Nigerians have continued to question the role of the security agencies, especially the Nigerian police force saddled with the responsibility of attending to civil crime as they occur, following the gruesome murder of four students, Tekena Elkanah (20), a Diploma Technical student; Chiadaka Odinga (20), 200 Level, Theatre Arts student; Ugunna Obuzor (18), 200 Level, Geology Student; and Lloyd Toku (19), 200 Level, Civil Engineering Student on October 5, 2012 by a mob in Aluu, Rivers State.
The death of the undergraduates students of the University of Port Harcourt has led to the dismissal of a sergeant of the Nigerian police force who gave the order that the mob kill the suspected students by members of the Aluu Community.
Mr. Frank Mba, the Police Force Public Relations officer today, Wednesday the 17th of October 2012 in an interview on Channels TV said the Sergeant dismissed from the police known as Lucky Orji is among the 13 persons to be charged to court today; the dismissed policeman alongside was said to have stumbled upon the angry mob beating the students, Mba said.
The officers were not even sent to the scene, he went on his own, outside the code of conduct and professional ethics of the job. One was professional to ask the mob to stop and the other asked them to continue, the police P.R.O noted as such as parts of its internal cleansing in which the police force engages the officer has been relieved of his duties and is to be prosecuted.
He said the fact that the police is prepared to prosecute the officer, is a measure of its resolve to put an end to all forms of impunity in the Nigerian Police
The PRO officer said mob attacks is not peculiar to Nigeria, “it’s something we must work together to review, Nigerians must not be quick to heap the blame on the police alone’’. He insisted that, like every other parastatal or agency in the country, the police force is not exempted from persons with questionable characters
“If you recruit an officer, the person carries the family value around; we need reorientation from the families and to the various worship centres. “We must look at the content our mass media is dishing out, we have to review all this” Mba added.
Mr. Mba called on Nigerians to assist the police in crime prevention, he queried the entire number of people in the community for failing to alert the police and thier failure to intervene in the death of the students which he said was also part of their civic duties as Nigerian citizens.
“We must de-emphasise on issues that split us and emphasis on issues that unite us’’.
On security in Nigerian Campuses and working with informants within the campuses, Mba said the police have an effective intelligent units consisting of undercover operative units to flash point areas.
“The Aluu case was instantaneous and was not pre-planned, so it was difficult for an intelligent unit of the force to have known that a mob action would have happened in the Community”.
He insisted that the Nigerian police needs to work with Nigerians to make their duties succeed.
Mr. Mba blamed the absence of national emergency lines and the inability of the officers to arrive at the crime scene as one of the challenges faced by the force.
“The absence of national emergency numbers, that is why you find out that the Inspector General never sleeps, the PRO never sleeps, each time we get these calls, even if you are sleeping, you feel like picking the call because it may save a life”
Courtesy Abang Mercy