Tragedy that claims lives as some Naval officer and a police traffic control clashed at Akim Area of Calabar which degenerated into loss of lives and destruction of public property.
The Naval officers want only flouted the red light on a road in the Akim area of Calabar and assaulted the policemen who attempted to stop them snowballed into a bloody encounter three hours later.
A divisional police headquarters was demolished, two policemen a Sergeant and a Corporal, was killed and on the other side some positioned naval lost their lives while two others sustained gunshot wounds when the naval men struck.
Two vehicles were also torched. Dangerous weapons, including a General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), were freely used.
But come to think of this Both the Navy and the Police are Federal Government’s security agencies which are expected to cooperate in maintaining peace and order. Their conduct ought to reflect the culture of discipline which the military in particular is known for.
Apart from that, officers and men of the two institutions are guided by codes of conduct. There are official channels of communication for resolving misunderstandings where they occur. They are not expected to be associated with lawlessness of any kind, including the disobedience of traffic rules.
Security agencies in uniform or plain clothes are not above the law and are bound to comply with traffic controllers on legitimate duty enforcing the law. Challenging their authority is a grave affront and we strongly condemn this.
The unruly public misconduct of the two uniformed services is as disgraceful as it is unworthy of emulation by others.
Military personnel should stop regarding one another as “inferior” as they are all deployed to serve specific purposes, maintain order and safeguard the populace.
The Naval and Police authorities must investigate the circumstances that led to the bloody clash as the Director of Information, Nigerian Navy, Navy Captain Suleiman Jahun has promised. The alleged use of high calibre weapons against policemen and the prevention of fire-fighters from putting out the police station inferno must be thoroughly investigated. Such an unfortunate incident that claimed lives and property built with taxpayers’ money must be handled with seriousness to prevent future re-occurrence.
We condemn the sporadic eruptions of lawlessness among the security and uniformed agencies, which appear to have become a daily occurrence. More must be done to instil discipline and professionalism among the armed and uniformed forces, and those found unfit to serve in these agencies should be shown the way out.