The police have deployed 2,000 new officers “to defeat Boko Haram” insurgency in Nigeria’s volatile northeast region.
Police spokesperson Jimoh Moshood announced Sunday afternoon that the contingent was drawn from Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Units (CTU) and the Sniffer Dog Sections. They started arriving in the last few days, police said.
The announcement comes two weeks after Boko Haram fighters overran a Nigerian Army battalion in Borno State, killing at least 118 soldiers, including their commander; although the army says only about two dozen soldiers were killed.
Nigerian Army chief Tukur Buratai said days after the attack that the military had broadened consultations to seek out all supports necessary to defeat the insurgency.
Besides the constitutional duty which the police have to protect the citizens, Mr Moshood, an acting deputy police commissioner, said the Force Headquarters also felt duty bound to support the military in the counter-terrorism efforts.
Prior to the latest deployment, Mr Moshood said there were 47 PMF units, totalling 2961 at 63 officers per unit in Borno State, which has been the centre of the nearly 10-year long jihadist insurgency.
Twenty-six units, totalling 1638 personnel, were previously deployed in Yobe State. Eighteen units, comprising 1134 officers, were on the ground in Adamawa State, Mr Moshood said.
He said Counter Terrorism Unit of about 1,000 personnel deployed in the war-ravaged region, in addition to 1,250 specially trained counter-terrorism police personnel.
The Police Anti-Bomb Squad has about 300 personnel with over hundred sniffer dogs working side-by-side with soldiers in the region, he said.
Personnel from the Police Air Wing are also deployed to support the counter-insurgency operations, Mr Moshood said, adding that the police would continue to do their best towards a timely end of the insurgency.