President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to stem the tide of violence and criminal activities ravaging different parts of the country.
It also emerged yesterday that Buhari considering visiting Sambisa forest, the former enclave of Boko Haram to declare open the Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship NASAC 2017 scheduled to begin on Monday.
Buhari gave this order to Idris to end wanton killings when the IGP visited the president in Aso Rock to brief him on police activities. On Monday, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and Chief of Air staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique, had visited the president to brief him on military activities since he proceeded on vacation in London.
Answering questions from newsmen after briefing the president, Idris said the president directed the Nigeria Police to deploy the facilities at its disposal to bring violence in the country under control.
He also said he assured the president that he would act on his instruction, especially by fishing out the prime suspect in last Monday’s killings in Zaki Biam yam market.
According to him, the president gave “a specific directive to ensure that all of us use all the facilities at our disposal to make sure that some of these incidents we are talking about are brought under control as soon as possible.
“I gave the President my assurance that we are going to do that. Like I said earlier, l have deployed a special squad to Benue and we are surely going to get that ‘Ghana’ within a short time.”
Idris denied insinuations that the Zaki Biam massacre which claimed over 50 lives was carried out by Fulani herdsmen. According to him, the killings were carried out by some criminal elements in the state including one ‘Ghana’ whom he said had been on police wanted list.
He further said he briefed the president on police deployment strategies to flash points all over the country, especially places such as Benue, Kaduna and Ile-Ife in Osun State. According to him, both the police special squad and investigation team had been deployed to such places to investigate recent crimes perpetrated there.
On the allegation of bias and unjust arrest of Yoruba men over Ife crisis, Idris did not give a direct and categorical response. Instead, he said: “You know we are police officers. Crime has no tribe. If you are a criminal, you are a criminal. Crime has no face. We don’t look at crime in the identity of where you are coming from. As far as you are a criminal and the police find you wanting, we apply the law.”
He emphasised that mobile units had been deployed to Zaki Biam to ensure that ‘Ghana,’ the prime suspect in the Zaki Biam killings, is arrested, insisting that the crime was not perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen.
“No. I don’t think it’s Fulani herdsmen. It was an activity of a criminal who is using some of his criminal gangs in the state to harass people, that I have assured the governor when I met with him few days ago,” Idris said.
Meanwhile, Buhari yesterday expressed appreciation to the British government “for the very effective materials and logistical support to Nigeria” in the fight against Boko Haram.
The president in a statement by his chief spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the president observed that in spite of “isolated attacks against soft targets,” British assistance to Nigeria helped in flushing “Boko Haram out of their hide-out base and severely degraded their capacity to mount a serious attack on Nigerian assets.”
Adesina said the president’s appreciation was contained in a condolence letter that he addressed to British Prime Minister, Theresa May, over last Wednesday’s terror attack on parliament building in Westminster, London.
Buhari May Visit Sambisa Forest
In another development, President Buhari is expected in Sambisa Forest, the former enclave of Boko Haram to declare open the Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship NASAC 2017 on Monday.
Boko Haram, who at the peak of their reign occupied towns in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states had made the Sambisa Forest their stronghold and strategic headquarters until they were pushed out by the military on the eve of Christmas.
The military had subsequently declared the former game reserves as a proposed site for military institution, building roads into it and kick starting the new status of Sambisa Forest with the hosting of the annual Small Arms Competition within it.
He is to be accompanied by the Minister of Defense, Alhaji Mansur Ali and Service Chiefs, Chief of Defense Staff, CDS, General Gabriel Olanisakin, Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Air Staff, CAS, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar Sadique and Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, Vice Admiral Obet Ebas.
The Chief of Training and Operations, Army, Major General David Amadu during a press briefing yesterday in Maiduguri to kick start the NASAC 2017 championship, said other activities that would take place include medical outreach to Bama, Konduga, and Magumeri IDPs camps, educational training for Army Education Corps in Maiduguri, security awareness meetings with the traditional rulers and distribution of relief materials to IDPs within Maiduguri and surrounding towns.
Amadu added that the championship was aimed at testing and shaping the intelligence and professional capacity of the Nigerian Army officers and soldiers as well as equipment.
He said it was also to put the Sambisa forest into proper use and turn it into Nigerian Army training ground as roads and bridges have been constructed and opened to enable the Nigerian Army test its arms, ammunitions and equipment as part of its fire arms demonstration.
Amadu said the firearms demonstration was meant to consolidate the professionalism of the Nigerian Army in protecting the integrity of Nigeria and constitutional role of the Nigerian Army, especially, security.
Credit: This Day