No fewer than 28 policemen have been killed in three months according to findings. They were either shot by gunmen, hacked to death or set ablaze by hoodlums who attacked police stations.
These are different from those lost to the ENDSARS violence. According to Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, six soldiers, 37 policemen and 57 civilians were murdered during the ENDSARS violence. The minister added that 269 private and public properties were razed.
The police said they would do everything legally permissible to curb the attacks on its men and facilities. Police spokesman Frank Mba, a Commissioner (CP), said this would include the use of force.
On February 23, AK47 and machetes carrying hoodlums numbering about 200 invaded Abayi Police Station at Osisioma, Aba in Abia State and killed two officers identified as Vincent Gonze and Sergeant Emmanuel Okoronkwo. The attackers also set part of the division ablaze with the help if petrol bombs and other explosives.
On February 24, four policemen manning a checkpoint at Nkpologwu community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State were killed by gunmen, said to have arrived at the scene in two vehicles and carted away their rifles and burnt their patrol vehicle. That same day, a policeman was killed at Ekwulobia in Anambra State and another patrol vehicle razed.
The following day, gunmen suspected to be cultists killed four policemen in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
On February 1, gunmen killed a policeman at Atakumosa West, Osun State, while another cop was murdered the same day at Isiala Ngwa North in Abia State. There was also an attack on Obowo Police Division in Umulowe Autonomous Community, Imo State on February 5, leaving two policemen dead and three injured.
Four police officers were killed on January 15 after armed bandits numbering over 100 attacked their convoy along the Birnin Gwari-Funtua highway. The officers alongside 11 others were returning to their base in Kano from Niger State.
Three cops were murdered on January 8 when gunmen attacked a station in Ebonyi State and three others identified as Inspectors Simon Madaki, Mutari Lawal and Sergeant Adamu Ibraham killed on January 10 by armed men in Ughelli, Delta State.
Two policemen were murdered by suspected Boko Haram Terrorists during an ambush at Magumeri, Borno State on January 31.
On November 20, angry youths stormed a police station in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State and killed a cop on duty.
An Assistant Superintendent (ASP) and a Corporal were killed on January 23 after gunmen invaded a police station in Aba, Abia State.
Mba said: “Actions are being taken. The position of the IG was clearly stated in my press release following the unprovoked attack on Abayi Police Station in Aba on February 23 where the state command successfully neutralised four attackers, arrested eight and recovered arms, ammunition from the hoodlums.
“The IG has warned that dire consequences await any person or group of persons who, under whatever guise, engages in an unwarranted attack on any public property and directs all command CPs to employ all legally permissible measures to protect police facilities, personnel as well as all Nigerians.
“He has also directed that a comprehensive investigation be conducted into all cases of murder of police personnel across the country. Our policemen already know that the number one rule in protecting lives and properties is that they must protect themselves. They have to stay alive to be able to protect others.
“We are also appealing to Nigerians to know that police property are theirs. Policemen and woman are their brothers and sisters. We are working towards more public engagements and enlightenment through the community policing framework.
“We need our people to take ownership by so doing, whenever they hear or see any criminal plotting to commit a crime, they will share the information and such crimes will be prevented,” he said.