Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Edo State Police Command, yesterday, charged its operatives to police the citizenry without bitterness arising from the attacks on its personnel and police divisions during the #EndSARS protest.
The State Commissioner of police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, who gave the charge during the inauguration of 70 vigilantes in Ikpoba-Okha local government area of the state, however, said policemen will no longer fold their hands and allow criminals to kill them like chickens.
He disclosed that suspected cultists shot at a police team around upper Sokponba junction by M. M way during which an Assistant police Commissioner and one officer were injured.
He said police team had gone to the area to restore normalcy following reported robbery and killings by rival cult groups.
Notwithstanding, Kokumo said: “it’s our responsibility to sanitize the State and the Inspector General of police has gone ahead with confidence building of the police after the #EndSARS.
“We will keep talking to our men not to police with bitterness. But never again will it happen for someone carrying jack-knife to kill a policeman carrying AK-47.
“The police will no longer fold its hands and die like chicken…I want everyone to take the message home to neighbours and their children.
“Police should use their arms professionally if our lives are in danger or defending others whose lives are facing possible death and we will have justification to use our arms”.
He disclosed that the police have made sizeable arrest in connection with “all manner of crimes” adding that operatives of the Command will be on 24 hours joint patrol with sister security agencies in the local government.
Chairman of Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Council, Dr. Eric Osayande, said the vigilantes will be under the Council’s payroll, and will “compliment existing security architecture in the area”.
According to Osayande, “Governor Obaseki directed that we should call all Enigies (District Heads) to go back to the traditional methods of vigilante to fight insecurity”.