Offa Robbery Attack: ‘Police victims deserve sympathy, compensation’


By Mumini AbdulKareem and Ahmed Ajikobi

The need for a paradigm shift that would necessarily highlight the plight of victims and casualties of the recent deadly robbery attack in Offa with a view to attracting the desired attention for them has been underscored.
The Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of National Pilot Newspaper, Alhaji Billy Adedamola made the observation in Ilorin on Monday during a condolence visit to the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Ado Lawan over the death of nine police officers during penultimate Thursday’s banks robbery incident in Offa.
Adedamola, who noted that the attack was shocking and unfortunate, described the casualties as gallant officers who laid down their lives for others to live.
“We received with great shock and sadness, the death of our brothers and sisters in the Kwara command who lost their lives during the robbery incident. The management of National Pilot shares in this grief with the command and its men, the families of the departed police officers and pray that this kind of incident will not happen to anyone again.
“If the police are well equipped, what happened wouldn’t have happened, the robbers are not well trained like our gallant police officers and they would not have been able to escape and waste so many lives,” he said.
He appealed to those who have been paying condolence visits to Offa and other places to also remember that the dead officers are very important members of the society whose families and relatives have been greatly affected.
According to him, no matter the arrangement put in place by the police to take care of the victims and their families, the state government and well-spirited individuals should also intervene to avoid the officers dying in vain and to encourage serving officers.
He said that the issue of security should not be left in the hands of the security agents and government alone adding that police are the most neglected, ill-equipped and underfunded in the country.
He lauded the Police for its swift response in arresting some of the suspects and the deployment of the Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) to Offa to boost security situation.
On the Security Trust Fund, the MD described it as a welcome idea and appealed to well-meaning Kwarans to contribute to it adding that National Pilot will contribute its own quota when it is finally established.
“The plan at National Pilot before now was to visit the command to commend the Commissioner of Police and his team for the wonderful job you have been doing in the state. But man proposes and God disposes. Unfortunately, what could have been a commendation visit turned out to be a condolence visit.”
Responding, Ado Lawan who appreciated the visit solicited more support from the medium and other media houses in fighting crime.
He expressed hope that the Offa robbery attack would be the last in the state adding that, “if we have necessary equipment, our officers will be able to perform.
He appealed to journalists to do more of investigative journalism rather than sensationalism even as he reiterated that only 17 people died during the Offa robbery attack contrary to the figures being reported in the media.

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