By Chris Nomjov
Despite the caution advised by his superior, the Inspector General of Police and several other groups, that condemned his violent charge on police officers; controversial Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Lagos, Mr. Joseph Mbu, has remained defiant, that, policemen under his command can kill in self-defence.
Mbu said since policemen were also human beings, they should be ready to take revenge on any violent group(s) that might attack them or other innocent citizens.
Mbu spoke with some journalists in Olorunsogo, Ogun State, during the inauguration of the Olorunsogo II Power Station by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The journalists had approached the AIG, who led policemen to provide security for the President at the event, to clarify the controversial statement credited to him that 20 civilians would be hacked down for every policeman killed.
“If one of my men is killed, I shall kill 20 of them, but don’t shoot first. If they shoot you, shoot back in self-defence. Anybody who fires you, fire him back in self-defence,” Mbu had been quoted in the media to have told his men at the Ogun State Police Command Headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta, during a recent visit.
The remark provoked harsh reactions from all quarters and IGP Suleiman Abba had words of subtle warning to the police chief. However, Mbu on Friday, said the media account was mischievous and contrary to what he said in Abeokuta.
He also said that he contemplated arresting the journalists who wrote the reports to show proof that he indeed said what was reported.
Curiously, however, Mbu restated the media account he had tried to debunk.
He said, “I still stand by what I said. And what I said is very clear: that if any violent group attacks my policemen, my policemen should attack them violently.
“If any violent group attacks a law-abiding citizen in a bid to cause injury or cause harm, the police should repel and save that law-abiding citizen because we have the powers to do so.
“If hoodlums or touts decide to be lawless; carrying knives, carrying illegal firearms and shooting at my policemen, if they shoot at my policemen and they are a hundred or 200, my policemen will not be looking at them. They will reply back in self-defence.
“The number I kill is immaterial because a policeman is also a human being.”
When asked if his strategy of fire-for-fire is the best way to handle the situation, Mbu answered, “Which other way do you think you can handle it? You will shoot at the police. Is it not when the person is alive that he is coming to give evidence? How will somebody who is violently attacking others be stopped; how are you going to stop him? Are you going to use your hands? You must repel him using a stronger force.”