By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, Tuesday, asserted that the claim by the Inspector General of Police, …,on fake police involvement on perpetrating violence during the November 16 governorship elections held in Bayelsa and Kogi States indicts his competence.
The Convener, Concerned Nigerians, Prince Deji Adeyanju, speaking with Vanguard described the claim as sad and an indication of decay in the nation’s security apparatus.
Deji said: “To start with, there’s no empirical evidence to prove those who compromised & aided rigging in Kogi & Bayelsa were fake police officers therefore we must assume they were real police officers.
“This goes to show the decay in our security apparatus in the country. This is a country where our security agencies have conceded territories to criminal gangs.
“The perfect example is the Kaduna-Abuja express road. Nigerians plying that axis of the country have resorted to using the trains now. Let’s even assume without conceding that it was fake policemen that overpowered over 60,000 policemen deployed for the Kogi & Bayelsa elections, was it also fake policemen that were using helicopters to attack voters and teargas them?
He also lamented that “There is a deliberate attempt to destroy our electoral system in Nigeria and this is so sad.
“It is so sad that every electoral gain we have recorded as a country since 2010 has been reversed.”
Also, the Convener, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, CNDC, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, deried the statement allegedly made by the police boss and described it as shameful.
According to Atoye the statement is troublesome and accused the IGP of placing alleged interest on politicians instead of citizens.
He said: “The damage that some appointed and elected public officials are doing to the commonwealth by aiding and abetting evil is unprecedented.
“The damage already done by that unthoughtful and shameful statement credited to the IGP alleging that it was miscreants and fake police that perpetrated the large scale, will gravely undermine the security architecture of the country and portray Nigeria as unfit for business and investments.
“It is unfortunate they are not doing the risk assessment and evaluation of their statements and conducts, including the overall consequences.
“It appears there is collusion to undermine democracy, human rights and the civic space, between some ravenous ruling elites and those saddled with the responsibility of protecting us.
“They are deliberately conceding the civic space to violent non-state actors in a bid by political lords to hold on to power. It is dangerous.
“That troubling statement by the IGP has exposed him as someone who places the interest of politicians above the constitution and absolutely willing to do the bidding of the unconscionable ruling elites.
According to him (Atoye) there was a time in Nigerian alleged unknown soldiers were killing innocent Nigerians, and now is fake police perpetrating violence.
“We once had the unknown soldiers who under the cover of the state killed and maimed. Today, the current IGP has regaled us with the threat of fake policemen who operated in Kogi and Bayelsa states under the protection of the state.
“It is important to also remind these leaders that they are equally digging their own future by making the society unsafe, sowing evil seeds that will someday affect their own future and that of their families.
“Many Nigerians are perpetually and illegally detained for months and years, either in disobedience of court or for lack of diligent prosecution of their cases.
“Our justice system has become insensitive to the plight of the common man, while only serving the interest of the common man. But the day of reckoning”, he lamented.
Expressing concern over the fake police saga, the National Coordinator, Grassroots Empowerment and Justice, GEJ, Initiative, Ebriku John Friday, said there is no basis for the IGP to defend alleged actions of his officers and men during the elections recently conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Bayelsa and Kogi States under the guise of fake police.
“This defence by the IGP holds no water. It is most unfortunate coming from a highly trained number one cop in the country. This has cast a dent and strong doubt on his competence.
“This clearly means he has admitted failure and this too depicts the terribly bad state of policing in the country”, Friday said.
He further stated that, “In a sane country, he should have resigned and get set for prosecution. Since he won’t resign, the President should do the needful to relieve him without further delay.
“His excuse is totally unacceptable and shows that nothing thorough was done to forestall the activities of criminals during the last governorship elections.
“On the plight of detained Nigerians with any justifiable reason, it is about time the justice work to save those Nigerians from rotting in jail without trial.
“It is saddening and indeed disheartening hearing that Nigerians are languishing in various detention centres for several years.
“I passionately call on government at all levels to put measures in place to fix this ugly situation and a bad part of our history. The judiciary like I said needs to step in and free this person. And the time is now”, he added.