Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase has hinted that despite the presidential order directing the removal of military checkpoints on Nigeria’s highways, the police would not hesitate to lock down any highway at anytime once there was intelligence.
IGP Arase, however, reassured that his officers and men would provide adequate security to all Nigerians, even as all roadblocks mounted by the military had been dismantled.
The police chief, who stated this in Abuja yesterday while fielding questions from journalists shortly before he entered into a closed door meeting with senior officers, maintained that the police would continue to collaborate with the military and Department of State Services, DSS, on securing the nation, as they were constitutionally bound to complement the police.
He said that although the police had earlier dismantled their rockblocks, they could lock down any highway at any time for a stop and search if the need arose.
Arase continued: “The president has given a directive that our colleagues in the military should withdraw from some of the areas that they were mounting road blocks. The withdrawal of soldiers should not create any fear in the mind of Nigerians, we have done it before and we are going to do it again,” he said.
Speaking on the purpose of the meeting with senior officers, the IGP said that the meeting would discuss modalities to fill the void created by military withdrawal, as well as strategies to provide adequate internal security.
He said that already the police had deployed 555 patrol vehicles to secure highways across the country, and that Nigerians would not want to listen to excuses from the police.
“We have opportunity now and this is a nice opportunity for us to take over our mandate of providing internal security,” he said.
Speaking on intervention to address cultism and kidnappings in Edo, Ekiti and Kogi States, Arase said that all suspects arrested in connection with those crimes had been charged.
He, however, charged Commissioners of Police to brace to address crimes in their respective states to avoid a situation where the Police Headquarters would always intervene to tackle such crimes.

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