The Senator representing Bayelsa East constituency in the National Assembly, Ben Murray-Bruce, has rationalised the reported absconding of over 150 police officers drafted for counter-insurgency operations in the northeast.
According to him, it was common sense for the police personnel to feel ‘demotivated’ towards the fight against Boko Haram, having witnessed how the Federal Government purportedly neglected the families of heroes who lost their lives battling terrorists in the region.
Buttressing his point on Twitter, the lawmaker cited the recent funeral of troops who died in Metele fighting Boko Haram as an instance, saying neither the President nor his representative was present as they were laid to rest.
He tweeted: “Why won’t the policemen run? If they die what will happen to their wives and children?
“Look at how we buried the hero soldiers who died at Metele. The President did not attend. He was not represented. Those policemen were watching. Are they fools? Do they want the same treatment?”
However, the Nigerian military has offered a clear explanation on a news report that over 150 among the 2000 Policemen deployed to fight Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, absconded from their counter-insurgency military training exercise.
Brigadier-General A. S. Ishaq, the Coordinator Nigeria Police Force for Operation Lafiya-Dole (NPFOLD), in a chat with PRNigeria, said there was nothing like policemen absconded, but just a case of some recalcitrant personnel leaving their training base for a reason which was not cogent.
The top Army officer added that the special training, which should have been concluded last Friday, was extended for one week to enable the Policemen to partake in all the requisite military combat exercises before they depart the camp.
“The Policemen didn’t abscond as alleged in media reports. What happened was that some of the Police officers insisted on going for the Christmas holiday. But in line with standard military operations, there was no way officers undergoing special training on a combat-operation, could leave their base when the training exercise has not rounded up.
“So, we refused to grant them permission. However, the unruly ones among them left our Special Forces School at Buni-Yadi, venue of the training. But thank God, the unruly personnel were tracked at Damaturu, the state’s capital. Right now, some of them have been brought back to the School,” he said.