Some policemen who were deployed to combat bandits at a location have appeared in a video protesting that the authorities sent them out without arms and ammunition to face the criminals.
One of the policemen, whose voice was the loudest in a video seen by SaharaReporters, lamented that the government and police authorities seemed to be culpable as they warned them not to engage the bandits.
“Enough is enough. They are playing politics with people’s lives. They took us into this bush without armour, without ammunition. We are to comb this particular area within the twinkle of seconds (sic). How many bandits are in this bush?
“How many bandit leaders are inside this bush? These big men are eating (sic) money up there. They are even saying we should not go after them (the bandits). I am not afraid. I am not a coward,” the policeman said in the video.
SaharaReporters on Sunday reported that key tracking equipment deployed by the police to go after kidnappers, bandits and terrorists had also remained inactive since the beginning of the year amid raging violent crimes across the country.
Senior police officers, including two commissioners of police, had said the platforms used in tracking criminals and their phones had been bad since January.
One of the Commissioners of Police had said the tracking equipment was handed over to the police by the Nigerian government a few years ago during the tenure of IGP Solomon Arase and was installed by a Nigerian company.
“The equipment was given to us by President Buhari. The thing has not been working because those who are supposed to ensure that it runs well have not played their part.
“They claim that they are being owed money for the subscription,” he said.
When asked to explain how the subscription works, the CP said the police had not paid the fees since 2015 and the police had had to rely on the DSS.
He added, “From what I gathered, subscription fees are meant to be paid yearly but you won’t believe that the police have not paid since 2015. Initially, the company gave us a grace period but they have now cut off the police completely. We now rely solely on DSS (Department of State Services) and NSA (National Security Adviser) offices. It’s a terrible situation and it has worsened the insecurity in the country. The Police Trust Fund promised to help but we have not seen any action yet.”
Another police commissioner confirmed the development but said efforts were being made to restore the equipment.
The police commissioner added that the platform was undergoing a system upgrade which would soon be completed.
He added, “You know this thing is technology just like computers so we do upgrades from time to time. A lot of people on the field don’t even understand how it works. It is undergoing an upgrade because you have new features coming in from time to time. There are new technologies that you have to update to enhance their capacity.
“We have some new equipment which we need to adjust so they can link together. Some are still working. It is not as if all components are shut. That is what is happening.”