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Police Lost 389 Personnel to Insurgency in 11 Years, 450 Injured
*24 police barracks, 30 stations razed
*IG travels by road to six states, commissions new stations, barracks
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Commissioner of Police in Borno State, Mr Abdu Umar, said at the weekend, that 389 policemen paid the supreme price while 450 others were injured in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency since 2011.
He also said over 24 police barracks and 30 stations were razed or destroyed, while several fighting equipment carted away or destroyed by the terrorists.
Umar spoke during the inauguration of the newly constructed police station and barracks at Beneshiek, headquarters of Kaga Local Government Area of the state.
He spoke as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, toured police formations in six states, travelling by road.
He commissioned state-of-the-art projects completed by his administration, including modern police stations with barracks attached to them, renovation of vital police infrastructure such as police training schools, buildings for tailoring department and the band section among others.
The commissioner, who recalled that many police barracks and stations were destroyed by terrorists, said, “It will be recalled that at the height of the insurgency, precisely between 2011 and today, over 30 police stations/formations and 24 police barracks burnt or destroyed by the insurgents.
“389 policemen lost their lives, over 450 policemen injured while several crime fighting equipment carted away or burnt. The losses suffered by the police command in the state attracted numerous interventions amongst which we are witnessing one of such interventions today.”
He commended the IG for his interventions towards providing conducive work environment and bringing the service of the police closer to the people, adding that the command would ensure proper utilisation of the facilities for maximum result.
While the police boss reportedly lauded the state government for its support to the police, adding that the government reconstructed some of the vandalised police stations across the state, the commissioner further commended donors and development organisations for their contributions towards rebuilding destroyed police structures and other facilities in the state.
He listed the organisations to include the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative, Victim Support Fund (VSF), Nigeria Police Trust Fund, North-East Development Commission (NEDC), North-East Regional Initiative (NERI), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The IG, while speaking, reiterated commitment of his leadership to the improved welfare of the police and tasked them on good maintenance culture.
He thanked the state government for sustaining its support to the police and urged the people to embrace community policing by supporting the police with credible information on suspicious persons and movements in their localities.
The IG, who informed that the recently recruited 10,000 police constabulary were deployed to their respective states to promote community policing, urged politicians to play the game according to the rules in 2023 general election, even as he advised political parties and candidates to adhere to security advice and regulations for a hitch-free electioneering.
“We (police) are preparing, training and equipping ourselves to see election come and go free, fair and credible,” he said.
On the tour, a statement by Force Headquarters stated that, “In the course of commissioning the projects and engaging community stakeholders as part of a confidence building exercise, the IG and his team travelled by road and conducted patrols from Abuja to Kaduna; Kaduna to Kano; Kano to Kazaure [Jigawa State]; Kazaure to Dandagoro [Katsina State]; Kano to Damaturu [Yobe State] [traversing parts of Jigawa and Bauchi State to Benisheik to Maiduguri in Borno State.”
The IG, who assured police officers of his administration’s commitment to entrenching sustainable drives for the protection of lives and property within the country, noted that a similar road trip to commission projects in the Southern part of the country would commence in earnest.
He, however, reiterated the commitment of the Nigeria Police to harness all means of improving internal security architecture of Nigeria through better condition of service, rejigged standard operating procedure and robust human and community relations.
Governor Babagana Zulum of the state applauded the IG for his commitment towards addressing challenges confronting the force, adding that the gesture was key to sustainable growth of the Nigeria Police Force.
The governor said his administration accorded priority to the construction and rehabilitation of police stations and barracks to fast track restoration of civil authorities at the grassroots.
“It remain relevant to my administration ongoing reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement programme,” he said
He appreciated the police and other security agencies for their efforts towards peace restoration, Zulum lauded the synergy among security agencies and urged them to sustain the tempo.