15 officers killed, 21 police stations attacked in seven months in Southeast— 2mins read
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By Olanrewaju OYEDEJI
A REPORT by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) has revealed that between October 2020 and April 2021, not fewer than 21 police stations have been attacked by hoodlums in Southeastern Nigeria, while fifteen officers lost their lives during the period.
Of the 21 police stations, seven stations in Imo State were attacked by hoodlums, four in Ebonyi, three in Abia, four in Enugu and three in Anambra.
The October attack was triggered by the EndSARS protest organised across states in Southern Nigeria. According to the report, five police stations were attacked in October 2020, one in January 2021, five in February 2021, while four and six stations others were attacked in March and April 2021, respectively.
Due to several attacks, police officers in the Southeast have stopped wearing uniforms to work, and while at work, they hardly venture out to investigate cases.
A senior police officer (names withheld) serving at Iboko, Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, lamented about the threat to life experienced by police offers in the region.
“We are being killed like fowls; nobody cares about how we feel again, our colleagues are being killed daily, nobody is talking about that. Are we not human? We are expected to die for the country, but a police inspector collects a paltry sum of N88,000 monthly, and we know how much politicians collect,” he said.
This development has because a source of worry also to the residents.
A farmer in Onicha who identified himself as Chuks told The ICIR he no longer could go to the farm because of insecurity.
“ We are not certain whether we would come back alive; you don’t know what will happen,” he said.
Experts who spoke about the incidents blamed the crisis on the poor justice system, break-down of civil-military relationship and the handling of the EndSARS protests.
“These happenings question the level of civil-military relations, and security agents are human too. It shows the breakdown of trust, which may be an extension of the EndSARS issue whereby some people are still aggrieved,” said a security consultant, Senator Iroegbu.
Also, retired Colonel Ademola Lawal reminded people of the Southeast that policing remains key to maintaining social order. But he also noted that the professional misconduct by the police must stop.
“We must address impunity in the country; we must make sure that the police itself is very professional and properly reformed. “Loss of confidence in the police is the cause. Only the police themselves can restore confidence by ensuring that their personnel perform with the utmost professionalism,” Lawal advised.
The Police Spokesperson Frank Mba did not comment for this report.