The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum has blamed the Nigerian Military for the insecurity in the country.
The Forum in a statement issued by the chairman, the governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson on Monday condemned the killing of three policemen in Takum, Taraba state and a commercial motorcyclist in Abia state both last week by soldiers.
The statement said the Army has abandoned their constitutional responsibilities and descended into criminality.
The statement reads in part, “These killings have in recent times taken another gruesome dimension and this nonchalant attitude is not only wicked, malicious, unprofessional and cowardly; it is totally unacceptable to the people of this country.
“We wish to reiterate that the killings are unnecessary. It is very pathetic that the Nigerian Army would abandon their constitutional role of defending the borders of the country from external aggression to descend into such lowly criminality.
“It is sad that a security personnel, who is paid and maintained with tax-payers’ money, could turn around to kill the person he was paid to protect. The Forum calls on the federal government to redress the situation immediately, as this portrays signs of inefficiency and irresponsibility.
“We implore the federal government to adequately compensate the families of victims and ensure justice is served on the culprit”.
It would be recalled that a former Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mike Ejiofor earlier in May on Channels Television alleged that soldiers are behind kidnappings in the country.
Fearing retaliation for the killing of three police officers in Takum, Taraba state last week from members of the Nigerian Police Force, the Chief of Army Staff, Brig. Gen. Tukur Buratai has directed military personnel on Internal Security (IS) to wear mufti when travelling.
In a letter dated August 9,2019 titled, ‘Need for troops to be circumspect in dealing with members of the Nigeria Police’, marked AHQDAIOPS/G3/240/232 signed on behalf of the COAS by Brig. Gen. F. Omoigui, the COAS advised formations and unit commanders to educate their troops on the need to be cautious when dealing with members of the Police.
The letter reads, “In the aftermath of the unfortunate incident involving troops of 93 bn, Takum and members of the Intelligence Response Team of the NPF at Ibi LGA of Taraba State on August 6, 2019, inciting and inflammatory comments are being made by the NPF on the regular and social media platforms.
“This is capable of inciting the rank and file of the NP to exhibit aggressive tendencies against NA personnel. Accordingly, all troops on IS (Internal Security) duty as well as personnel travelling in and out of uniform are to be circumspect in their conduct to avoid escalation.”
“Consequently, formations and unit commanders are to educate troops to be cautious in their dealings with members of the NP in view of this development. Troops travelling on pass are to endeavor to do so in mufti”.
The Centre for Change Initiative has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to prosecute soldiers involved in the alleged killing of three policemen and a civilian.
The President of the group, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, made the call in a statement,said the soldiers should be prosecuted for murder to serve as deterrent to others.
The statement said, “The images of the savage killings which have gone viral are quite reminiscent of Boko Haram operations.
“It is surprising that instead of the army to be remorseful for the senseless killings that portray it as aiding criminality, it has engaged in dancing over the graves of the gallant officers, who were credited with successful anti-kidnap operations by calling them suspected kidnappers. We have not heard a word of condolence to the families of the killed policemen from the army.
“We reject any attempt to sweep this high crime under the carpet by setting up an investigation that will lure us into forgetfulness.We demand immediate identification of the officers involved and their prosecution for murder immediately.
“This is the only way to prove to the world that Nigeria has not become a total jungle. We pray for the souls of the officers and send our heartfelt condolences to their families.”
The police authorities last week announced that three police officers and a civilian were killed in an encounter with soldiers on the Ibi-Jalingo highway in Taraba on Aug. 6.
The army and police authorities have since constituted a joint investigation panel to probe the incident.
The governor of Taraba state, Darius Ishaku has condemned the siege on his private residence in Abuja by the Nigeria Police Force.
Ishaku who addressed journalists in Jalingo after he received the immediate past minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Alhassan at the government house said the action of the police under the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration was disgraceful and embarrassing.
He said,“I feel very bad that the democratic government of the All Progressives Congress is not living according to the tenents of the constitution. It is disgraceful, embarrassing and insulting.
“I’m shocked that only my party, the Peoples Democratic Party condemned the police’s siege on my house. APC didn’t talk about it. Don’t they have governors? Can somebody walk into an APC governor’s house and search it?
“They broke the gate, broke all the doors of my house, threw out my children. I used two years to beg them (children) to come back to Nigeria. Now, one of them has gone back, I’m still begging him to come back to Nigeria. This is nonsense.”
Alhassan, who contested the March 2019 governorship in the state against Ishaku said she was at the government house to congratulate the governor on his victory and to pledge her support for his administration.
“I believe that leadership is ordained by God and we cannot all be governors at the same time, therefore, I have accepted my fate.
“My visit to you is to demonstrate oneness as we all contested to better the lives of our people but we cannot emerge at the same time.
“It becomes expedient to team up together with you to move the state forward. I and my supporters are ready to assist whenever there is a need for us to render assistance,” she said.