The Inspector General of Police, M.A Adamu, has ordered the immediate deployment of helicopters for security surveillance and to tackle crime related issues around the country.
This was announced as part of active measures aimed at curtailing kidnapping and banditry in the country. The idea is to conduct aerial patrol on major cities in the Southwest and Northwest of Nigeria. The statement issued by the police headquarters says:
“While the Police Air-Wing Operational Base in Abuja caters for Abuja – Kaduna highways as well as the adjoining states in the North-West and North–central. The new base in Ondo State will cater for the adjoining states and highways straddling the South-West.”
The likely panic that may result in such uncommon surveillance was also considered by the force. The statement added:
“The Force therefore enjoins citizens not to panic but to go about their lawful businesses as the aerial surveillance is geared toward improving the security of lives and property in the affected areas.”
It could be recalled that a few weeks ago, the Federal Government announced plans to deploy drones and install cameras on the high ways in a bid to curtail incessant kidnappings and armed robbery that has become paramount in many highways, especially, Kaduna–Abuja and East–West highways.
Early in the week, the news of the 3 students abducted on the Abuja–Kaduna highway broke, not to the surprise of many since it has become a norm. Many believe that the abductees who were later released by means of ransom is the evidence that the police are not doing enough. Though the Government has taken credit for their release, the 3 families involved were quick to refute it as lies, saying that ransom was paid in full for the release of the victims.
In view of these happenings, the aerial surveillance seems like the news that the people are waiting for, if not that many are concerned that it may go awry. Judging by the victimization of innocent citizens by armed forces in the name of fighting crime, many are saying that the poorly trained police cannot be trusted with a security measure involving such professionalism.
Citing the case of Rann where over 200 Internally Displaced Persons were bombed by the Nigerian Airforce. The victims were even blamed for not putting up any sign indicating that they are not terrorists.
The concern is that it may even get worse with the police, and the people may turn out to be victims of those who are supposed to protect them.