263 police officers gunned down in 2009, official says

They are poorly equipped and are easily gunned down by robbers


A total of 263 Nigeria police officers died in 2009 while at their duty posts or performing official duties, an official of the Police Service Commission has said.

Receiving a team from the Harvard-Kennedy Criminal Justice Programme and CLEEN Foundation in his office in Abuja at the weekend, Parry Osayande said 18 of the officers were killed by members of the separatist Islamic sect Boko Haram which has consistently targeted security operatives and top politicians in the north-eastern states of Borno and Bauchi.

He did not say how the remaining 245 officers were murdered. But top police officers who later spoke with Nigeria Police Watch said a larger number of them were gunned down by better armed and dare devil robbers.

“It is a known fact that armed robbers have continued to kill us like chickens,” the source said. “And that is because we do not have the kind of sophisticated weapons that armed robbers carry, added to the fact that we are poorly trained and remunerated. So, most of the time, we are caught napping.”

In his speech during the visit, Mr. Osayande lamented the increasing number of cops being killed in active service daily; saying steps were being taken to check the trend.

Responding, Prof. Chris Stone, Faculty hair, Harvard-Kennedy Criminal Justice Programme, said his team was in Nigeria to rub minds with the commission and work out modalities for cooperation.