Police chief visits violence hit Nigeria

March 13, 2010 12:00 am

, JOS, Mar 13 – Nigeria\’s police chief Ogbonna Onovo visited violence-hit central Plateau State on Friday and vowed to hold divisional police officers responsible for future incidents.

"Henceforth, DPOs will be held responsible for any such attacks in their areas of jurisdiction," Onovo said, regetting Sunday\’s massacre of more than 100 Christian farmers in three Berom villages by ethnic Fulani herdsmen.

He urged police officers to act promptly on intelligence reports on such attacks, and promised to help the state police command in its operations.

"We will provide more logistics and incentives to the police in Plateau State for the effective maintenance of law and order in the state," he said.

The inspector-general of police also called on his officers not to be distracted by any allegations of bias.

"As professionals they should do their work diligently and ignore insinuations," he said.

He said more police stations will be opened.

"The Nigeria police will open more police outposts in the remote areas of Plateau to forestall and combat any possible attack as the one that happened this week," he said.

The region\’s army commander Major-General Salih Maina, who accompanied Onovo, commended the state police "for their courage and boldness in stating the facts of what happened during the attacks and the actual casualty recorded, as against the outrageous figures being bandied about."

Plateau State Information Commissioner Gregory Yenlong had put the casualty figure in the violence at more than 500, but the state police commissioner said only 109 people were killed.

Nigeria, Africa\’s most populous country, is divided almost in the middle between the two faiths. Plateau, of which Jos is the capital, straddles the mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

The attacks on the three mainly Christian villages near Jos, launched before dawn on Sunday, also caused about 8,000 people to flee their homes.


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