From Chuks Moses, Awka
The former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, has condemned the attack on law enforcement agents and infrastructure in strong terms, warning that it is an ill-wind that will blow no good to anyone. He advises aggrieved persons to continue to use lawful, peaceful and legitimate processes to air their grievances.
He has however differed with a statement credited to the Acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali where the Police boss reportedly directed operatives in the South East and South-South to ignore established rules of engagement while dealing with Biafra agitators, assuring the officers of his protection come what may.
The ex-Aviation minister who spoke through his Media Assistant, Ikechukwu Okafor, described the IGP’s directives as “unfortunate, sad and against democratic norms”.
The IGP was in Enugu State, South East, Nigeria Tuesday to inaugurate ‘Operation Restore Peace’ in the region where he stated that “the move is a welcome development because of threat to lives and properties and targeted attacks on Police formations and personnel.”
The Ag IGP declared an open war against Pro Biafran agitators and gave an express order to Police personnel to exterminate gunmen attacking police and public facilities.
Alkali reportedly ordered his men, “Don’t mind the media shout; do the job I command you. If anyone accuses you of human rights violation, the report will come to my table, and you know what I will do.
“So, take the battle to them wherever they are and kill them all. Don’t wait for an order. Don’t sit and wait for them to come; take the attack to them and don’t lose your arms to criminals,” he added.
Chief Chidoka, a former Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps, said the IGP’s statement is as problematic as it is embarrassing in a democracy and country founded on the rule of law with guaranteed fundamental rights.
Noting that if the mission of the head of Nigeria Police Force is to restore peace, he cannot at the same time entrench lawlessness and anarchy being a chief law enforcer himself.
He saw the IGP’s directive as an open license for the massacre of the southeast and southsouth youths. Under the guise of this blank cheque any person killed would be labelled a Biafran agitator, and unfortunately, they would not be alive to speak for themselves.
The police boss, Chidoka observed, was saying that “if anyone accuses his men of human rights violation, he would be the one to decide, implies that the Police chief has arrogated to himself the position of the law Itself. This arrogant and affront to constitutional rule is not tenable in a democratic society. The experience in Borno in fighting Boko Haram should remain a guide for all law enforcement agencies as we fight to restore law and order in the country.
“For the benefit of the doubt, let me assume that the IGP misspoke or was quoted in error and call on him to reverse himself and speak in a manner befitting of a refined officer in a constitutional society.
“I also wish to draw the attention of men of good conscience and the International community to the looming regime of state lawlessness in the South-East and South-South, under Alkali’s watch which portends grave dangers to young people of these regions.”