The Nigerian military has offered a clear explanation on a news report that over 150 policemen from the 2,000 deployed to fight Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, absconded from their counter-insurgency military training exercise.
Brigadier-General A. S. Ishaq, the Coordinator, Nigeria Police Force for Operation Lafiya-Dole (NPFOLD), in a chat with PRNigeria, said there was nothing like policemen absconding, but just a case of some recalcitrant personnel leaving their training base for a reason which was not cogent.
The top Army officer added that the special training, which should have been concluded last Friday, was extended for one week to enable the policemen partake in all the requisite military combat exercises before they depart the camp.
“The Policemen didn’t abscond as alleged in media reports. What happened was that some of the police officers insisted on going for the Christmas holiday. But in line with standard military operations, there was no way officers undergoing special training on a combat-operation, could leave their base when the training exercise has not rounded up.
“So, we refused to grant them permission. However, the unruly ones among them left our Special Forces School at Buni-Yudi, venue of the training. But thank God, the unruly personnel were tracked at Damaturu, the state capital. Right now, some of them have been brought back to the School,” he said.
General Ishaq disclosed that the counter-insurgency traininees Passing-Out-Parade will take place this Friday.
Some news media reported that the Police Force Headquarters had ordered the arrest and prosecution of some riot policemen who had absconded from training at the Special Forces School, Buni-Yadi, Yobe State.
The media cited a Police wireless message with reference DTO:241610/12/2018 and signed by the Commissioner of Police in charge of MOPOL, directing that the errant operatives should be arrested and produced under escort.
Reacting to the media report, the Police Force Public Relations Officer (PRO), Acting DCP Jimoh Moshood, said that all the 2,000 policemen deployed by the Force to the North East have reported and are on the ground on combat operation prosecuting the war against insurgency along with the military.
In a press release he signed, the police spokesperson added that the deployed police personnel are in high moral and spirit for the operation.
The Force spokesperson’s statement added that: “This story (of absconding) was investigated and it was found out not to be correct, there is no reason whatsoever that police personnel deployed for the operations in the North East would abscond.
“The Police Mobile Force (PMF) personnel have been engaged actively in the front line along with the Military in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group since the inception of the insurgency.
“These 2,000 Police Officers recently deployed are in addition to several thousands of Police Personnel already engaged in the fight against the insurgency with the Military in the North East.
“The 2,000 police personnel deployed are in high morale and high spirit in the operation, the Force sees the story as a deliberate attempt to promote insurgency and dapple the morale of Officers and Men of the Police and other services who on daily basis lay down their lives to protect our dear Nation, Nigeria and ensure security of all citizenry.