Of Attacks On Policemen

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Four policemen attached to the Sabongida Ora Divisional Police Station were brutally murdered in cold blood by unknown gunmen on Saturday, July 14, 2018 at a road intersection between Oke-Ora and Avbiosi in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State.
The policemen, reportedly on patrol duty, were shot as they were alighting from their patrol van and unarguably, were victims of an ambush by their assailants.
The van was set ablaze with the bodies of the victims inside it, while their weapons were taken away by the assailtants. This was not the first time policemen and officers had been ambushed, killed and their arms and ammunition carted away by hoodlums or armed robbers for reasons best known to such criminals.
Equally disturbing is the fact that another DPO, attached to a police station in Rumuolumeni community near Port Harcourt was killed in very gruesome circumstances while returning from his home town in Abia State. He was ambushed and killed by unknown gunmen.
Sadly enough, the maiming and killing of policemen and officers on official duties by men of the underworld have become a recurring decimal in several parts of the country in recent times.
The Tide condemns in strong terms the spate of killings of police officers on official duties. This ugly development is not only worrisome and condemnable, but also unacceptable and provocative.
We say so because policemen, by their training, are supposed to be friends of the society, as they are statutorily empowered to protect lives and property of the citizens. Thus, by no means should they be targets of crime and criminality as the current trend portends.
We think that the society itself would be worse off and even vulnerable without the presence of policemen, who are equipped to protect both the high and the low of the society. Infact, without policemen, the society is doomed.
This is simply because the society would easily degenerate to Thomas Hobbes’ state of nature, where life itself will be short and brutish. If this becomes the case, then, the law of the jungle will become the order of the day.
It is against this backdrop that we advise the Police High Command to fish out the perpetrators of the recent killings of police officers, prosecute and bring them to justice. This way, other criminals who might be tempted to toe this ignominious path would be deterred.
It is, however, heart-warming that the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris and the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, have announced rewards of N5 million and N10 million respectively for persons who would offer useful information that would lead to the arrest of perpetrators of the dastardly acts in Abuja and Edo State.
However, policemen, on their part, must cultivate more friendly disposition towards the citizenry and avoid acts capable of bringing the police institution to disrepute as well as attracting the wrath of the citizens against them.
On the other hand, the citizens should be able to support the fight against criminality by willingly providing credible information that would ultimately lead to tracking down of criminals, including those who have made police officers the targets of their nefarious activities.
We, therefore, urge the police not to be intimidated by the current wave of criminality against them but to be more emboldened in carrying out their legitimate duties because those who unleash terror against them are, indeed, the real enemies of the State and the citizenry.