February 14, 2015
The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria condemns, without reservation, the statement credited to Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2 comprising Lagos and Ogun on Thursday in which he threatened that 'We’ll Kill 20 for Each Police Life Lost During Elections'.
This is a very reckless and irresponsible statement amounting to an incitement of the police to shoot citizens at will hiding under the ruse of 'self defence. Mbu has simply handed a blank cheque to police officers within the zone, already notorious for extrajudicial killing, to kill more citizens.
Mbu's directive to police officers that 'If they shoot you, shoot back in self-defence. Anybody who fires you, fire him back in self-defence…' can easily be exploited by the police and politicians who control them to target political opponents.
In the first place, it is not the case that citizens often shoot at the police. On the contrary, it has always been the police shooting citizens on daily basis, often for no justifiable cause and without redress and accountability.
We have often condemned the high casualty rate among police officers in the course of combating armed bandits. The work of the police is difficult and dangerous and demands the highest level of responsibility and professionalism.
The primary duty of the police is to serve and protect, not to kill the citizens, as Mbu is now inciting the police under his command to do.
This incendiary statement and directive by Mbu on the police to kill must be viewed very seriously as it represents a very dangerous development and a foreboding of tragic things to expect in the days to come under Mbu. We hope it is not Mbu's mission to cause more controversies in Zone 2 as he did in Rivers and the FCT as Commissioner of Police.
It will make no sense to call on the IGP to call Mbu to order or to direct him to retract his dangerous directive to the police to kill for whatsoever reason. Mbu is irredeemable. We call for his immediate removal!
There must be an end to this never-ending Mbu controversy as it is doing very serious damage to the image of the police and the country at large.