A widow of one of the slain policemen during a recent attack by Boko Haram insurgents on Nigeria’s border town with Cameroun, Gamboru, Mrs. Kuve Matthew Vincent, yesterday said her husband and several other cops killed by insurgents in the troubled North-east region would have been alive today if sophisticated weapons had been handed over to them to confront the terrorists.
Kuve, who was asked to give a vote of thanks on behalf of other families after a cash gift of a N1 million was given to each of the 16 families of policemen killed in the attack by the insurgents on Gamboru about a month ago, told the Borno Police Commissioner, Lawan Tanko, to communicate her appeal to the Inspector General of Police (IG).
Kuve, who was quite emotional, said: “Our husbands were killed because they were made to confront the insurgents without having sophisticated weapons and it will be disastrous to allow this to continue.”
She added that the federal government could only limit the casualties in the fight against insurgents if policemen were well equipped, lamenting that she lost her husband who was two weeks away from being promoted a sergeant.
She said the pain of seeing one’s husband in the morning going to work but having his corpse returned in the evening was unbearable, appealing that “something should be done to stop this ugly trend”.
Kuve also appealed that the police authorities should not stop the salaries of deceased policemen killed in active service, pointing out that most of the wives of these officers were not employed and “it would only amount to double tragedy to stop the money that should have been given to a mourning widow”.
The Borno State Government had presented a financial palliative of N16.8 million to the police authorities to be shared to 16 dead policemen and four wounded ones.
The police commissioner, who gave out the cash, explained that N1 million was given to each of the 16 families of the dead cops and N200,000 each to the four injured policemen.
Lawan, who explained that the police authorities were working on the entitlements of the deceased policemen, said: “Today as we gathered here, it is a sad moment because we are here to witness the issuance of relief provided by the Borno State Government to the families of some of our colleagues we lost in the Gamboru Ngala attack.”
He explained to the families that the money was to assist them and not the payment of death benefits, adding that arrangements were already in place for the payment of the fallen men’s benefits to the families as one of the cardinal objectives of the police IG.