THE Nigeria Police has reached out to the military to protect its facilities in the North following an attack on one of the country’s foremost police training institutions, the Police Academy, Gwoza, Borno State by Boko Haram on Wednesday
According to SUNDAY PUNCH, the military would deploy soldiers to guard police barracks, primary and secondary schools, as well as its training colleges.
Besides the college at Gwoza, other NPF training institutions in the country include the police colleges in Jos, Plateau State; Ikeja, Lagos State; Kaduna, Kaduna State; Maiduguri, Borno State; Oji-River and Police Detective College, Enugu; as well as the Police College of Information Technology, Abeokuta.
Others are the Police Mobile Training School, Ila-Orangun, Osun State; Mounted/Dog Training Schools, Jos, Plateau State; Traffic Training School, Ikeja; the Police School of Music, Ikeja; Police Schools of Communication, Ikeja, Lagos and Kaduna; the Police School of Anti-Terrorism, Nonwa-Tai, Rivers State; the Police Training School, Sokoto; Police Training School, Bauchi; Police Training School, Minna, Niger State; and Police Training School, Jos.
The institutions also include the Police Training School, Ibadan, Oyo State; Police Training School, Benin City, Edo State; Police Training School, Oyin Akoko, Ondo State; Police Training School, Makurdi, Benue State; Police Training School, Iperu, Ogun State; Police Training School, Calabar, Cross River State;. Police Training School, Ilorin, Kwara State; the Police Training School, Ikeja, Lagos State; and the Police Academy in Kano.
A senior security official, who pleaded anonymity, confided in our correspondent that Wednesday’s attack on the police college was seen in security circles as the beginning of the sect’s campaign against police formations.
Boko Haram had carried out sustained attacks on military barracks in different parts of Borno State since the beginning of its insurgency.
The source said, “We know the sect is targeting the Police and other security formations. We have put our men on the alert.
We are seeking the assistance of the military and other security agencies to ensure security of our facilities.”
The Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, confirmed the plan to work with the military. However, he insisted that, far from being helpless, the police had strengthened security around its various training colleges and institutions to forestall further attacks by the sect.
Ojukwu said further developments would determine if its training institutions would be shut to prevent planned attacks.
The police spokesperson, however, refused to dwell on the strategies that the Police would deploy, citing “security reasons.”
Rather, he said the Police was collaborating with other security forces to provide adequate protection for police formations in the North-East and other parts of the country.
He said, “We are not contemplating closing training colleges for now. It is the situation on ground that would determine what we will do. We have already improved the security around our training institutions nationwide and we are working with the military and other security agencies to protect all our facilities.”
Also, Ojukwu, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, said he did not have details of the attack on the Police Academy in Gworza, Borno State.
He said, “We are in touch with the commissioners of police in the neighbouring states and there are plans to clear the academy of all insurgents. We are working with the military on that. As soon as there are updates, I will let you know.”
Speaking on the attack on the police formation, a security expert, Ben Okezie, said security forces had to do more to battle insurgents.
He said, “We can’t say we are winning this war now because each time the group relaxes, it is to reinforce and stage deadlier attacks that can shake the nation. I don’t think the Police are still training their personnel in the school. Otherwise, the place would have been better protected with riot policemen who would give Boko Haram a serious fight.”
But another security consultant, Max
Gbanite, said it is difficult to predict the outcome of asymmetrical warfare. He noted that the government had begun to understand how to fight the war by signing a multi-national joint agreement with neighbouring countries to combat the insurgents.
He said, “The government has begun to understand how the war would be fought but, unfortunately, the insurgents won’t wait for them to purchase sophisticated weapons. The group has divided the nation and conspired to make the Army look bad by dressing in military uniforms and doing terrible things. We can’t win the war through threats.”