The Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is frightened by the callous-indifference and inaction of Abia State Police Command in arresting the terrifying increase of rape, armed robbery, killings and unending cases of kidnapping in Abia State. The recent kidnap of young and innocent school children, paints a clear and sordid picture of these heartless criminals. It is a thing of grave concern and demands an immediate practical measure. The IHRHL is of the standpoint that a state of emergence should be declared on the Abia State Police Command.
It is not a state of emergence on the Government of Abia State or such that will hinder the rights and civil liberties of residents of Abia State, especially their freedom of movement. It is a declaration of state of emergence on the Abia State Police Command. The incessant cases of kidnap and other heinous crimes perpetrated against the residents of this state and the inability of the police in tracking them is a vote of no-confidence on the Police Command.
The Abia State Police Command is horrifyingly reactive to serious situations that demand a proactive approach. Rather than fight hard on these criminals, the Police Commissioner will sit in the comfort of his office and talk tough on what he is going to do. There is amnesty in Abia state, which we expect criminals to submit themselves and their guns. But these criminals are still carrying Ak 47 and other small firearms terrorizing, maiming, killing and kidnapping innocent and law abiding citizens and now school children, only for the police to become a reactive force, rather than a proactive force that should ensure that these crimes are averted and frustrated before its occurrence.
What kind of police do we have? And what is their duty? The fundamental constitutional duty of the police is “the prevention and detection of crime, apprehension of offenders, preservation of law and order, protection of life and property”. It is not to ‘punish crime’. It is to prevent it before its occurrence. The police are expected to have an ‘intelligence gathering’, a kind of data that should assist them to monitor where these criminals stay and what they are doing at any given time.
For the past ten years, we have produced different levels of security guards and all their works put together have amounted to nothing. The IHRHL is therefore, on the standpoint that a state of emergency should be immediately declared on the Abia State Police Command.
The IHRHL is also urging the Government of Abia State to seriously engage their thinking, policies and programs towards human capital investment as a deterrent to high rate of criminality in the state. We also call on political merchants in Abia State who are responsible for the insecurity and disorder in the state to have a rethink.
For: Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law