The Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris, Friday said that communal crisis was responsible for the gruesome murder of over 30 persons in Guma and Logo local government areas of Benue State.
IGP Idris said that he has directed a Deputy Inspector General, DIG, the Assistant Inspector General of Police AIG, in-charge of Zone Four, Makurdi and the Benue State Commissioner of Police Police to get to the root of the crisis.
The Police boss disclosed this to State House correspondents after over one hour meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at Presidential Villa, Abuja. Though the IGP refused to mention the communities involved in the alleged communal clash, he said that Fulani herdsmen were part of the community.
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? He said he was at the State House to meet with the President on how to have effective policing in the country even as he said that the allegation that there was breakdown of law and order in the country was not true, rather enthusing that Nigeria is secured.
On the reason for his meeting with the President, Idris said, “You know any time we meet Mr. President you know the area of discussion is how to have effective security of the Nation.” Fielding question on what he was doing about Benue following the alleged attacks of two council areas of the state by the herdsmen, he said, “You know I deployed my DIG there yesterday (Thursday) and you know we have different stages of police. “You have the AIG in Benue, 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.”
The IGP who debunked the allegation that the country was under siege as a result of insecurity, said, “Obviously I think Nigeria is well secured you have to be frank with us.”
When asked the reason why herdsmen killings were escalating in parts of the country, he 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.
“Yesterday (Thursday) 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.”
On the accusation that Police has been reactionary rather than proactive to stop the killings, the Police boss said, “Let’s use the example of Benue, you know most of these states where you have several languages, you know is an issue of communal misunderstanding. “I think what we should be praying for is for Nigerians to learn to live in peace with one another, I think is very important.”
He said every time the security operatives meet the President he always give them a charge, adding, “He said that we should go and take care and ensure that we tighten our security.” The IGP said there were so many measures he was putting in place like in Benue State where he was going to deploy more units to support the efforts the Police were making in the state to ensure they have adequate protection to the men and communities members. Assuring that the Benue murder will not repeat itself, he refused to answer the question on whether the country was under policed but said the force was not overwhelmed.
On whether the arrest of an online publisher by SARS was on his orders because he published something against you, 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.”