The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria, NOPRIN, has expressed regret over the brutal attack and murder of police officers on election duty in Rivers State after they were ambushed by a violent gang on election day, Saturday December 10.
According to a report quoting a military source in Rivers State “The most brutal incidence occurred at Ujju Community near Omoku in Onelga where police patrol team was ambushed.
In the ambush, 10 policemen scampered into the bush. “The Mobile Police organized a rescue mission. Regrettably, the team discovered that DSP Alkali Mohammed of Mobile Police Unit 48 was beheaded along with his orderly.
The patrol vehicle was taken away with weapons, 3 policemen escaped while 5 were missing in action. “This is the same area where soldiers of 34 Brigade were ambushed on 20 November 2016 where a soldier was killed.
Also on 21 November 2016, 4 personnel of NSCDC were killed and their weapons carted away…’
In a statement, Okechukwu Nwanguma, national coordinator of NOPRIN said, “This act of killing police officers is audacious and condemnable, and we call on the authorities to hold responsible all the politicians who prepared the ground for the violence that attended the Rivers State national and state legislative elections by making hateful, provocative and inciteful speech in the days before the election.
Nwanguma blamed some politicians for making reckless, irresponsible and inciteful speech and in some cases are responsible for arming and unleashing various gangs against their political opponents in a desperate bid to win the elections by all means, without regard to the will of the electorate.
He said attacks on and killing of security and law enforcement agents should be considered a heinous crime adding that those responsible should be severely punished to create deterrence.
“This sad incident has brought to the fore again, the urgent need to adequately equip and motivate our police and other law enforcement agencies to enable them provide service to and protection, both for law abiding citizens and for themselves as well.
We sympathise with the families of the deceased police officers and urge police authorities to adequately compensate them for the noble service their deceased ones rendered to the country.
It is indeed saddening when police officers die in the line of duty. But when it happens, such officers should be held as heroes and their memories must be kept alive” he remarked.
The organisation called for prompt and effective investigations with a view to identifying the perpetrators and sponsors of this atrocious act.