A. S. Ishaq, a brigadier-general of and coordinator, Nigeria Police Force for Operation Lafiya Dole (NPFOLD), says some of the policemen deployed to fight Boko Haram insurgents in the north east, absconded from their training camp to celebrate Christmas.
He said this while reacting to reports that some officers who were undergoing training at the Nigerian Army Special Forces Training School in Buni Yadi, Yobe state, took to their heels after being deployed in Boko Haram strongholds.
In an interview with PR Nigeria, Ishaq said some “unruly” policemen left the camp without permission to celebrate the Christmas holiday.
He added that some of the officers who left the camp had been apprehended and brought back to complete their training.
“The policemen didn’t abscond as alleged in media reports. What happened was that some of the police officers insisted on going for the Christmas holiday,” he said.
“But in line with standard military operations, there was no way officers undergoing special training on a combat-operation, could leave their base when the training exercise has not rounded up.
“So, we refused to grant them permission. However, the unruly ones among them left our Special Forces School at Buni-Yadi, venue of the training.
“But thank God, the unruly personnel were tracked at Damaturu, the state’s capital. Right now, some of them have been brought back to the School.”
Jimoh Moshood, police spokesman, also said no officer absconded and all 2,000 were “on ground” and in “high spirit,” ready to cooperate with the army.
“The insinuation in some quarters and as reported in the story that 167 out the 2000 additional Police Officers recently deployed by the IGP absconded is not correct and should be disregarded by members of the public,” he said in a statement.
“These 2000 Police personnel are to complement the efforts of the Military to add new impetus to the fight against the decimated Boko Haram insurgency.
“All 2000 Policemen deployed by the Force to the North East have reported and are on ground on combat operation in the North East fighting along with the Military in the front line against Boko Haram insurgency.
“The 2000 Police personnel deployed are in high morale and high spirit in the operation. No Police personnel absconded as alleged in the report.”