11 February 2012
Written by Hussain J. Ibrahim & Misbahu Bashir,
Abuja, Lawal Ibrahim, Gombe, Eugene Agha, Lagos & Bashiru Abdullahi, Port Harcourt
After losing their breadwinners in the line of duty, families of slain policemen cry that they have been abandoned by authorities
At a time of heightened security concerns where criminals and militia groups had targeted policemen for death, some families of policemen slain in the line of duty say they have been left at the mercy of relatives, neighbours and the kindness of strangers. While in the past armed robbers account for the highest rates of death among policemen on active duty, Weekly Trust checks show militias, especially the Boko Haram sect, had significantly bumped up the recent high toll of death among the police.
Human Rights Watch reported that police death from Boko Haram attacks alone nears 1,000 so far, with police deaths from the sect’s attack this year about 250 while an estimated 935 policemen have been killed by the sect since 1999, even though accurate figures are not available for police deaths in the hands of armed robbers and other criminals.