Concerns Mount over Continued Absence of Policemen from Duty Posts

Mohammed Adamu

* Protest meetings allegedly held by some officers

*IG’s committee begins nationwide tour of police formations

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

There are fears that the continued absence of policemen, especially in states where police assets were destroyed, may precipitate a breakdown of law and order, THISDAY has learnt.

Investigation also revealed that policemen allegedly held protest meetings where they resolved not to return to work in protest against the killing of their colleagues and destruction of their stations nationwide.

However, the FCT Police Command and the Force Headquarters have debunked the allegation that the policemen have not returned to their duty posts, saying that the operatives have done so in the areas where their stations were not burnt down.

This is coming as the nine-member committee set up by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, to assess the extent of damage done to the police formations nationwide will tomorrow begin a nationwide tour with a visit to the Lagos State Command.

THISDAY gathered that there were nocturnal meetings of policemen and personnel of other security agencies who insisted that they would not be on duty in view of the fatal attacks on police operatives and wanton destruction of police stations until the damaged places are repaired.

THISDAY checks showed absence of law enforcement officers, especially in states where police infrastructure was destroyed.

Even in places where they are on duty, they appeared non-committal to activities around them and depict traits of despondency and low morale.

The most affected states include Lagos, Edo, Plateau, Rivers Imo and Ogun.

But Deputy Force PRO and Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Mr Aremu Adeniran, told THISDAY that contrary to such “insinuations” the IG’s order for policemen to return to their duty posts was complied with.

“There is nothing like that. Those are insinuations. They are back on their duty posts. They have complied with IG’s directive.

“But you know that those places burnt would not be repaired in a day. It may take some time; so you don’t expect to see policemen in such places to do business as usual, they may be in outposts”, he said.

Spokesperson of FCT Police Command, ASP Mariam Yusuf, also said policemen in the FCT were at their duty posts.

“That will be unjust. Our people are everywhere. They have been directed to be on their duty posts and they have complied,” she said.

THISDAY checks showed that that the policemen and personnel of other security agencies in the states most affected by the carnage had allegedly taken a decision not to return to duty until the damaged infrastructure were repaired.

But a senior security source told THISDAY that those behind such meetings should bear in mind that the police cannot be unionised.

“That is a futile effort because the situation is being addressed. I hope those having that meeting know that police cannot be unionised,” the source said.

THISDAY also gathered that policemen in Imo State, as a precautionary measure, embarked on joint patrols with other security agencies.