SAN FRANCISCO, May 01, (THEWILL) – The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris has disclosed that mines and explosives buried in the Northeast by the Boko Haram terror sect surpasses those buried by forces during the Nigerian Civil War.
He stated this in Lagos on Monday through the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG, Operations, Joshak Habila, during the training of 60 policemen on anti-bomb and mines detection, detonation.
Idris revealed that plans were on to deploy trained policemen to Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states to sweep the communities before internally displaced persons, IDPs, can return to their homes.
He said the four-week training was part of efforts to equip the police to finally take over from the military, areas reclaimed from the terrorists, adding that some of the personnel would also be deployed to the Niger Delta and other troubled areas where criminals use improvised explosive devices.
The police boss pointed out that the task of the trained personnel is to ensure that communities in former hotbeds of activities are cleared of all explosives to allow for the safe return of displaced persons to their communities.
His words, “It is on record that mines buried by Boko Haram in the Northeast is far above the one buried during the Nigerian Civil War. So, we are fortunate to have US anti-bomb experts train us on how to detect buried mines.
“We are about going into another phase in the operation in the northeast. Our responsibility is to assure displaced persons of their safe return to their communities. It is incumbent on the police to restore peace within reclaimed communities.
“Our duty is to identify remnants of these explosives and take them for safe keeping for analysis, with a view to detect where they were manufactured and who manufactured them.
“We would also enlighten and train the civil populace on bomb detection so that whenever they see unfamiliar items, they would not touch.
“Nigeria Police have given a good account of itself in the past, particularly in detecting and detonating IEDs. So, we must take advantage of this training because we would soon deploy those trained to affected areas on post-blast investigation.
“For the trainees, they should also bother about chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, which are the new threats globally. Before now, people didn’t believe we could have suicide bombers in Nigeria. So, the trainees should not take any information for granted.”
In their remarks, facilitators of the training, Jon Demarthino and Rick Hahn both from the United States, US Anti-Terrorism Assistance Group commended the trainees for their gallantry.
Demarthino, who said the training would be hard and tasking, urged participants to put their all to it in order to achieve desired results.
Expressing optimism that the training would positively impact the force and the country, he urged the trainees to extend the knowledge gained to their colleagues.
“There’s no way we would train all Nigeria Police personnel at a time. But with this 60 we have, we believe it would spread round to a greater percentage of the force,” he said.
Source: The Nigerian Voice (local news)