Reporter: UCHE NDEKE

Security officers have been advised to see members of the public as their partners in the fight against crime.

The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 13, Ukpo, Mr. Danmallam Mohammed, gave the advice when he toured some Police stations in Onitsha and Ekwusigo Local Government Areas, which were destroyed by hoodlums last week.

Some of the stations visited by the AIG included: Area Command Onitsha, Area Command Ekwusigo and the Divisional Police Station, 33, Onitsha, where the hoodlums set ablaze cars, buildings and pulled down wall of the station.

Also at the Area Command Ekwusigo, the destruction was enormous as several vehicles were burnt while the entire one storey building, which was also housing the Divisional Police Station was vandalised.

Mr. Mohammed, who described the destruction as a total loss to the nation, said the Nigeria Police Force would continue to partner the citizens to win the war against criminality in the society.

He also cautioned his men to discharge their statutory duties with human face.

“As far as security issues are concerned, you must see members of the public as stakeholders. We need their support and cooperation. This is a challenge to you all, you must do your policing with human face.

“We are saying no to torture, illegal arrest and detention, extra judicial killings, criminal extortion of money from the public,” Mr. Mohammed cautioned.

The AIG encouraged the people of Anambra and Enugu States to go about their lawful duties as the security operatives were on ground to repeal any attack or intimidation from hoodlums and criminals.

He promised that the police would do everything possible within the ambit of the law to ensure that the pepetrators of the heinous crimes were brought to book even as he called on the security men not to be deterred by the recent developments.

“You have to be calm and very vigilant, we are going to investigate thoroughly to know what happened, I am using this opportunity to encourage you, don’t allow yourselves to be intimidated,” the AIG stated.

The Area Commander Onitsha, Mr. John Obuagbaka, thanked the AIG and the Inspector General of Police for the encouragement, noting that all the police divisions within the state had been well fortified against any further attacks.

“We thank you, AIG, for coming to visit us and we assure you and the Inspector General of Police, that we are ever ready to defend the people of the state, and to also defend our stations at any point in time.”

Some residents of Onitsha, including Mr. Wasky Ekene, commended the tour by the AIG, saying it had helped in building their confidence and taking care of their fears as businesses reopened.