//Godwin Ekosin, Kaduna//
Group, called National Peace Advocacy Group (NAPAG) has verbally attacked Niger State Police Command for blaming the Nigerian Army for raiding armed bandits camp in Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State.
The group was of the view that, Police would have rather commended the Army for the successful operation, where a lot of dangerous weapons were recovered from criminals, despite losing about 12 soldiers in the operation.
Group’s National Coordinator, Alex Amos in a statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna said, due to the effort of the Nigerian Army, activities of armed bandits, cattle rustlers particularly in the North have been drastically reduced.
The statement read in parr: “the attention of National Peace Advocacy Group (NAPAG) was drawn to a newspaper and online report, which quoted the Niger State Police Commissioner, as faulting the recent operation of the Nigerian Army in Bosso LGA of Niger State, where the army recovered large cache of arms from criminal elements.
“The Commissioner who appeared before the commission of inquiry probing the Bosso incident had said that, police reserves the right to carry internal security operations and as such, Army intervention was illegal. This statement is unbecoming of a senior police officer.
“Though, we are not holding brief for the Nigerian Army, but as concerned citizens Nigerian citizens and a non-governmental organisation promoting peace and advocating for a secured Nigeria, we found it duty bound to defend our army, the Nigerian Army.
“The said report published in Vanguard Newspaper and few others quoted the Police Commissioner, Alhaji Zubairu Muazu as describing the Army Operation in Bosso as “invasion of Bosso by the Army”. Although, it is police duty to provide internal security, the Nigerian Army equally has the constitutional responsibility to protect the territorial integrity of our dear nation and assist in internal security operation, has mandate to carry operation in any state of the federation.
“The Police Commissioner also blamed the Army for what he called a large number of casualties, as if those killed were innocent and armless Nigerian citizens. The Army which according to report lost about 12 of its able men ought to be commended by the Police Commissioner and the rest of us, for paying the supreme price, just to ensure that majority of peaceful Nigerians sleep with their two eyes closed.
“Again, if those who attacked the Army in the course carrying out the operation were as innocent and their weapons ‘crude’ weapons as claimed by the Police Commissioner, is it not those same ‘crude’ weapons that were used in killing those 12 gallant soldiers?
“It is disheartening that the police commissioner could not state before the commission, the brutal killing of five police personnel by gunmen with the same crude weapons just few days after the Army seized large cache of ammunition including AK 47 riffle. This is a great disservice to Niger State and the country at large.
“Also, as claimed by the Police Commissioner that there was no intelligence report of arm banditry and weapon stockpiling in the village at the disposal of the police, that does not mean that, the Army didn’t have such intelligence. How then did the large cache of dangerous weapons, which the police called crude came about?
“We also strongly believe that in a serious operation to be conducted, the Army does not necessarily have to divulged its information and intelligence report of its operations, as that could undermine the essence of such operation. It therefore mischievous and treacherous on the part of the security commissioner to now testify falsely against our armed forces, particularly the Army before a commission.
“We therefore want to call on all citizens of our beloved country and of course, all our security agencies to always see themselves as partners in progress, rather than exhibiting unnecessary rivalry, which will give them out to their common enemies in which the consequences could better be imagined”, it added.