Owerri Bank Robbery: Policemen Say Nigeria Not Worth Dying For
They have been witnessing over time how the families of their colleagues who die in the line of duty are treated and they are not happy.
Most recent is the how the families of both Sergeant Chukwudi Iboko and Sergeant Sunday Agbo, that died from gunshot injuries sustained during a robbery at a Zenith Bank branch in Owerri, Imo State.
They decried the alleged abandonment of their family members by the police authorities and as a result are not willingly to lay down their lives on the line.
The operatives, who spoke with on condition of anonymity, lamented over the meager welfare package, poor equipment and absence of a good insurance policy.
It would be recalled that a four-man gang attacked the bank on February 22, 2017, and shot the three cops on duty.
While two of the policemen, Sergeant Chukwudi Iboko and Sergeant Sunday Agbo, died from gunshot injuries sustained during the incident, the third policeman, Sergeant Otu Attang, lost one of his eyes.
The incident, however, gained public attention early June when footage of the bank’s Closed Circuit Television camera, which captured the moment of the robbery, was released to the public.
The video, which immediately went viral on the social media, showed a courageous Chukwudi engaging the robbers in a gun duel from a security post at the bank’s entrance.
Chukwudi’s widow, Rose said one of their eight children, Chukwuebuka, died from shock during the burial of the father.
The Imo State Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, however, announced on Tuesday that Zenith Bank had decided to compensate the families of the affected cops with scholarships and allowances.
A police inspector in Lagos said he saluted Chukwudi’s bravery after seeing a clip of the robbery.
He said, “Honestly, some of us are ready to do the work, but once you die on duty, nobody cares for your family. Even in the barracks you live, your family will be thrown out. Many policemen run away when they see robbers because they know that if they die, their family will suffer. It is not as if we are not trained to confront robbers.
“The police authorities need to do something that will encourage officers to serve the country well. The policemen died in the course of duty and deserved special rewards.
“The police don’t have working life insurance scheme. It is only the Lagos State Government that considers such for policemen that die in the course of duty. The police only have N300,000 to give to your family members and it may take years before it gets to them. Our salaries are nothing to write home about. A police constable earns between N40,000 to N45,000. As an inspector, I don’t earn up to N70,000 and I’m almost two decades old in service.”
The Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Mashood Jimoh, said it was not true that families of policemen who died in active duty were neglected, adding that every cop is insured.
Meanwhile, the GoFundMe account opened for the family of Chukwudi rose to over $20,000 on Wednesday.