAS, made this known in a letter titled, ‘Need for troops to be circumspect in dealing with members of the Nigeria Police.’ written by Brig. Gen. F. Omoigui for the Buratai.

It read in part, “In the aftermath of the unfortunate incident involving troops of 93 bn, Takum and members of the Intelligence Response Team of the NPF at Ibi LGA of Taraba State on August 6, 2019, inciting and inflammatory comments are being made by the NPF on the regular and social media platforms.

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“This is capable of inciting the rank and file of the NP to exhibit aggressive tendencies against NA personnel. Accordingly, all troops on IS (Internal Security) duty as well as personnel travelling in and out of uniform are to be circumspect in their conduct to avoid escalation.”

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“Consequently, formations and unit commanders are to educate troops to be cautious in their dealings with members of the NP in view of this development. Troops travelling on pass are to endeavor to do so in mufti,”

The Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, had issued a statement that the Police Operatives, led by ASP Felix Adolije of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) reportedly came under sudden attack by soldiers along Ibi–Jalingo Road.

Mba said that the operatives, who were taking the arrested suspect, Alhaji Hamisu to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo, were shot at severally by the soldiers in spite of sufficient proof that they are Police personnel on legitimate duty.

He said that three Policemen comprising one Inspector and two Sergeants and one civilian died as a result of gunshot injuries sustained in the attack while others sustained serious gunshot wounds.

According to him, the soldiers thereafter released the handcuffed suspect, Alhaji Hamisu, who is now on the run.

Also, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Defence Headquarters to commence immediate investigation of incident involving the troops of 93 Battalion, Takum, Taraba, which resulted to the death of three police officers and a civilian.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting of the National Security Council, presided by President Buhari at the State House, Abuja.

The Army and Police authorities had on Wednesday constituted a Joint Investigation Panel to investigate the incident.

Col. Sagir Musa, Acting Director of Army Public Relations, in a statement on Wednesday, said the panel would be headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Criminal Investigation Department, DIG Mike Ogbizi.

Musa said that the panel would jointly investigate and report on the true circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incidence in order to avert future occurrences.

However, the Chief of Air Marshal said: “The council also decided that the unfortunate incidents in Taraba State in Ibi, a committee will be setup under the Defence Headquarters to critically look into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident.’’

Abubakar also revealed that the council evaluated the current strategy of managing internal security operations across the country.

According to him, the council expressed satisfaction with the current efforts aimed at restoring law and order in the country.

“We are making substantial progress in all the areas of conflicts,’’ he said.

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