The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ahoada Division, SP Bako Agbashim’s name will continue to carry tales of gallantry. He may have paid the supreme price but the fight against crimes, particularly cultism by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to rid the country of all evil will go on.
Recall that Agbashim was killed last Friday, 8th September, 2023 by a cult group suspected to be Icelanders, who have rivals in Greenlanders group.
It was gathered that the miscreants had laid an ambush for him while on an operation with other police officers to raid some criminal hideouts in Ahoada East axis.
The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Nwonyi Polycarp Emeka, in his reaction to the cold-blooded murder of Agbashim vowed to bring the killers to justice.
Nwonyi, in a statement by the Spokesperson of the Grace Iringe-Koko, on Saturday, assured members of the public that an extensive investigation was on to uncover the circumstances surrounding the “disheartening” incident.
The statement was titled, “Rivers killing: We will not rest until justice is served -CP, Vows to Oust Killers of DPO in Rivers, Ensure Diligent Investigations.”
While consoling his family and those affected by the incident, the police boss described Bako’s murder as unfortunate.
But, who is this police officer who stood brave even in death to fight crime in Nigeria and Rivers state in particular?
The Man, Bako Agbashim
Bako Agbasim, who until his death, hailed from Nasarawa State, North Central Nigeria, was the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), of Ahoada Division. He was moved from Bori in Khana LGA (Ogoni zone) to Ahoada zone which had turned into a dreaded zone with a surge of kidnapping killings and cult activities.
He was moved to the Ahoada division because of his gallantry and experience in the fight against dangerous cult gangs.
As such, he had been involved in the battle against cult kingpins and their gangs terrorising the Ahoada East and Ahoada-West local government areas before he was killed.
He had fought in the Ogoni front where he brought bloody gangs to a standstill.
It was perhaps as a result of that feat that Agbashim was then moved to Ahoada which had become violent and bloody with residents fleeing the zone.
Agbashim was one of the most popular and effective commanders in the state used by the new Commissioner of Police to knock out stubborn cult gangs.
The impact of his fighting led to the surrender of cult gang leaders in the Ahoada zone.
The late Agbashim was a dedicated and brilliant officer who despite life’s ups and downs, stood for a good cause. Not even the death of his entire family could stop him.
The deceased lost his entire family a few years ago in the Omoku area of the state. Although there are not many details about the circumstances surrounding the loss of his family members.
It was gathered that the slain DPO SP Bako Angbanshim usually go to war against criminals without his shoes on.
How Bako Agbashim Was Killed
The Rivers Police boss, CP Emeka Nwonyi narrated that the late Bako Angbashim was deceived by the criminals that killed him and that they had accepted the amnesty programme set up to curtail insecurity in the state to lure him out.
Nwonyi disclosed this while giving his remarks during a solidarity protest by a human rights advocate, Charles Jaja, at the state police headquarters.
According to him, the suspected killers of the officer had expressed readiness to surrender their arms leading to the DPO and his team coming out on the fateful day.
“What pains me most was the idea of him (Angbashim) believing like he kept saying that these people said they were ready to surrender their guns and come out for amnesty.
“And he played to the gallery, only to know in death that these people were rather crafty in their operation and lured him for an onslaught,” the CP said.
Addressing the killers, the police said the command gave cultists in the state opportunities to embrace peace without personal interest attached, aimed at curbing the growing concerns of insecurity in the state.
“If you will not take it, was the option of killing this man the best? He has a family, he has children, and he has a wife. No! You have touched the lion’s tail. Those men must be taught to face the wrath of the law.
“We will be unrepentant until we put crime and criminality to its barest minimum in Rivers State.
“As police officers, if we left our family, our environment, our homes for a state or national duty like this, this is not the best trophy to take home,” he said.
For this fine and brilliant officer, who has paid the supreme price to ensure peace and stability in Nigeria, Rivers state, and Ahoada in particular against cultists and criminal elements his death must not be in vain.
The community, state, and the country must ensure that those behind this dastardly act are brought to justice no matter who they are or where they are.
Doing so will serve as a deterrence for criminals and also boost the morale of other law enforcement agents to continue the fight against crimes.
Long live the Nigerian Police Force.
A piece by Richard Anyebe from Abuja.