By Nicholas Kalu, Abuja
Residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja have complained about the near absence of police presence on the streets, especially at night, leading to increasing activities of criminal elements.
The situation has become a source of worry, especially for those who close late from work or have other endeavours that keep them out late.
The city, as most other parts of the country, has experienced upheavals in the wake of the #ENDSARS protests, that has led to deaths and destruction of property.
“I finished really late last night and on my way home I did not see a single policeman on the way home. I was really scared to be honest. It was quite worrisome as this means criminal elements are going to be having a field day now. I read in the news that the Inspector-General of Police had directed that they take back the streets from criminals who are causing problems everywhere for Nigerians but that is not the situation on ground.
“I don’t know whether it is deliberate or not. Maybe most of them feel their efforts are not appreciated enough to the extent that many of them have been attacked and killed and their facilities vandalized. But they should know that they are professionals, who swore an oath to protect citizens no matter what. We cannot have a situation where policemen decide they would not do their job, especially now everywhere is so volatile with the crisis that is threatening to engulf everytthing.
“Right now we are aware that weapons may have gotten into the hands of more criminals following attacks on police stations and policemen. Who knows what wave of criminality would be coming upon us. We are begging that relevant authorities do something urgently about this before things completely get out of hand,” a resident said.
When contacted, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, requested that a text message be sent to him for his response. He was yet to reply at the time of filing this report.
FCT Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mariam Yusuf, refuted this saying men have been adequately deployed across the nation’s capital to ensure the protection of life and property, in line with the direction of the IGP.
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, had last Saturday ordered the immediate mobilization of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the wanton violence, killings, looting and destruction of public and private property in parts of the country.
The IGP directed that the public space be reclaimed from criminal elements masquerading as protesters.
The order was given to all Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs), Heads of Police Operational Units, Squadron and Base Commanders in charge of Zonal/State/FCT Commands, the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit and the Special Protection Unit.