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Exclusive VOA Interview With Policeman Shows Corruption

Nigerian police like Malo, whose ID badge is shown here, complain that the government is to blame for failures in the fight against Boko Haram.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an exclusive interview with a VOA Hausa reporter, a Nigerian policeman in the Mobile Police Squad assigned to fight terrorism in the country said that corruption hampers the fight against Boko Haram.

“These insurgents come armed with thousands of bullets and we carry only 30,” said Malo, a 14-year veteran officer who wanted to be identified only by his first name for fear of retribution by his superiors.

The police officer said that salaries are meager but it does no good to complain. Those in charge will do nothing and anyone making a complaint would be lucky to escape unharmed.

“You cannot get 60 bullets until you pay a bribe. How in the world can you fight someone who attacks you with thousands of bullets while you have only 30?” Malo asked.

The exclusive Hausa-language interview will be broadcast by VOA’s Hausa Service in four parts. The first part was aired today on VOA Hausa’s radio broadcast. It is also available on demand on its mobile stream DandalinVOA and website. An English language report on the interview is also posted here.

This interview is typical of the reports being filed by a VOA reporter who has spent the last two weeks in northeastern Nigeria. He has been crisscrossing the dangerous terrain of Boko Haram’s stronghold in northeastern Nigeria.

This morning, the same VOA reporter was among the first to break the news of the kidnapping of two traditional rulers by gunman suspected to be from Boko Haram. He has also been filing reports on the efforts to recover the 276 girls who were abducted from their school in Chibok 45 days ago.

Boko Haram’s attacks on farmers, livestock traders, banks, merchants, soldiers, the police and schools in Boro, Yobe, and Adamawa have terrorized the region. Having a reporter on the front lines has given VOA firsthand access to what is happening in the region.