Guardian / Nigeria: The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Idris Ibrahim, has justified Monday’s shooting and killing of some members of the Shi’ite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) when the group clashed with men of the Nigeria police in Kano.
Citizens should not be killed during riots, Ibrahim said. He, however, stressed: “If those involved in the riot are armed to the teeth, killing police officers, the method deployed by the police should be appreciated.
“Killing police officers! I don’t think it happens anywhere. We have to appreciate a dangerous situation and be sympathetic with the police that are being killed by some of these miscreants.”
Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday summoned Ibrahim to explain his plans for ending killings in Kaduna State.
It followed a motion sponsored by Senator Danjuma La’ah (PDP,Kaduna South) calling for the declaration of a state of emergency in his Senatorial District.
The IGP is expected to meet with the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, after which a report would be submitted to the House for consideration and legislative action.
The IGP spoke yesterday at State House, Abuja. He was responding to questions from reporters at the end of the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem launch.
The clash reportedly started around Tamburawa, on the outskirts of Kano city, when the police tried to stop a Shi’ite protest. Several persons including a police officer were feared killed.
The IMN on Sunday had accused Nigerian soldiers of plotting to block its members’ Kano-bound march. It also alleged that the troops trained their weapons on them.
On need for the police to deploy non-fatal methods in riot control, the IG said: “I agree with what you said. But when you have Nigerians armed to the teeth, killing police officers, I don’t think it happens anywhere.
They attacked our officers, killed one, while another sustained an arrow wound to the head. In such a situation, the police have the responsibility to ensure free movement of people on the road. And that was what our officers did.”
Members of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) urged people in the affected communities not to take laws into their own hands.
SOKAPU president, Solomon Musa, regretted: “While the attacks have continued to fester, the efforts of governments and security agencies are yet to be felt, seen or appreciated by our people.”
He added: “Without provocation, the villages of Kigam, Angwan Magaji, Angwan Rimi and Kitakum all in Chawai Chiefdom of Kauru Local Government Area were attacked with over 35 people killed. The villages were burnt to the ground. No house was left standing in Kigam.
The most pathetic are the pictures of children less than two years also killed. Children, youths, women, the aged and the infirm were all victims.”