From: Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has warned police officers against allowing themselves to be abducted ‘like “fowls’.
The police chief, who gave the warning at a meeting with commissioners of police and above, in Abuja, said the spate of kidnap of police officers across the country was not only worrisome, but was becoming an embarrassment to the police who are supposed to be providing security for the country.
He said henceforth, state commissions of police would be held responsible for the kidnap of any police personnel under their commands even as he urged them to be more conscious of their movement and environment.
A visibly angry IGP, while recalling the numbers of Divisional Police Officers that had so far been kidnapped across the country, in the last few days, with many of them yet to regain their freedom said, as security agents, they should know that they were potential targets of kidnappers and other criminal groups. He, therefore, urged them to do the needful about their personal security.
He said he would no longer tolerate the situation where officers take issues of their personal security lightly, saying that as police officers, their primary duties was for them to first protect themselves before protecting others.
He said “Officers have to be very serious about their own personal safety because it is becoming an embarrassment and the CPs themselves would be held liable for any police man or a DPO, or whatever that is just picked up like a fowl and just feels like nothing happened because it is very annoying.
“It is not a matter of joke.
The IGP, who hampered more on the security and safety of police personnel while discharging their primary responsibilities, said “Some days ago one of our DPO, was kidnapped in Niger.
“How can you be a DPO, in a place and you have all the policemen in your command then you start driving as if you don’t have anybody.
“You allow these useless kidnapers to just pick you, it is very embarrassing.
Continuing, he said: “We had this same issue in Zamfara State, where an Assistant Commissioner of Police went on leave travelled alone and was kidnapped, it is embarrassing.
“Utilise the men under you, you must protect yourself first before you protect other people. Because obviously you are going to be a target.
“All these information we are getting that DPOs vehicle or OC vehicle was sighted in a bush and he was never seen because he has been kidnapped.
How can you allow yourself to live in that kind of situation. It is becoming an embarrassment.
“So you should direct all your officers, DPO’s and head of formations in your commands to be very careful about their movement. You don’t just move around anywhere as a policeman.
“Look at the case of the DPO, of Sarkinpawa, that was kidnapped up till now we have not gotten any news about him.
“This really becoming embarrassing because you have a policeman protecting others and you just allow your self and drive into kidnapers.
He said “You have the men that are working with you, if you feel a road is not safe, it is either you deploy men on that road before you ply that road or you make of adequate security to the area.
“We have to be very serious with the protection of our DPOs, and heads of formation.
“Tell your Area Commanders and DPOs, not to move anyhow,” IGP Idris said.