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Stop-&-Search: Police summersaults self 48 hours after ban on road blocks

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Barely 48 hours after the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris in a terse statement, informed Nigerians of immediate dismantling of all road blocks across the nation, the Police Command in the FCT has technically voided the order by saying it would soon embark on rigorous stop-and-search operation to check the rising cases of car theft in the territory.

IG had stressed that the idea was to deepen ease of doing business in Nigeria by way of easing flow of traffic, improving highway security and general welfare of road users.

However, in a statement on Wednesday, the FCT Police Command’s spokesman, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, said “The command is going to embark on vigorous stop-and-search operation along the highways of the FCT, as such; members of the public are hereby advised to always have proof of ownership of their cars in their possession to avoid embarrassment”.

The observed flouting of IG order can be interpreted from the part of the issued statement which said in quote; “As a driver, when you are not comfortable with your passenger, drive to the nearest police stop-and-search point and lodge your complaint”.

The question therefore, is “If road blocks have been dismantled by the Police high command, what is the locational description of ‘nearest police stop-and-search point’, as used in the statement.

Besides, the FCT Police command anchored its excuse based on seeming rise in cases of theft of motor vehicles within FCT, especially the ones that are easily removed from where they are parked, the command is poised to take necessary action to stem the tide of the menace.

Analysts say if FCT Police command goes scout free in relying on ‘nearest police stop-and-search point’ to reverse the executive order of the IGP, other commands nationwide will follow suit, thereby returning the crisis on the road hitherto caused by road blocks.

Continuing, DSP Anjuguri Manzah advised car owners to install trackers, alarm and other anti-theft devices in their cars to avoid falling victims of the menace, saying “Car owners should install trackers, alarm and other anti-theft devices in their cars, lock their cars with either pedal or steering lock”.

The police spokesman also advised that cars should be parked at well-lit area, especially at night, adding that vehicles should be locked at all times, even while driving.

“When parked, keys should not be left in the car. All the windows and sunroof should be closed and valuables such as brief cases, hand bags, should not be kept in public view,“he said.

He also advised car owners to learn to endeavour to memorise their vehicle numbers colour, and any other vital details that would aid identification of vehicles.

“Drivers should endeavour to leave their glass wind up and apply central door lock, especially when driving in areas poorly lit.

Manzah urged the residents to cooperate with the police by adhering to the recommended tips to prevent rising cases of car thefts in the territory.