Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, has been ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari to relocate to Benue State – located in the country’s middle belt.
A statement by the Nigeria police force said the president has ordered that “the Inspector General of Police moves immediately to Benue State to restore law and order, prevent further loss of lives and forestall the crisis from escalating and spreading in the State.”
Benue State has been rocked by clashes between Fulani herdsmen and locals leading to deaths and damage to properties. Meanwhile an aide to the president has reported a meeting between the president and Benue State governor as at Tuesday morning.
The Force will not hesitate to deal decisively with trouble maker(s), any group(s) or individual for conduct likely to instigate the escalation of the crisis.
BENUE CRISIS: President Muhammadu Buhari is currently in a meeting with Governor of Benue State, H.E. Samuel Ortom at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) January 9, 2018
The statement added that IGP Idris will be leading a total of 10 units of the Police Mobile Force (PMF) already deployed in the State. Special Forces, Counter Terrorism Units and conventional policemen are part of the team.
Other components are the Aerial Surveillance teams, Explosive Ordinance Department and Special Joint Intelligence and Investigation teams. “The Force will not hesitate to deal decisively with trouble maker(s), any group(s) or individual for conduct likely to instigate the escalation of the crisis.
“The full weight of the law will be applied on anyone arrested for being responsible for the mayhem in the affected areas in the State,” the statement added.
It is not the first time Buhari is ordering security chiefs to relocate to a restive region to maintain peace. Nigeria’s top army chiefs were ordered early on in 2015 to relocate to Maiduguri in Borno State in order to effectively combat Boko Haram insurgents.
“The command centre will be relocated to Maiduguri and remain until Boko Haram is completely subdued. But we can not claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents,” Buhari said in 2015.
The chiefs returned to Abuja at a time the army said it had largely won the war against the group. A spike in attacks last year forced the Acting President at the time, VP Yemi Osinbajo to reorder them to return to Maiduguri.