MBU: Only Criminals Should Be Afraid Of Me
THE press has seriously misquoted me, to the extent that they said that if one policeman were killed, my men would kill 20 civilians. That is not rue. It is not correct. When I assumed office as the AIG in charge of the zone, I went on tours and talked with my officers and men, I told them how to conduct themselves. I advised them on what to do, especially during and after the elections. How do we plan for the election, we must sit down and plan. I said as police officers we must learn to be impartial, we must be neutral. And there must be no unnecessary exchange of pleasantries.
Policemen at the various poling booths are not supposed to carry arms. I said we have adopted men of Mobile Force for quick response. This quick response squad will be located within a particular radius. So that where there is crisis, because it is not unusual that thugs know that police men on duty in the poling stations are unarmed and would go and attack them and carry away electoral materials. They may also attack those coming to cast their votes. This quick response squad will be properly armed with teargas canisters and guns. The squad will quickly be drafted to the poling booths any time there is an attack.
If thugs attack my policemen and kill anyone, the police should repel them. The police should strike back. The police is government institution and the symbol of Nigeria sovereignty, so, anybody who attacks the police, they will fight back. So, if you use weapon against the police, the police will also reply with their weapons. That was what I said. I did not say the police should kill civilians. It is the thugs that should be afraid of the police and not innocent civilians.
We are also empowered by the law to protect other innocent citizens. We will not fold our arms and watch thugs attack innocent citizens who will come out to vote. We have the duty to stop thugs from attacking fellow citizens. Policemen cannot just walk to armed thugs who are attacking the civilians. We have to match force with force, that is the only way we can repel hoodlums. This was what I said and I stand by my words, you cannot attack my policemen and my policemen will fold their arms and watch touts or thugs committing havoc. What informed me on this was that there was a day I was driving on the Express road, I saw people with machetes, pump action guns, which is, prohibited firearms. Some were armed with short guns and bottles. Those items are not decent for our society. I said we would not accept it. If we get you with such items, we will demobilize you by any means.
There was a report in the dailies, saying that 50 policemen were in the cell. Another report says AIG Mbu sends 56 policemen to prisons. What I said was that about 15 policemen were in the cell for indiscipline. Some of them did not dress well. Some were on mufti and they were carrying arms. There was no way you could differentiate them with armed robbers. And I have been warning them against that. Before the public respects you, you must dress well and comport yourself very well. You must be able to know between policemen and the enemy of the society. I did not say 50, I said 15, but even if we arrested 50 policemen for indiscipline, what is wrong about that, we should be able to correct them. Journalists should learn to report things the way they are.
I am not here top fight anybody. I am in Lagos to maintain peace. I am here to ensure that there is orderliness in the society. I am not a Commissioner of Police, but the Assistant Inspector General of Police of the Zone. I am just supervising the jobs of the Commissioners of Police in the Zone. I am not even in charge of posting police. It is the duty of police Commissioners.
How about your preparation for the elections?
We are fully prepared for the elections. Now that the elections have been shifted, we are adding more to our preparations. Lagos alone has about seven mobile squadrons. It also has a counter Terrorism unit, a special protection unit and an aspect of Bomb disposal.
There are the combat units. We planned to put them on red alert and to station over 300 in various area Commands, the state Command and the AIG’s office. We owe Nigerians their rights to life, so we have to protect them. I have also directed the two state Commissioners of Police under me to carry out massive raids of drug dealers. Check and mop up arms. Anybody suspected to be in possession of arms should be checked. We have the powers to break in, search and recover such arms.
What exactly did you say about the elections that make people to pick on you?
I said that everybody should go in as law-abiding citizens of the country and vote. Nobody is going to the polling place as a President with 50 cars or as Governor, Speaker of the House, with security details intimidating policemen. We will not accept that as it is against the Electoral Act. People are complaining of redeployment of many policemen in some areas. Are people not happy to feel the presence of policemen? But I am not in charge of the redeployment of policemen. The commissioner of police is in charge.
The commissioner of Police from his intelligence report can redeploy policemen to areas that are prone to crime or that are being suspected for any criminal activities. It is to checkmate crime.
I have directed our Mobile Police commander’s, Special Protection Unit commanders and other units to send the names of dignitaries carrying my policemen about as escorts. I want to know where the authority for such use is derived from. A situation where a place like Oshodi should have like 500 policemen patrolling the area, some of the men are secretly being posted to peoples’ houses, endangering civilians who we are paid to serve. I have directed the Commissioner of Police to re-examine the tinted class permits. They should inspect the vehicles by themselves and issue tinted glass permit by themselves. In that process, we should be able to know those who are qualified to use tinted glass or those who should not use. They could use vehicles to commit all sorts of crime. They can use them to carry electoral materials.
Nigeria is a funny society. People will apply to use revolver light to look like Governors; people are not entitled to use all those things.
The thing is that I am not posted to Zone 2 for election purpose, my predecessor left for NIPS. I was posted as an AIG to supervise Commissioners of Police within my command not for election purpose. I am not a politician, and I am not sent to defend any political party. Only criminals should be afraid of Mbu.