Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in-charge of South-East and South-South, Moses Jitoboh, has said President Muhammadu Buhari, concerned over the burning of police facilities and killing of its officers in the regions, has directed that necessary steps should be taken to stop the mayhem. He stated this while addressing security stakeholders in Akwa Ibom State at the Police Headquarters, yesterday, in Uyo, the state capital.
Jitoboh said ‘Operation Restore Peace’ was initiated to ensure that policemen would no longer be killed unjustly and police formations attacked and destroyed.
He said the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba Alkali, mandated him as the most senior officer in the South-South to be the theater commander of the Operation Restore Peace.
He said he visited Ikot Akpan, in Essien Udim Council of the state, which he described as ‘the hotbed of attacks on Police formations’, explaining that the internal security of the state would be reorganised and rejigged to function better and that community policing would be coordinated for effectiveness.
On officers’ welfare, he explained that the police authority was reviewing the welfare package for men of the Nigeria Police, like gratuity and pension and provision of facilities to enable policemen to work better.
Jitoboh, who is in charge of Research and Planning, Force Headquarters, added: “The IGP is reviewing the welfare of police officers, their gratuities and pensions. President Buhari has assured him that the implementation will take place soon.”
Earlier, the Commissioner of Police (CP), Amiengheme Andrew, lamented that no fewer than 23 officers have so far been killed within the period, saying 22 of them died during the attacks on police formations, while one died in an accident.
He stated that the criminal elements were part of the society and would wreak havoc if they were allowed to continue attacking police facilities.
“What has happened is very sad and disheartening, but my prayer is that we don’t lose more officers. I hope we will be able to come to a truce on how to resolve our challenges,” he added.