….Says Benue attackers not herdsmen
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
IN what appeared like a direct response to the criticisms he had faced following police arrest of only the Yorubas as suspects in the recent Ile-Ife mayhem, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris has said that crime has no tribe or face. He also said that the attackers of Zaki Biam, Benue State who murdered scores in cold blood were not herdsmen but a criminal gang led by one notorious Gana as their kingpin.
Idris made the clarification while speaking to State House correspondents after a private meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday.
He said that his mission to the Villa was to brief the president on the efforts of the police at curbing crimes across the country, revealing that the president had given a directive to step up the security measures.
He said: “I came to see the President to update him on the deployment of the police in our effort to ensure that we have security all over the country.
Inspector General of Police Idris K. Ibrahim, Briefing State House Correspondents on Security Situation in Nigeria during his Visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida
“Obviously, it’s to share with him our deployment strategies on ground, our deployment to some of these flash points all over the country, especially Benue which is the current one, deployment to Kaduna state which started some few weeks back and deployment to the Ile-Ife crisis where recently, we have a lot of police officers both special squads and investigation team on ground to conduct investigation on the matter.
“You know we are police officers. Crime has no tribe. If you are a criminal you are a criminal. Crime has no face. we don’t look at crime in the identity of where you are coming from. As far as you are a criminal and the police find you wanting, we apply the law.
“You know some of these crises, we have to look at the origin of these crises and the immediate cause for you to make a proper classification of these crimes. If you follow some of these crimes, they are just crimes that happened without any warning. If you look at that Ife crisis, if you see how it started, it’s just a disagreement between two people selling food along the road.
“So, you have to look at the dynamics of the country itself. Obviously when you have such situation we have to react to it. We had to move in to ensure we provide some security to the people.
“We deployed mobile police unit on 16th of this month and of recent that incident that happened at Zaki Biam there are allegations on that Ghana one of the wanted men. This man has been on the police wanted list. I now decided to deploy some special unit both investigative to go after him and get him by all means, like I said earlier definitely that man we are going to get him.
“No, I don’t think it’s Fulani herdsmen. It was an activity of a criminal who is using some of his criminal gangs in the state to harass people, that I have assured the governor when I met with him few days ago.”
“Obviously, there should be a specific directive to ensure that all of us use all the facilities at our disposal to make sure that some of these incidents we are talking about are brought under control as soon as possible. “I gave the President my assurance that we are going to do that. Like I said earlier, we have deplored a special squad to Benue and we are surely going to get that Ghana within a short time.”
“I think we are all in this country. The crisis in Kogi axis is not kidnapping. It’s a case of militants wanting to disrupt the peace in that state and we are out to get them”, he said.