190 police officers have been declared wanted after they fled from a special training to prepare them for deployment against terrorist group, Boko Haram, in the troubled northeast region.
Two weeks after terrorists overran the 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele village in Guzamala local government area of Borno State last month, the Nigeria Police Force announced that it was deploying 2,000 new officers to aid military troops in the war against the insurgency.
The officers were sent on an induction training at the Nigerian Army Special Forces Training School in Buni Yadi, Yobe State, before their deployment to fight the terrorist group.
However, media reports have indicated that some of the officers have unceremoniously abandoned the camp to avoid going to battle with terrorists.
According to a report by Premium Times, many of the officers started fleeing last weekend after learning that they would be deployed to locations where Boko Haram fighters are still active, especially communities along Nigeria’s border with Niger and Chad Republic, areas also affected by activities of the terrorists.
The officers reportedly did not submit their arms, ammunition and other official equipment in their possession when they fled, raising fears that they constitute a security risk.
“It was after their training when they were told that they will be deployed to the frontlines that many absconded,” an official told Premium Times.
According to a similar report by Sahara Reporters, the officers were said to have fled training after they discovered that they were to be sent to battle without appropriate training.
A senior mobile police officer who spoke to Premium Times also raised questions over the training and deployment of the officers.
“When did the police start sending its officers to army training school when we have our own. Even when they are deployed for joint operations, each agency trains its own,” he said.
According to a “Police Wireless Message” which has been issued in respect to the missing officers, they’re to be located, arrested and produced under escort for fleeing from the training camp.
The notice was sent to about 25 mobile police units in 20 states across the country from where the officers were drawn for deployment. The officers are likely to face disciplinary actions from suspension to dismissal from the force.
Since Boko Haram’s insurgency escalated in 2009, it has killed over 27,000 people and displaced millions in the northeast region, with its operations also extending to border countries like Cameroon, Chad and Niger.