Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris yesterday castigated police officers for being careless to the extent that they are kidnapped.
He described as embarrassing and annoying the recent kidnap of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Sarkin Pawa in Niger State.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Amos Aliyu was on Sunday abducted near his home at Turin Fulani by unidentified persons.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja during a meeting with Commissioners of Police and other senior officers, the IG urged policemen to be careful and protect themselves first.
Idris told Commissioners of Police that they would be vicariously liable should anything happen to any policeman under them.
He said: “There should be more visibility policing. Policemen should be deployed in flashpoint areas to take care of security because the presence of police in those areas would help in the reduction of crime.
“We must take the protection of our officers seriously. We have a problem; two days ago, one of our DPOs was kidnapped. How can you be a DPO, you have all the policemen under your Command and then you start driving as if you don’t have anybody.
“You allow the useless kidnappers to pick you and your orderly, it is very embarrassing. We had the same issue in Zamfara state where an ACP going on leave travelled alone. It is embarrassing.
“Utilize the men you have and you must protect yourself first. You can only protect others when you are protected because you are a target.
“The information we are receiving is that our ACP’s vehicle was abandoned in a bush and he has not been seen which obviously means that he has been kidnapped. How can we be living with such situation? It is becoming an embarrassment. DPOs and other personnel should be careful of their movement.
The police chief added: “The CP Niger said there is contact already and they are working on it. Policemen who are protecting others should not allow themselves to be target. We should be careful in our movement.
“Our officers have to be concerned about their personal safety first because this issue is becoming an embarrassment. CPs would also be vicariously liable for any policeman that is just picked up like a fowl or anything, it is very annoying.
“We should be careful in our movement. If you notice that an area is not safe, you should deploy men in those areas. We should take their protection very serious. Our policemen should also be careful with the way they move around”.
On the recent law on kidnapping, Idris said: “The Nigeria Police Force is very glad with the law on kidnapping. With the law which is a death sentence for those that would be tried for kidnapping, the spate of kidnapping in Nigeria will be reduced”.
On the Anambra State governor’s election next month, the IG said additional policemen would be deployed to join the 17 units already on ground.
The IG explained that the massive deployment would ensure a credible election in November 18.
He said: “The major challenges we are having now are the elections we would be having in Anambra state and two other states.
“The deployment will involve all commands. We are going to send directives to all CPs for the mobilisation of officers who are the Special Unit and the Conventional police for the election.
“When you receive the directive, act on them promptly because it is going to be a massive deployment. We don’t have time to delay in our planning and deployment because the election date is too close. It is important for us to prepare so that we can provide personnel and logistics in order for the officers to perform creditably.
“It is unfortunate that before this election, we had some minor problems especially in the southeast but I believe the challenges have been addressed because we deployed 17 units there and with the additional deployment requested, we are going to take care of security in that location.”