Alex Enumah in Abuja
The police have denied media reports claiming that 167 of its personnel have absconded from a training facility in the North-east following information that they would be deployed to battle against Boko Haram insurgents.
The denial by the police, which was contained in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Jimoh Moshood, also described as fake a list of the said absconded officers published by an online media outfit.
Moshood, in the statement, noted that the report was not only untrue but attempted to cast aspersions on the efforts of the Force in the fight against insurgency in the North-east, adding that its personnel have no reason to abscond as they have been in the forefront in the battle against the insurgents since inception.
“The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to a story by Premium Times Online media, captioned ‘167 Police Officers Abscond from Deployment against Boko Haram (Full List)’.
“The Force wishes to categorically state that the story is untrue, absolute falsehood and a deliberate attempt to cast aspersions on the efforts of the Nigeria Police Force in the ongoing fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.
“The insinuation in some quarters and as reported in the story that 167 out the 2,000 additional police officers recently deployed by the IGP absconded is not correct and should be disregarded by members of the public. These 2,000 police personnel are to complement the efforts of the military to add new impetus to the fight against the decimated Boko Haram insurgency.
“This story was investigated and it was found out not to be correct, there is no reason whatsoever that police personnel deployed for the operations in the North-east would abscond. The Police Mobile Force (PMF) personnel have been engaged actively in the front line along with the military in the fight against Boko Haram terrorist group since the inception of the insurgency,” part of the statement read.
While stating that the 2,000 police officers recently deployed are in addition to several thousands of police personnel already engaged in the fight against insurgency with the military in the North-east, Moshood maintained that the list of 167 names attached to the story is fake as the officers mentioned are on ground in the North-east.
“The 2,000 police personnel deployed are in high morale and high spirit in the operation, the Force sees the story as a deliberate attempt to promote insurgency and dample the morale of officers and men of the police and other services who on daily basis lay down their lives to protect our dear nation, Nigeria and ensure security of all citizenry,” he said.
He called on members of the public to disregard the story in its entirety as a pure misinformation and hearsay.
Moshood added that from the report, it was evidently clear that the writer of the story has never visited the venue of training or witness the deployment of the police personnel in the operation but rely ignorantly on hearsay from misguided individuals who are being used to work against national interest and security.
While he noted that the Nigeria Police Force will continue to hold the media in a very high regard as a veritable partner in ensuring adequate security and success of the fight against insurgency, Moshood however urged the media not allow their esteemed publication be used to publish falsehood capable of misinforming and misleading the public.