No fewer than 20 police officers are still missing following the recent attack on the Police Mobile Training School in Gwoza, Borno State, by the Boko Haram sect.
The Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, confirmed this while fielding questions from State House correspondents on Tuesday.
It will be recalled that 35 police officers had been declared missing after the attack in August, but 15 of them have since returned.
The IGP, who spoke after meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo, however assured that the Force would stop at nothing to rescue the remaining officers.
His words, “Well, I must tell you that the turnout of those missing is still impressive because we have been able to trace some of the officers who have reported either back to their bases or their families. “When you go through what they went through, the likelihood of you knowing what to do is not very tenable. There is a possibility that the decision of what to do may not be easily comprehensible.
“So, some went back to their homes but our concern is that once they are in safety and we are satisfied and the process of bringing them back to their units has already commenced.
“I must tell you is just less than 20 but we are still concerned with every one of them and unless we are able to account for each and every one of them we will not relent in the efforts of tracing them.”
Asked what measures are in place to boost the morale of the police, Mr. Abba had this to say, “Well, you know every police officer knows that if you are on the streets, there is the likelihood that you will come across someone who wants to do what is not right, who wants to commit a crime and sees you as an enemy. So, once you are on patrol, you should know that there are also dangers associated with policing and patrolling. So to us facing dangers in the performance of police duties is not new. What is new is that this time around the enemy is highly armed and that is why the military is there to support us in fighting them. ”
On the ongoing effort to reposition the Force, the IGP said, What we are trying to do is a normal thing, it has always been done, we access performance and also take into cognizance vacancies available.
“We are all aware that quite a number of commissioners of police retired recently, some of them were course mates of the retired IGP, so they left along with him after their 35 years in service.
“So, it is just an effort to fill vacancies and of course repositioned the officers based on performance to face the challenges.”