Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeant Usman Danzumi, and Sergeant Dahiru Musa were the three police officers of the Intelligence Response Team gruesomely murdered, ironically, by Nigerian soldiers in Ibi, Taraba State during a covert operation. The well-trained police officers were reported to have arrested and was transporting a suspected notorious kidnap kingpin to the state Police Command Headquarters in Jalingo when the attack happened.
The statement released by the Force PRO, Frank Mba, described the deceased as some of the finest cops in the service of the Nigeria Police.
My heart bleeds as I write this, just as it has been since the news of the death of these three officers. Personally, it is heartbreaking that security agents were gunned consciously, in the course of a national assignment by members of a sister security agency. Indeed, it’s beyond baffling, devastating.
So sad and unfortunate that it has happened, I would force myself not to dwell on this depressing incident but rather to look at situations that could prevent a recurrence, and to a larger and more important aspect, bring to a reasonable halt cases of security-assisted criminality, that have continued to fan the embers of crimes and discrediting the genuine efforts of our security personnel to significantly rout out this menace.
We must look beyond the officers’ regrettable deaths but unravel what has always been a trend that has remained shrouded in mystery. A majority of the Nigerians do not know whether the government is not aware of or is aloof to the daily conspiracies going on and loudly disclosed by victims on how these evils are facilitated by some bad eggs in the security agencies, where criminal elements are shielded, supported, given intelligence and reinforcement on their nefarious activities.
I do not seek to point fingers, but to call for action, one defined by a concerted approach towards engendering a sense of total security, an appreciation that draws from and buoyed by the trust on those who have been saddled constitutionally with the responsibility to protect and defend us. The truth of the matter is that as the situation is now, this highly needed trust element that should ordinarily stir a sense of comfort at the closeness of security personnel is not handy.
For a commuter, travelling on the road, especially those reputed for notoriety, the fear that this unfortunate incident occasioned at the sight of uniformed men as against that sense of serenity and relaxation that ought to have so readily come is palpable. There could be two reasons for this; one, the concern for fear is the creation of a false impression of security personnel by criminal elements in disguised uniforms, which has been recurrent; the other is the appalling degeneration of our security men to be used as instruments of these criminals and their trade.
The government must find a way to assert the will to ensure there’s a synergy among the various security arms. Whether the Army, Navy, air force, police, civil defence corps or the road safety corps, they must realise that their main duty and obligation as security agencies is to defend, secure and ensure the peaceful co-existence of the citizens in the Nigerian space.More in Home
Secondly, because of their different codes of formations, the security arms are to operate separately in their primary mandates. This fact must not be lost on them.
Though the above could be difficult to comprehend, it is pertinent that each arm knows, understands and works within its limits or, as the case may be, is forced to so do if it has been found wanting on this. This failure is what an angle of the narrative of the unfortunate murder of the police officers has tried to highlight.
It is enough to wail over the continuous rivalry between agencies of government, especially when they ought to work in synergy to perform their selfsame mandate of security and enforcing peace. Indeed, it makes no sense to wail over such incidents just to be presented with another one. All hands must be on deck to ensure that this event will be the last of such careless rivalry, and unpatriotic posturing.
The government must pull the first step of this motion by prosecuting those found culpable in this murderous conspiracy.
Kingsley Ahanonu, Owerri