By JAMES APA GUMUNO
POLITICAL leaders in Enga use police as scapegoats to cover up their own weaknesses and problems which they created in the province.
Enga provincial police commander Supt Michael Chare told The National yesterday from Wabag that leaders created the problems but yet they continued to blame police for the law and order problems.
Supt Chare said this in response to media reports last Thursday where Governor Peter Ipatas and Laiagam-Porgera MP Philip Kikala accused police of being slack and vowed to remove them from the province.
The politicians said they wanted to bring Engan policemen working in other provinces back to Enga and believed that they might see changes.
Some of the problems the leaders accused the police of failing to act on, included the burning down of a shop near the police station in Wabag town, the killing of a Government driver some metres away from the town and more than five people killed in a cold blooded murder in Surinki this year.
Supt Chare said these problems, along with others, were alcohol-related, something politicians had a lot of say in.
He said liquor consumption contributed to the escalating law and order problems in the province, and politicians were to blame because they involved in issuing beer sale licenses to friends and supporters.
That is why for a small province like Enga, more than 100 licensed liquor outlets are operating and black markets were also booming on the side.
He said people in the province recognised the problem and had called for a total ban on the sale of alcohol, but yet the leaders continued to issue licenses and add more fuel to the fire.
“There is no control over the sale of beer in the province,” he said.
Supt Chare said his policemen and women in the province were hard working public servants and they tried their best to address these problems created by the leaders in the province but could not do much with limited resources.
Supt Chare said in regards to the burning down of a shop near the police station, the police were at the scene but could not do much because there was no fire fighting equipment.
He said if the Ipatas Centre or BSP bank buildings set on fire, police would still be handicapped because there was no fire brigade in Wabag town to put off the fire.
He said this was something for these leaders to think about and do something about it instead of pointing fingers.
Supt Chare said the change of top police officers in the province would not help solve the problems.