Nigeria: Taraba Killings - Police, Army Blame Game Not Helping Against Nigeria's Security Challenges - NMA FCT Chairman

The chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Abuja, Ekpe Phillips, has blamed the intractable security challenges in the country on lack of coordination among security operatives.

He said the continued trading of blames between the Nigerian Army and the police over the recent killings of police officers in Taraba State has left Nigerians in a state of confusion and hopelessness.

Mr Phillips spoke on Monday at a media briefing organised by the NMA on the security challenges Nigeria is facing.

"There should be a collaboration between security forces to nib this situation in the bud. But, instead, what we see are blame games and at the end of the day, our people remain in the kidnappers' dens.

"If we as civilians are watching them (Police and army) make these arguments then what is our hope? We are left confused and hopeless," he said.

The medical officer was referring to last Tuesday's killings of three police officers by some soldiers at a checkpoint in Taraba.

The incident occurred along Ibi-Jalingo Road, the police said. The dead officers were of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT). They were in the state to arrest a suspected kidnap kingpin who the police identified as 'Alhaji Hamisu.'

Other police officers and a civilian were injured in the attack while the suspect was freed.

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday said the police officers who were killed were mistaken for kidnappers by the soldiers.

The army blamed a communication gap for the attack, but the police described the explanation as 'bizarre.'

Although a panel had been raised to investigate the incident, Mr Philips said the situation should not have degenerated into a blame game between the two security institutions.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari should not keep quiet as Nigeria cannot afford disharmony between the police and army in the face of multiple security challenges.

"The last time we visited President Buhari, he said he will ensure that the country is secured so we are challenging him to make sure we are secured."

He also urged Nigerians to add voice to the Taraba incident, "so we can get to the end of the argument and find out what happened.

"Our heroes died because of mistaken identity if that is what it is. They are people's fathers, husbands, and children."

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