…force to reengineer state internal security for better policing
Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State, Amiengheme Andrew, on Tuesday disclosed that 23 officers had died in the state recently, noting that 22 of them died during the attacks on police formations while one died in an accident.
The revelation came as the Deputy Inspector General of Police, in charge of Research and Planning, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Moses Jitoboh, said that there would be changes in the internal security of Akwa Ibom State police to tackle incessant attacks and killings of police officers in the state.
According to him the internal security of the state would be reengineered, and community policing retooled for greater efficiency.
Jitoboh, who was on tour of police formations recently attacked by armed men said this on Tuesday while addressing security stakeholders during a meeting at the Akwa Ibom State Police Command in Uyo, the state capital.
He stated that the acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has mandated him as the most senior officer in the South-South to be the theatre commander of a new operation called, “Operation Restore Peace”.
He added: “The IG has directed me as the most senior officer from the South-South to be the theatre commander of what we call, “Operation Restore Peace.
“We have to restore peace that is almost broken, we have to bring peace together and the way we are going to do it, Nigeria and the world would be grateful.
“Men and assets have been deployed, of which the IGP launched in Enugu and Port Harcourt. We have put down mechanisms in place to tackle attacks on Police formations.
“I want to tell the people of Akwa Ibom state that peace is here. Peace will be restored. Operation restore peace has come to stamp its feet and we want to tell them that we have adopted a slogan, ‘never again’. Never again will policemen be killed unjustly, never again will police stations be burnt, never again.
“I have gone to Ikot Akpan in Essien Udim, the biggest hotbed, we have dominated that place, the Police has taken over everything there and peace has been restored. So, never again will the police take all these killings and wanton destruction of properties.
“I’m also here to tell you that with what has happened, we will change the internal security so that it would be better. The internal security of this state will be re-engineered, and you will have a better police force. We will retool our community policing to make it better.”
In his remarks, the Assitant Inspector General of Police, Zone 6, Zaki Ahmed, noted that though the police were the custodian of security;
security is impossible without the cooperation of the police.
“We have never had it so bad as in recent times. So many officers were attacked, facilities destroyed, including patrol vehicles.
“We are the custodian of security, but it is impossible to have security without the support of the public. The morale of the police is low, but I believe after the interaction, their morale will be boosted,” he stated.
On the number of police killed in recent times following attacks on police formation, Andrew, said that the criminal elements who killed the 22 officers were part of the society and would wreak havoc if they could continue.
He said “It has been hectic for a while now. In two months, the command has lost 23 officers, 22 died to security issues and one died in an accident.
“The criminal is not a spirit. Within the society, the percentage of criminals is not up to three per cent but if they are allowed to continue, they would wreak havoc.
“It is a sad thing that has happened, but my prayer is that we don’t lose officers again. I hope we will be able to come to a truce on how to resolve our problems.”