MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Usman Bello
A non-governmental organization known as Movement Against Second Slavery (MASS) has condemned what it calls “incessant killing of policemen on VIP protection duties” at a time Nigeria is battling with inadequate police manpower.
Obviously irked by the incident of Monday 2nd January, 2023 wherein no fewer than three policemen in the entourage of a former Governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim were killed by unknown gunmen, MASS said it was becoming a national embarrassment for armed policemen to be slaughtered so cheaply in the course of rendering protective duties to those we regard as Very Important Persons.
Speaking through its spokesman, Mr. Frank Oshanugor in a statement on Wednesday, MASS said the Ohakim incident came in less than four months after no fewer than eight policemen were similarly slaughtered in two incidents. According to the statement, one of the incidents was the attack on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah on September 11, 2022 in Anambra State during which five policemen in the convey were killed by the attackers.
The second incident, MASS said was the October 21, 2022 attack in Edo State on the Founder of The Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleman by gunmen. No fewer than seven persons in Suleman’s convey were killed among whom were three policemen attached to him.
The Movement recalled that earlier in 2021 precisely on March 31, three police men on protective duties with Prof. Charles Soludo were killed in his Isuofia Community in Anambra while he went for consultation preparatory to the Governorship election.
According to MASS, in these four incidents alone, no fewer than fourteen policemen lost their lives painfully “not while fighting in any war or uprising against the state but in attempt to protect lives of those considered to be very important. There are other unreported incidents”
While MASS is not against the protection of the lives of high profile personalities in our society by the police or any security agents of the state, it would want the Federal Government to evolve a new strategy that would not easily expose the security agents to the high risk of becoming easy casualty in any assassination attempt against whoever they are attached to.
“Moreso, Nigeria is blessed in contemporary time with sophisticated private security service providers who can do well in VIP Protection. They should be integrated properly into the system since they have more knowledge of modern day technology in VIP Protection which goes beyond the use of AK47” MASS posited.
While extending condolences to families of policemen killed in the various escort or protective assignments, MASS has also urged authorities of the Nigeria Police Force to ensure that before any policeman is assigned on VIP Protection duties, all extant rules are complied with, to avoid a situation where family of a victim is denied accruable benefits in case of death if it is discovered that the policeman was illegally assigned.
IGP Usman Baba Alkali