Efforts of the Nigeria Police Force in the current counter-insurgency operations in the North-east have not been accorded the deserved recognition despite the fact that many policemen have exhibited gallantry fighting alongside the military in the operations, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 6, Tunde Ogunsakin, said yesterday.
Zone 6 comprises police commands in Borno, Yobe and Bauchi States
Ogunsakin, who spoke with newsmen in Abuja yesterday, said many policemen had lost their lives fighting alongside the military but had not been properly noticed.
“Maybe we have not been coming out fully to speak about how much we have done, but that is not to say we have not done much in terms of gallantry and sacrifice. The police did the fighting as much as the military, last month I presented a lot of cheques to the families of those who lost their lives and even those that are alive and have done so well, we will make recommendations for them to be promoted too,” he said.
He noted that the police had performed brilliantly and gallantly too, and policemen who accompanied the military to the theatres of war did excellently well.
“For all the period that this war has been fought, we always have police officers being attached to the military, we have scores of policemen being attached to the military in all the theatres of war,” he added.
While acknowledging that the military is at the forefront of the war, Ogunsakin added that the police had taken over check points, security in churches, mosques and market places in Maiduguri and environs where the army was holding forte.
He said another challenge the police face in the North-east ahead of relocating Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their communities is to train its men in the area on their role in peace time.
“What we are facing is how to train the men in keeping the peace now that we have won the war, we are trying to put our men on alert, that the role played during the insurgency is different now at peace time,” he said.
He argued that policemen have a critical role to play in resettling the IDPs or risk creating another problem for the future, pointing out the possible dangers of the social and economic problem of not adequately settling the IDPs.
“If you go to the IDP camps more than 60 percent are women and children, and most of them cannot trace their parents, you have to be careful that these people are settled comfortably and you don’t turn them to miscreants or in future they would be a source of trouble for the country,” he added.