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Taraba police killings ominous

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THE killing of three Nigerian policemen by some soldiers in Taraba State on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, is a mirror image of the security quandary now facing Nigeria. Nobody quite knows exactly what some of our armed security agents are up to.

The three detectives: Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeant Dahiru Musa and Sergeant Usman Dan Azumi, alongside their colleagues, had apprehended an alleged notorious kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Wadume, in Ibi Town in Taraba State. Wadume had been on the police radar for some time. His arrest came after he had reportedly collected N100 million in ransom payment.

However, as the gallant police officers returned with the suspect they were fired at by soldiers at a checkpoint who incidentally had passed them on before they got the kidnapper.

The murdered detectives were reputed to be among the best detectives in the Force who had performed similar feats in the past, including the arrest of suspected billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike (Evans).

President Muhammadu Buhari, has already directed the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, to investigate this ugly incident, while the Police authorities have since mounted a massive manhunt for Wadume, who was released by the trigger-happy soldiers.

We sympathise with the mourning Police Force and commiserate with the families of the deceased and the nation at large over these unfortunate losses.

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We, however, call for a widening of the search for answers to exactly what it was that took place in Taraba. We cannot afford to leave the probe to the military authorities alone, especially as the Army has maintained a defensive stance over a callous murder of policemen on national assignment.

The arrest of the culprits and professional probe of this incident will probably give further insight into the swirling rumours that some rogue elements in our armed forces might be hands-in-gloves with some of the network of criminals, terrorists and armed herdsmen killing Nigerians and threatening the unity and stability of this country.

The National Assembly Committees on the Interior and Security should reconvene and investigate this incident to prevent a cover-up that could lead to uglier episodes in the future.

No stone should be left unturned until Wadume and the trigger-happy soldiers are apprehended and their motives and sponsors ascertained, before the full weight of the law is brought to bear on them.

We are also deeply worried that the possible involvement of rogue elements of the security, police and armed forces could be responsible for the apparent inability of our security system to make any meaningful impact in addressing the spate of insecurity in the country.

This is happening despite the huge sums of money withdrawn from our national treasury (sometimes without legislative approval) to fight insecurity.

There is more to the Taraba killings than meets the ordinary eye.


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