The Imo State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr. Audi Ahmed Abubakar has denied media reports that his men shoot and wounded tricycle operators (keke NAPEP) in the state.
The keke operators had last weekend staged a protest against the extortion and harassment of their members by the officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, from where they accused the officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps of shooting five of their members.
But, speaking with journalists yesterday in his office in Owerri, the state commandant, Dr. Ahmed said there was no incidence of civil defence officers shooting the tricycle operation.
According to him, it was not possible that the civil defence officers shot at the operators because the officers of the NSCDC use G 3 rifles, meaning that anyone touched by the bullets normally dies within a shot time.
“We brought you here to clear the air correct some misconceptions on the reports that our men shot keke operators. The case wasn’t our case. It was a case between our sister agency, the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC and keke operators and our attention was drawn to their plight and we went to rescue them.
“When we rescued and brought them to our command headquarters here, the keke operators took the fight to our office here and before we knew it, what we thought was a mere crowd turned out to be a vicious mob. They started hauling stones at our offices, destroying the window panes pf our neighbours, the National Orientation Agency, NOA. Some of them started pouring petrol into bottles and throwing them at us and demanding that we release the officers of the FRSC”, the Civil Defence boss narrated.
He explained that his men only applied control skill and shot in the air to scare the people away from their office which he said housed very important federal government agencies such as the NSCDC and NOA documents.
He stated that at that moment the officers applied crowd control techniques and dispersed the keke operators.
Ahmed insisted that his men shot in the air to disperse the rampaging keke operators but did not shoot them as was alleged.
He explained that it was not possible that his officers would have shot the keke operators because according to him, “We use guns known as G-3, which kills people within minutes of touching them. So, we are extremely very careful when we use our guns. If our men shot at them, how come none of them died or sustained gunshot injuries?”, he queried and stated that those who sustained injuries might have done so when running out of the scene.
“What I’m saying in essence is that we (NSCDC) are meant to defend civilians and not to bully them. We are always interested in ensuring that law and order are maintained in our society”.
He used the opportunity to advise the members of the society to always ensure they respect laws of the land so as to run away from the troubles of security agents.
“If the keke operators followed the rules of the land, they should have got the driving licences and permit and nobody would have harassed them. And not possessing the permit is a disobedience to law”, he sated.