Nigeria’s presidency has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari will act on the killing of police officers by soldiers after the panel set up by Chief of Defence Chief, General Gabriel Olonisakin, submits its report.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement on Tuesday.
He said: “In response to press questions, I will confirm that a committee was set up during the National Security Council meeting to investigate the killing of three policemen and a civilian by soldiers in Taraba State.
“The insinuation of indifference on the part of President Muhammadu Buhari is therefore untenable.
“Contrary to those mischievous insinuations, President Buhari had ordered the Chief of Defence Staff to set up an investigation committee with representatives from all the security organizations in the country, including the police force.
“The President is not indifferent to the unfortunate incident and would take decisive action as soon as the report of the panel is submitted to him. He is following due process and procedure. Putting the cart before the horse is not President Buhari’s way of doing things.
“Nigerians should show patience while the President awaits the report of the panel from the Chief of Defence Staff”.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai has ordered travelling officers and men to wear plain clothes [mufti] while travelling across Nigeria.
This is as Buratai accused the Force Headquarters of making “inciting and inflammatory comments” following soldiers’ killing of three policemen and a civilian in Taraba after they had effected the arrest of a notorious kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume, who is now on the run.
Buratai’s order which leaked to the media on Monday was contained in a circular with reference number: AHQDAIOPS/G3/240/232 and copied to Army formations nationwide.
The letter signed by Brig. Gen. F. Omoigui, on behalf of the COAS, was entitled: “Need for troops to be circumspect in dealing with members of the Nigeria Police.”
Buratai directed soldiers on internal security (IS) operations across the country to be circumspect, alerting of the likelihood of aggression towards troops by police personnel.
He said Police statements and reactions had the potential of forcing the rank and file of its personnel to “exhibit aggressive tendencies against NA (Nigerian Army) personnel.”.
Buratai, in the circular, told soldiers to travel in mufti to avoid possible attacks by policemen, which he argued, may be occasioned by the Police’s comments on both social and traditional media.
Soldiers of the 93 Battalion had shot dead the IRT operatives – Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeant Usman Danzumi, and Sergeant Dahiru Musa.
The Army claimed they were shot after being mistaken for “suspected kidnappers”.