Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris has expressed outrage over the recent kidnapping of police officers especially the kidnap of a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Niger State.
The visibly angry police boss, who made this known on Wednesdayin Abuja during the monthly conference with Commissioners of Police (CPs) and other senior police officers held at the Nicon Luxury Hotel, said the spate of kidnapping of police officers across the country was becoming an embarrassment to the police who are supposed to be providing security for the country.
He said henceforth, state commissions of police would be held responsible for the kidnap of any police personnel under their commands even as he urged them to be more conscious of their movement and environment. He said that as police officers, their primary duties was for them to first protect themselves before protecting others.
“Officers have to be very serious about their own personal safety because it is becoming an embarrassment and the CPs themselves would be held liable for any police man or a DPO, or whatever that is just picked up like a fowl and just feels like nothing happened because it is very annoying. It is not a matter of joke.
“Some days ago one of our DPO, was kidnapped in Niger. How can you be a DPO, in a place and you have all the policemen in your command then you start driving as if you don’t have anybody.
“You allow these useless kidnapers to just pick you, it is very embarrassing.
Continuing, he said:
“We had this same issue in Zamfara State, where an Assistant Commissioner of Police went on leave travelled alone and was kidnapped, it is embarrassing. Utilise the men under you, you must protect yourself first before you protect other people. Because obviously you are going to be a target.
He warned all CPs to ensure that police officers under their command are conscious of their movements, so as to avoid the embarrassment of being kidnapped.
“All these information we are getting that DPOs vehicle or OC vehicle was sighted in a bush and he was never seen because he has been kidnapped.
How can you allow yourself to live in that kind of situation. It is becoming an embarrassment.
“So you should direct all your officers, DPO’s and head of formations in your commands to be very careful about their movement. You don’t just move around anywhere as a policeman. Look at the case of the DPO, of Sarkinpawa, that was kidnapped up till now we have not gotten any news about him.
This really becoming embarrassing because you have a policeman protecting others and you just allow your self and drive into kidnapers.
“You have the men that are working with you, if you feel a road is not safe, it is either you deploy men on that road before you ply that road or you make of adequate security to the area. We have to be very serious with the protection of our DPOs, and heads of formation. Tell your Area Commanders and DPOs, not to move anyhow,” IGP Idris said.
Meanwhile, the police boss said death sentence for convicted kidnappers would drastically reduce the menace of kidnapping in the country.
He endorsed the bill passed the National Assembly that included death sentence as punishment for convicted kidnapping suspects.
The IGP said the CP in charge of legal department would constitute a team to strategize toward successful prosecution of about three thousand kidnapping suspects in police custody.