President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to tighten security on all flash points in the country and end the killings in Benue State.
The IGP disclosed this to State House Correspondents after an hour closed door meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
This is even as he has disclosed that the Police is set to deploy more units to the state to end the killings being perpetrated by herdsmen in Benue which has resulted in over 50 deaths, many injured and properties destroyed.
The last time a special unit was deployed to the state was in March 2017 when the Police Special Tactical Force was deployed to end the killings by unknown gunmen in Zaki-Biam, Ukum local government of Benue State.
The IGP on what transpired at the meeting said, “You know any time we meet Mr. President you know the area of discussion is how to have effective security of the nation.
“You know I deployed my Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), there yesterday (Thursday) and you know we have different stages of police. You have the AIG in Benue, the Commissioner of Police in Benue and all of them are putting their heads together to see how we address this issue of community problems in Benue.”
On the charge by President, he said, “Of course every time we meet with the President he gives a charge. He said that we should go and take care and ensure that we tighten our security.”
When reminded that there seems to be break down of law and order in the different parts of the country at the same time like Rivers, Benue, Kaduna, the Police boss said, “Obviously I think Nigeria is well secured you have to be frank with us.”
Asked why herdsmen killings is escalating in parts of the country, the IG replied, “Like I said, you know we have different levels of Police in this country. We have the Commissioner of Police in Benue, the AIG of Police in Benue, and yesterday I deployed my DIG operations there and definitely we are doing all we can to see we maintain law and order in all parts of the country.”
Asked to react to allegations that the police were only being reactionary rather than proactive to stop the killings, he said, “Let’s use the example of Benue, you know most of these states where you have several languages, you know it is an issue of communal misunderstanding. I think what we should be praying for is for Nigerians to learn to live in peace with each other, I think is very important.”
New measures being deploying, he said, “There are so many measures. For instance in Benue we are going to deploy more units to support the efforts the Police is making in the state to ensure we have adequate protection to the men and communities and members.”
The IGP assured that there will be no repeat of killings in Benue, adding “Of course we are assuring that this will not repeat itself.”
Idris who disagreed that the country was under-policed nor the force overwhelmed, explained why he thinks the Benue killings is that of communal crisis.
According to him, “Obviously it is communal crisis, herdsmen are part of the community. They are Nigerians and are part of the community are they not?”
On the arrest of Daniel Elombah, the publisher of elombah.com, by operatives of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS), who invaded the Nnewi residence of the publisher and arrested him and Tim, his brother, the IG said he committed an offense.
When asked if the arrest was carried out on his orders he said, “Anyway I don’t need to send anybody but whenever you commit an offense it is our duty to ensure that we respond.”