The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Friday had a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
After the meeting which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Mr. Idris briefed journalists on his discussion with the president.
When asked if he believes there is breakdown of law and order in different parts of the country, Mr. Idris said he thinks “Nigeria is well secured.”
Dozens of people were killed in separate attacks in Rivers and Benue in the new year. While that of Rivers is linked to cult violence; that of Benue is believed to have been carried out by herdsmen on farming communities.
Read the full question and answer session the police chief had with journalists below.
Q: What was the meeting with Mr. President about?
IGP: You know any time we meet Mr. President, you know the area of discussion is how to have effective security of the Nation.
Q: What are you doing about Benue?
IGP: You know I deployed my DIG there yesterday and you know we have different stages of police, you have the AIG in Benue, Commissioner of Police in Benue and all of them are putting their heads together to see how we address this issue of community problems in Benue.
Q: There seems to be break down of law and order in the different parts of the country at the same time – Rivers, Benue, Kaduna,
IGP: Obviously I think Nigeria is well secured you have to be frank with us.
Q: Why do you think herdsmen killings is escalating in parts of the country?
IGP: Like I said, you know we have different levels of police in this country. We have the Commissioner of Police in Benue, the AIG of Police in Benue, and yesterday I deployed my DIG operations there and definitely we are doing all we can to see we maintain law and order in all parts of the country.
Q: The police has been accused of being reactionary rather than proactive to stop the killings, how do you react?
IGP: Let’s use the example of Benue, you know most of these states where you have several languages, you know is an issue of communal misunderstanding. I think what we should be praying for is for Nigerians to learn to live in peace with each other, I think is very important.
Q: What did the president say after briefing him, was he happy with you or gave you a new charge?
IGP: Of course every time we meet with the President he gives a charge. He said that we should go and take care and ensure that we tighten our security.
Q: Any new measures you are deploying soon?
IGP: There are so many measures. For instance in Benue we are going to deploy more units to support the efforts the police is making in the state to ensure we have adequate protection to the men and communities and members.
Q: Are you assuring Nigerians that this will not repeat itself?
IGP: Of course we are assuring that this will not repeat itself.
Q: Is the country under-policed?
IGP: I cannot say Nigeria is under-policed.
Q: Maybe the question should be is the police overwhelmed?
IGP: We cannot be overwhelmed.
Q: Did you say that the Benue killings is that of communal crisis? We all know is herdsmen killing farmers.
IGP: Obviously it is communal crisis, herdsmen are part of the community. They are Nigerians and are part of the community are they not?
Q: On arrest of an online publisher by SARS, was that on your orders because he published something against you?
IGP: Anyway I don’t need to send anybody but whenever you commit an offense it is our duty to ensure that we respond.