• Police non-committal on the late DCP Umar’s alleged membership of Shiites
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) weekend reiterated its commitment to containing insurgency even as the Nigerian Army destroyed camps of armed bandits in Katsina State, killing one and arresting several others.
Also the FCT Police Command was non-committal over allegations that the late Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Umar Usman, who was killed during a clash with the Shiites Muslim group was also a member of the sect.
The allegations had raised concerns that the late commissioner may have been shot owing to his membership of the sect as the group had repeatedly denied that its members fired any shot at the police.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony of the Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said NAF was committed to curtailing insurgency, banditry and other criminalities across the country.
He said President Mohammadu Buhari’s support for the service had enhanced the effectiveness of the NAF in its mission deployments in the North-east, noting that 29 pilots were undergoing training in various countries.
Delivering his welcome address, the Commandant AFIT, Air Vice Marshal Cletus Udeagulu, while appreciating the support the institute has enjoyed in the last four years under the current NAF administration, reeled out the achievements of the Institution.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Police was non-committal over the alleged membership of the late DCP Umar, who was killed during a clash with the group in last week’s protest march over the detention of its leader, El-Zakzaky, that turned violent.
In his reaction, the FCT Police Commissioner, Bala Ciroma, was non-committal on the issue.
“That is a policy issue. The Force Headquarters is the most appropriate place to respond to that. And if you want to know where he belongs I think the relations are the appropriate people to speak to,” he said.
“I am not willing to speak on this,” he added.
Force PRO, Frank Mba could not be reached but a senior police source wondered why the police should kill its own.
“When you look at it, you would ask the question: why would police kill police, their own? It does not add up”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army arrested 16 bandits and killed one in a shootout in Katsina State during a clearance operation.
It said in the course of the operation, troops conducted a cordon and search exercise while acting on credible intelligence reports at Yar Santa village in Kankara Local Government Area and its environs.
“At the peak of the exercise, one Mr. Monday Chikwunka, 36 years old, an indigene of Delta State alongside 16other bandits specialised in rustling cows, killing and kidnapping of citizens were intercepted.
“Preliminary interrogation and confessional statements by the suspects revealed that the gang are responsible for most criminal activities in the State and its localities”, an army statement said.