Monday, 19 March 2018

Police harass, loot Boki indigenes as the innocents are victims of govt negligence

19 March 2018 

I have always blamed the government and security agencies for delay in the handling of the crisis in Boki. 

It all began with the Borum Estate, the governor was so silent and the people were harassed. The SSG formed an army of militants mostly cultist to fight those mainly presumed to be Hon Mark Obi's boys. The boys needed to fortify themselves and both groups began carrying 'odeshi' and took hard drugs. The villages formed groups and even those who had not handled guns were introduced to guns, charms and Tramadol. 

The governor kept quiet and the case was left unattended to, many lives and properties were lost. Some of those fingered to be perpetrators of the crisis were arrested and released by the Police on instructions from above. No effort was made to recover the many guns in the hands of youths. Most guys in occupation of the estate, got assess to the palm tress, looted the estate and processed oil while using the proceeds of oil to buy guns. Others cultists got support major stakeholders in government and were always protected in view of intentions of politicians to use them as machineries for election. 

After the struggle for the estate came the cult rivalry, this happened unabated despite my constant cries on social media. Scores of lives were lost, the boys paraded themselves before the Nigerian police. The Police DPO that was latter shot in a gun battle with cultist, always complained that the cultists have more dangerous weapons and that they were helpless. Memos were written to the Governor, yet nothing was done. Jude Ngaji the State Security Adviser was heard saying that he was not 'appointed to solve Boki crisis'. 

The boys got emboldened and because they were unchecked, they got used to guns without discipline until the Police DPO and one of his officer were shot and almost killed. Thank God to providence that preserved the lives of the men of the Nigerian Police that were shot. 

Because the Police DPO and his men where affected, the Police deployed SARS to the affected areas. We breathed a sigh of relief that the renewed troops from the police will be of help in restoring peace and security and possibly arrest the cultists disturbing the peace and security of the affected communities. Rather, the cultists having informants even amongst politicians and police got wind of the deployment of the police and fled the village. 

The police went to the village and began breaking into people's houses and arresting innocent people and looting from the village. I just got a call from my parish priest complaining the level of harassment of innocent citizens. In his words the police are looting our people. 

Even when the entire village of Ogep Osokom is deserted leaving women, the old and children, the police is reported to be harassing these poor people. They are reported to be looting the homes of innocent people. 

The names of the cultists are known by the Police, at various times the community leaders and youth leaders have submitted the names of the cultists to the police. Sometimes the Police have released some cultists handed down to the police by the villagers on order from top men in government. 

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Inuwa Hafiz must call his men to order. Innocent people must not be looted because of the complicity and negligence of government and the security agencies in maintaining law and order. 


Joseph Odok 
Social Change Agent

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