The Untold Story Behind Fracas Between Security Personnel In Kaduna, Adamawa

Olayemi Esan

By Olayemi Esan

The clashes between officers of the security forces are often fully unexplainable in the heat of the moment and can cause panic in society.

In a separate report in media, a Nigerian army soldier (name withheld) was reported injured on Tuesday night while a policeman was killed in a clash between some Army and Police personnel in Yola, Adamawa State in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.

It was gathered that the injured soldier was allegedly shot in the leg by a policeman who was part of a patrol team at Target Junction in Yola.

Some soldiers were said to have later stormed the Police Command Headquarters in Yola at about 11 pm, during which there was heavy exchange of gunfire.

The soldiers later retreated as residents who feared it was a Boko Haram attack scampered for safety.

When contacted the Commissioner of Police in Adamawa, Afolabi Babatola confirmed the incident and said a Police Inspector, Jacob Daniel, was killed during the shootings, and ”warned that attacks on all security officers in the line of duty would no longer be tolerated under whatever guise”.

When contacted, the Brigade Commander, 23 Armored Bridget, Brig. Gen. Gambo Mohammed said the fracas was caused by the shooting of a soldier by some policemen.

The injured soldier who was shot in the leg, was later rushed to Federal Medical Centre Yola for medical attention.

Recently, there was a confrontation between some operatives of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and those of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Kaduna over the arrest and detention of suspected internet fraudsters. According to the report they allegedly prevented the EFCC operatives from going in or out of the premises in an attempt to release some suspected fraudsters detained by the commission.

Meanwhile, our source anonymously revealed the true incident between EFCC and NAF personnel, saying, “It started in Barnawa on Sunday, they were four Air Force personnel and two AFIT civilian students. They went to hang out in one of the eateries so after eating they paid with POS not knowing that the POS operator snapped their ATM card.

“So after they left the place they received an extra debit alert of 60,000 Naira. Immediately they suspected there was a fraudulent transaction. So they went back to complain and when they collected the POS operator’s phone they discovered the picture of the ATM card on his phone, therefore they raised an alarm.

“During the fracas, another customer at the eatery phoned EFCC and when EFCC arrived, one of the operatives slapped one of the soldiers, a NAF personnel. The soldiers decided to go to their office to report the matter but unfortunately, the EFCC operatives refused to allow them to leave the eatery rather they were arrested since Sunday.”

Our source noted that: “We went there two times with NAF BSG Provost and then with BSG Commander, yet they refused to release them. So the day before yesterday we were there with a fit Commandant, AVM Rabe yet they refused to release them.

“So the AVM Rabe called higher authority and was directed we should go today and if they refuse to release them we should use maximum force, but way and manner we must come back with the soldiers today and we went there only for the EFCC Commander, a woman called the police for reinforcement and they sent more MOPOLS and even called journalists, media houses like Channel TV, NTA, Sahara reporters, and even AIT.

“We had blocked to defend ourselves, no entering and no going out, even when our commander arrived, they refused him from entering. we have to use minimum force on EFCC Operatives before they released our soldiers today and when we took them to Base Commander,” he said

In the recent past, security agencies have not only been involved in physical combat but also displayed of total lack of allegiance as this is observed in the breach rather than the observance, especially with the frequent clashes to assert supremacy by some of these agencies.

The EFCC’s strategy of resorting to media trial, in cases with the fellow government security agency, without exploiting other channels or avenues available to resolve matters is worrisome.

Spokespersons of these agencies and organizations who are image makers should iron out their differences and nip the public altercation in the bud rather than inviting media to film or pen down a press statement immediately when a crisis arises for public debate. This is where crisis communications comes in, the main goal of crisis communications management is to protect your organization’s reputation. This usually involves engaging with the media and the public openly and giving them information that is “accurate and has been validated by experts.”

When it comes to a crisis, preparation is everything. Teams must be adequately trained, and have some practice in simulated crises to perform effectively when a real one comes along. Security forces are One and should not act in isolation because it might be in your favour today. There is no way you can perform your civic responsibility without the collaboration of other security agencies. You are all anti-crime in different ways but have the same result, ARREST, AND PROSECUTE.

Some Security expects condemned all these ugly incidents among our highly trained personnel. They opined that no matter the issue at stake, they should have engaged the leadership of their organizations and if that failed, reached out to the leadership at their headquarters in Abuja, rather than continue to regale in seeking public sympathy even before the matter is thoroughly investigated.

I support Saleh Labaran from Kofar Dukawuya, Kano who says he believes that critical government agencies must learn to find amicable ways of solving issues involving their staff and operatives. While one must commend the NAF and its leadership for their maturity and dignified silence on the matter, it is nevertheless necessary that it investigate the incident and take appropriate punitive measures if its personnel conduct themselves most appropriately.

According to a study by Olaniyi Olumayowa a Sociologist from Obafemi Awolowo University, who developed a special interest in the field of Criminology, and Lanre Ikuteyijo a Sociologist and Anthropologist with a specialization in Criminology and Social Research at the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, the need for an effective relationship between the police and the army cannot be overemphasized considering the country’s various challenges in recent times. Although there is an opportunity for strong harmonization between the two agencies, key steps need to be taken to help achieve this laudable feat, which will help advance the country’s security infrastructure.

Over the years, there has been mutual Respect, A pre-collaboration Relationship, could take the form of a level of joint training, especially in civil matters, to create a bond between the officers representing the two agencies and communications which is imperative to ensure that there is an open channel of communication between security agencies to ensure smooth information sharing when the two agencies are working towards the same goal: to protect the lives and properties of the citizens of the country.

Olayemi Esan is writing from Abuja, she is the Managing Director and an editor-in-chief of SpyeTV News and a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations NIPR.