The Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, has said about 20 officers of the Nigeria Police Force are still missing after their Gwoza training school base was attacked by Boko Haram.
Following the attack launched by the insurgents on the training camp of the Nigeria Police Mobile Force, in Borno State, the IG had announced that 35 of its men had gone missing.
However fielding questions from journalists at the State House, Abuja, Mr. Abba said the force was able to trace some of the officers who had reported either back to their bases or their families.
“When you go through what they went through, the likelihood of you knowing what to do is not very tenable,” he said. “There is a possibility that the decision of what to do may not be easily comprehensible. So some went back to their homes but our concerns is that once they are in safety we are satisfied and the process of bringing them back to their units has already commenced.”
He added that less than 20 officers are still missing “but we are still concerned with every one of them and unless we are able to account for each and every one of them we will not relent in the effort of tracing them”.
Also speaking on the recent changes he effected in the force since taking office, Mr. Abba said he was trying to do what has always been done, access performance and also take into cognisance vacancies available.
“We are all aware that quite a number of commissioners of police retired recently. Some of them were course mates of the retired IGP, so they left along with him after their 35 years in service. So it is just an effort to fill vacancies and of course reposition the officers based on performance to face the challenges,” he said.
On challenges encountered since taking over the reins of the force, the IG noted that changing the attitudes of personnel was a challenge.
“Well, the one I consider most important is the one that is most difficult. When you are changing a culture that has been there for too long then you should know that you are going to face lots of challenges. Those involved in changes will tell you changing the culture, changing the character, changing the attitudes of personnel is very very difficult.
“Naturally it comes with resistance, it comes with a lot of challenges on its own. Somehow someone has to do it and I felt not minding the challenges I will face, the good thing is that we have started. Like I said it is a difficult thing to do it will take a little while to see it” he said,” he said.