Saturday, February 28, 2015 10:50 am
The name, Joseph Mbu, scares some, angers some and gives some a reason to be indifferent. His clash with Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, southern Nigeria and the resulting consequence on the governance of the state remains a reference point when Mbu’s name comes to mind.
He brought this same controversy to Lagos as the new Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2. He was recently quoted as warning that 20 civilians would be killed for every one policeman killed in his area of jurisdiction during the forthcoming elections.
This did not go down well with the people of Lagos. A lot of criticisms followed.
Few days later, Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba made allusion to the sanctity of human life, especially as it relates with the duties of the police. Despite this caution, Mbu reportedly re-emphasised his earlier statement.
This alleged stand by the AIG has changed as he says he was misquoted.
In a statement released by the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, Olugbemiga Adeoye, the AIG said he only passed a message to policemen not to be cowardly but to be guided by Force Order 237 on the use of their firearms stressing that apart from using firearms to defend themselves, it should also be used to defend fellow police officers when their lives are in danger.
He noted that the earlier reports were part of the politics to paint him in bad light before Nigerians and those he is to protect.
Although policemen are not to be seen with firearms within a specific radius of the polling area, the statement quoted him as promising that quick response squads would be created to respond to distress calls during the elections adding that “there is no society in the world where policemen will be killed by hoodlums and the perpetrators will be allowed to escape justice.
“What he said was that no highly placed individuals in the society who have police escorts and other forms of personal guards will be allowed within the voting area accompanied by such retinue of escorts.”