The former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, has reacted to a statement credited to the Acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali.
The Ag IGP reportedly directed police operatives in the South East and South-South not to adhere to established rules of engagement while dealing with Biafra agitators, assuring the officers of his protection come what may.
Chidoka, who spoke through his Media Assistant, Ikechukwu Okafor, on Thursday, described the IGP’s directives as unfortunate, sad and against democratic norms.
The Ag IGP was in Enugu State, South East, Nigeria on Tuesday to inaugurate Operation Restore Peace in the region. This move is a welcome development because of threat to lives and properties and targeted attacks on Police formations and personnel.
The Ag IGP declared an open war against Pro Biafran agitators and gave an express order to Police personnel to exterminate gunmen attacking police facilities.
The Ag IGP, Alkali, was reported to have directed his men, “Don’t mind the media shout; do the job I command you. If anyone accuses you of human rights violation, the report will come to my table, and you know what I will do. So, take the battle to them wherever they are and kill them all. Don’t wait for an order.”
“So, don’t sit and wait for them to come; take the attack to them and don’t lose your arms to criminals,” he added.
But Chidoka, a former Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps, said the Ag IGP’s statement is as problematic as it is embarrassing in a democracy and country founded on the rule of law with guaranteed fundamental rights.
Chidoka said, If the mission of the head of Nigeria Police Force is to restore peace, he cannot at the same time entrench lawlessness and anarchy being a chief law enforcer himself.
The directive is an open license for the massacre of the southeast and southsouth youths. Under the guise of this blank cheque any person killed would be labelled a Biafran agitator, and unfortunately, they would not be alive to speak for themselves.
Chidoka said, IGP saying that if anyone accuses his men of human rights violation, he would be the one to decide, implies that the Police chief has arrogated to himself the position of the law Itself. This arrogant and an affront to constitutional rule is not tenable in a democratic society. The experience in Borno in fighting Boko Haram should remain a guide for all law enforcement agencies as we fight to restore law and order in the country.
For the benefit of the doubt, let me assume that the IGP misspoke or was quoted in error and call on him to reverse himself and speak in a manner befitting of a refined officer in a constitutional society.
I also wish to draw the attention of men of good conscience and the International community to the looming regime of state lawlessness in the South-East and South-South, which portends grave dangers to young people of these regions.
Chidoka also condemns the attack on Policemen and law enforcement infrastructure in strong terms, warning that it is an ill wind that will blow no good to anyone. We must continue to use the lawful, peaceful and legitimate processes to air grievances.
Credit : Vanguard