Why we killed 12 policemen –Ex-militants

Contrary to the claim by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, that it carried out Friday’s killing of 12 policemen in Bayelsa State, fresh facts emerged yesterday that the cops were victims of infighting among ex-militants.
As the police high command yesterday resolved to fish out the killers of the cops, aggrieved lieutenants of a militant leader in Bayelsa State, Kile Torughedi alias Gen. Young Shall Grow, claimed responsibility for the killings at Azuzama Town in Southern Ijaw area of the state citing non-payment and illegal deduction of their allowances.
In a statement, the group, led by Gen. Adaka Boro Jnr, yesterday said that the killing of the policemen was an outcome of a gun battle between their foot soldiers and the security men. Boro said that the incident was a clear warning to their leader, Kile Torughedi alias Gen. Young Shall Grow. “What happened yesterday was warning to Young Shall Grow. He is deducting our salaries and we have been sidelined in NNPC, Bajero security jobs.
He has been given N80m to buy cars for his commanders, but he embezzled the money. “We want the federal and state governments and other stakeholders to come to our aid. If they refuse, we will blow up the flow stations in the region. It is an armed struggle. We have just started. The Federal Government should tell him to empower his boys. I am not afraid,” the statement reads.
The slain policemen were on their way to the funeral ceremony of Torughedi’s mother as security back up when they were attacked after the boat conveying them developed fault.
National Mirror learnt that Torughedi was alleged to have fallen out with his lieutenants owing to his failure to pay the arrears of stipends owed them. It was learnt that the exmilitants may have taken away the corpses and rifles of the dead policemen to an unknown destination, even though local divers have been engaged to comb the rivers and creeks in the locality for their bodies.
Already, the three policemen and the boat driver who escaped the attack are in custody as investigation continues. Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in the state, Mr. Alex Akhigbe, told our correspondent yesterday in an interview that the Police was yet to recover any corpse and no arrest had been made.
Meanwhile, palpable fear has gripped ex-militant leaders in Bayelsa State. Investigation by National Mirror in Yenagoa revealed that security has been beefed up around the private residences of leading ex-militant leaders such as Eris Paul, alias Gen. Ogunboss, Victor Ben alias BoyLoaf, Pastor Reuben Wilson and others.
A former militant leader in the state, Wilson in an interview with our correspondent confirmed the development, as he condemned the killing. Wilson described the killing as a dastardly act, saying that it could happen to any ex-militant leader in the state, owing to their involvement in the monthly deductions of allowances of their followers.
He said: “The media should dismiss the claim of responsibility for the killing by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND. Our lives are in danger when visiting our areas. Anything can still happen to another leader.
But I don’t think I have any problem with my boys. “We that are freedom fighters in Bayelsa State are saddened that such incident happened in the state. We want to state that the purported MEND claim is false. MEND is not involved and the Amnesty Office is not involved. This is pure misunderstanding between a leader and his boys. The killing is an attempt to rubbish the amnesty programme of the Federal Government.
“When we accepted amnesty, the Federal Government made lots of promises to the leaders. Because of the failures on the part of the Federal Government, the leaders were deducting the allowances of the boys. But if the Federal Government reached out and treat the leaders with respect and fulfil the promises, I don’t think any leader will make such illegal deductions.
“For the leaders, I want them to reach out to their boys. Most of the leaders should talk to their boys and let them know what is happening. At times, the leaders provoke these boys into violence by abandoning them. They should interact and have regular meetings with these boys because they know their capabilities and strength in the handling of weapons.”
Incensed by the killing, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar yesterday summoned an emergency meeting of the Police Management Team, consisting of himself and the Deputy Inspectors General of Police, DIGs, resolving to fish out the killers of the policemen.
Abubakar has consequently declared a massive manhunt for the perpetrators of the crime, assuring Nigerians that he would restore the country to the path of normalcy. He said the force would not be stampeded into abdicating its responsibility of safeguarding the lives and property of Nigerians.
Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, who spoke on behalf of the IGP in Abuja, said the police have resolved that the least it would do in memory of the slain officers is to immediately apprehend their killers.
“As police officers, we have resolved that the best post-humous honour we can give to these fallen heroes is to find their killers and find them as soon as possible,” he said. According to him, the killing is in line with recent trend when policemen become targets of criminals.
He said: “Worried by the rising cases of premeditated attacks on police officers and what appears to be an increasing murderous targeting of police officers, the Inspector General of Police and his Management Team rising from an emergency meeting today (Monday), have devised a new standard operational procedure containing new strategies and methodologies aimed and designed at reducing the vulnerability of police officers while on tactical assignment and also designed at reducing the sufferings of police officers while on national assignment.”
Despite pockets of outrage among Nigerians as to the propriety of assigning 12 policemen to escort an ex-militant leader to the burial of his mother, the IGP said the slain officers were on a legitimate assignment at the time they were murdered.
He described the incident as sad, unfortunate and unprovoked, vowing to round up the killers within a short time. On the recent murder of Kwara State Police Commissioner, Chinweike Asadu in Enugu State, the IGP said the force has made tremendous progress on the incident but would rather maintain sealed lips in order to safeguard the fidelity of the investigation.
Although he did not emphatically state that the police has arrested the killers of Mr Asadu, he imputed it when he said that the police was guarding the investigation process so as not to allow other suspects in the case to escape.
“It might interest you to know that the Nigeria Police has made a tremendous progress in the investigation into the unfortunate death of late CP Chinweike Asadu. “We are deliberately keeping the investigation under wraps for fear of allowing investigation processes to be hijacked and possibly polluted.
“We are trying to make sure that we do not jeopardise what we are doing; we are trying to make sure that we do not open up our processes; we are trying to make sure that others who are still at large do not get unnecessary clues that will allow them cover their tracks”, he said.
The IGP, who admitted that Nigeria was passing through a most difficult phase in terms of security challenges,said although the times are tough, the race against crime remained high. “I must quickly admit that Nigeria is passing through one of its most challenging moment particularly in the area of security. The times are tough. The race against crime is high and the challenges of crime, enormous. But in the midst of all these, I want to bring to Nigerians the message of hope.
These challenges are not insurmountable and they are things that we can, and must cross over. “Backed by the will of the Federal Government, the state governments, the local governments and the greater will of the people, the Nigeria Police in partnership with Nigerians and other security agencies will soon restore the security situation in this country to normalcy,” he added.
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has promised to collaborate with security agencies in the state to ensure the arrest and prosecution of the ex-militants that killed the policemen.

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