IT is almost impossible to find a middle ground between the disparate claims by the Nigeria Police and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu over the incident in the latter’s official residence last week. While the Deputy Senate President insisted that he had been visited by assassins intent on terminating his life, the police were of the view that he had only been attacked by some badly trained, ill-equipped burglars.
The situation evidently raises some posers. Was the Deputy Senate President deliberately calling attention to his travails in order to curry public sympathy? Conversely, was the police force acting professionally when it allegedly dismissed the assassination claims without interrogating Senator Ekweremadu, his family members and security details? Although the police insisted that they had carried out the required preliminary investigations which informed their summary dismissal of the assassination claims and went on to parade the suspect apprehended by Senator Ekweremadu’s aides, their alleged reluctance to speak to the members of the Ekweremadu household pointed to an unsatisfactory and shoddy procedure.
Senator Ekweremadu’s account of the incident seems to be a more detailed narrative than the police account. Indeed, a recall of the previous invasion by the police of the residences of both Senate President Bukola Saraki and Senator Ekweremadu would suggest the need for a more thorough investigation into the matter. This is crucial in restoring public confidence in the force. If only because of the trauma he felt, the Deputy Senate President has a right to feel threatened by such an audacious invasion which occurred despite the presence of sentries attached to him in his official living quarters. Surely, the obvious attempt by the police to make light of such a security issue must have left him in dismay.
To be sure, the security of life and property of all citizens, let alone that of the principal officials of the legislature, is of central concern to any government. If a footloose, lowlife criminal can gain access into the abode of the Deputy President of the Senate even if it is to steal, it says a lot about the quality of security being provided by the police in this country. Who else apart from members of the legislature resides in the quarters? Whoever goes in there to rob or steal could not have gone there in ignorance. In any case, the fact that the criminals zeroed in on the residence of the Deputy Senate President should ordinarily have attracted the professional curiosity of the police. Certainly, Nigerians expect more from security agencies than a perfunctory disposition. The least the police ought to have done was to resolve the grey areas between their narrative and that of Senator Ekweremadu and dispel the cynicism of the Nigerian public.
There is something utterly absurd about the disparate positions on the incident in question. If the security agencies lose the confidence and trust of the people, their efforts to secure public peace will be wasted and unappreciated and this would be far from ideal. The riddle surrounding the invasion of Senator Ekweremadu’s residence must be unravelled without delay.