Police seek review of armament policy for PFM, CTU
From Molly Kilete, Abuja
Boko Haram is the world’s most lethal terrorist group, US-based 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative and Stefanus Foundation, both humanitarian organisations, have said.
The organisations said this to a group of journalists as they spoke about the challenges the victims of terrorism face in Nigeria.
“Global Terrorism index shows that Boko Haram is the world’s most lethal terrorist group, followed by ISIS, while Al-Qaeda ranks third and the Fulani militants, mostly in the middle belt, rank fourth,” Mark Lipdo, Executive Director of the Stefanus Foundation, said.
He said 14.8 million Nigerians were directly hit by the crisis in the North-East. Lipdo also said 1,500 schools in the region have been closed, 611 teachers dead and 19,000 others displaced, with 950,000 children forced to stay out of schools, 2,000 abducted and 10,000 boys forced to join Boko Haram.
“14.8 million Nigerians from north-east are directly impacted by the crisis. Officially, there are 2.2 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs),” Lipdo said.
“Unofficially, there are five to seven million IDPs. About 2.5 million, comprising children under the age of five, pregnant women and nursing mothers are in need of special assistance.”
Vice President of the 21st Wilberforce Initiative, Elijah Brown said Nigeria has the third-highest number of IDPs in Africa, and the seventh in the world.
He lamented the menace of herdsmen in the North-Central and called for quick intervention.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police has called on the Federal Government to review the armament policies of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), and Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), to enable it meet the contemporary security challenges in the country.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Idris Kpotun, who made the call at a meeting with commanders of PMF, Counter Terrorism Unit and Special Protection Unit, in Abuja, said the review became necessary in view of the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists, kidnapping, militancy, cattle rustling and other violent crimes bedeviling the nation.
Idris said reviewing the armament policies would enable men of the PMF and CTU, carry weapons like General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), Anti-Tank (AT) and other medium range armament to meet global standard and place them above the normal conventional police unit and below the reach of the military.
He said with these calibre of weapons, men of the PMF and CTU would be able to provide the necessary security for the citizens and tackle the enemies of the state such as “the terrorists operating with GPMG, IEDs and Anti-Tank weapons.
“Taking the above scenario into consideration, the Nigeria Police may seek to consider Section 26, of the police regulations to see to the review of armament policies of the Police Mobile Force and Counter Terrorism Unit, in line with police regulations of 1968.
He said the force has concluded arrangement to withdraw all mobile police personnel working as body guards to highly placed persons and replaced them with men of the CTU, who, he said, are currently undergoing reorganisation and restructuring.
“These units will, henceforth, be structured in accordance with their responsibilities”
“Therefore, in line with these responsibilities, it will be against force policy to deploy MPF personnel to guard individuals or fragment their personnel into smaller units, as such is the case presently,” he warned.