10 months after, 27 police officers missing in Gwoza “not dead” - IG

Twenty seven police officers who went missing after Boko Haram terrorists seized Gwoza in Borno State in August, 2014, may still be found after 10 months, as the Nigerian government believes they are not dead, the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, said on Tuesday.

The police IG said the police have not been officially declared dead yet. He spoke on Tuesday this while responding to questions from journalists after inaugurating the Board of Directors of the Nigeria Police Property Development and Construction Company Ltd.

The I-G explained that the police would follow its tradition of declaring officers that got missing in battle dead after the lapse of a period of time which he declined to give. "About our colleagues, who are missing in Gwoza, there is a tradition in the police force.

When officers are missing in battle, we do not declare them dead or missing until after a period has lapsed. So, we are still waiting for that period to lapse, and if we cannot find them after that time, then, we will formally declare them either dead or missing," Mr. Arase said.

Thirty five police officers were declared missing on August 20, 2014 after the insurgents attacked a police academy in Gwoza. However, the Police spokesperson, Emmanuel Ojukwu, later told journalists that eight of them were found, leaving 27 still missing.

The police IG said the current police management was passionate about the welfare of the inspectors, rank and file, who were mostly operational personnel. Mr. Arase said the welfare of those categories of personnel needed to be given priority to ensure that corruption was stamped out of the force. He announced that 36,000 personnel would by next week proceed on training that would lead to their promotion to the next rank. "We have a social contract with our inspectors, rank and file,'' he said.

The seven-man board is chaired by the Inspector-General of Police. The I-G, on June 4, mandated the Police Works Department to build 6,000 units of modern houses for the rank and file personnel. Five hundred units of the houses are to be located in each of the 12 police zonal commands across the nation. (NAN)

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