Bauchi CP disbands RRS over brutalisation of AIT reporter
Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Sylvester Alabi, has ordered the immediate dissolution of the Command’s Rapid Response Squad (RRS).
Alabi reacted to an attack by men of RRS on Damina Yusuf, a reporter with the African Independent Television (AIT), while covering a protest by students of the State College of Agriculture on Thursday.
Damina was rushed to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi over the injuries sustained on his head.
However, Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ) has ordered the immediate boycott of all activities of the Police in the state, following the attack.
The statement, which was jointly signed by the NUJ Chairman and Secretary, Umar Sa’idu and Isah Gadau, condemned the incident and noted with dismay, “the uncivilised manner of the Nigeria Police, in adopting brutality, as part of its tradition, especially against journalists,” adding that it was dissatisfied with the way and manner the Police “brutalised, molested and harassed” its member.
“Based on this barbaric act, the union has directed its members to suspend, with immediate effect, coverage of all activities of the police in the state, until the perpetrators of the act are fished out and prosecuted, in addition to proper payment of compensation and settlement of medical bills of the victim,” the NUJ declared.
The Police Commissioner, who swiftly reacted to the NUJ’s directive, in a statement through the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Ahmed Wakil, directed that RRS be immediately disbanded. He said he has set up a three-man committee to investigate the police officers’ conduct.
Wakil, a Superintendent of Police said: “The command has totally condemned the unprofessional conduct of the RRS on this (assault on AIT Reporter).
“The CP ordered for full payment of Damina’s medical bills as well as payment of all that was lost during the protest. He has set up a three-man committee to investigate the erring Police officers. He equally ordered the disbandment of the present squad. He said fresh officers with good track records would replace them.”
“The command is ever ready to engage the NUJ to sheathe their sword, as protest is not a solution to the present situation,” he said.