Bob Nesta Marley, the legendary Jamaican king of reggae, had a hit track in which he reasoned that “he who fights and run away lives to fight another day”. To be sure, his philosophy was based on a situation where there was a real and indefensible threat to life.
However, if the scenario that played out recently at a police checkpoint in Katsina State was in reverence by the cops on duty to the late Marley’s ideology, it was obvious they didn’t get the import of his message.
Marley had envisaged a battle situation where the force of the aggressor was so intense and had become indefensible. But in this instance, there was no battle to fight and no real threat to the lives of the cops.
On Friday, August 28, a police Safer Highway Patrol team led by an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Lado Lawal, was deployed to Karadua village in Matazu Local Government Area of Katsina State, where they pinned down for routine observation and checks. The team comprised six officers, including the ASP.
At about 1.30am, members of the team reportedly noticed flashes of torchlight from some unidentified persons moving towards their direction. Rather than deploying intelligence and threat assessment tactics in which they had been trained, the ASP led four of his men in a flight into the bush out of fear, leaving behind the patrol vehicle and its driver who was seated inside.
Ironically, the supposed enemy from whom the officers fled were harmless persons who walked past the checkpoint in peace without noticing what had happened or the driver in the patrol van. There was neither a threat nor battle to fight.
When the team leader and three other cops who dashed into the bush at lightning speed emerged one after another, they were said to be consumed in shame and offered the driver of their vehicle no plausible reason for a needless race which eventually turned fatal.
For Ya’u Musa, an Inspector of Police who was among the cops who fled, it was a race to death, the end. He reportedly ran into a stagnant pool of water frightfully, and got drowned. After a fruitless search for him on the day of the incident, his body was found inside the water with his AK47 service rifle with breach number 7887 intact at about 8.30am on Saturday, August 29.
Scudnews learnt that Musa’s corpse was evacuated and deposited at the Comprehensive Health Centre, Matazu, before it was released to his family for burial. His rifle was also kept at the Matazu divisional police headquarters.
Meanwhile, detectives at the Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of the Katsina State police command have commenced investigation into the incident, a top police officer who does not want his identity revealed, hinted Scudnews on Friday.
It was a sad end for Inspector Musa and an unpleasant lesson on how not to succumb to fear for the patrol team leader and others. Tragic!