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The Nigeria Police Force; The New Insurgency?

January 2, 2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
Written by Koboju Etariemi

The state of security in the country is one that has been questioned time and time again. The government’s ineptitude to that effect is quite palpable; yet, we the citizens have been admonished to count our blessings. It is obvious that the government considers us the citizens nothing but clowns.

We are jokes to them. In an interview with Channels TV, spokesman for the presidency, Mr. Femi Adeshina admonished Nigerians to be grateful to God that bombings only happen once in a few months and not every day. A statement that has got Nigerians wondering if its leadership indeed cares for them. I think not.

“Nigerians should be grateful that their lives are not under constant threat.” Never have I heard a more disheartening statement from the office of the presidency of a nation. The primary duty of the presidency is the safeguarding of the lives and properties of Nigerians.

2020 is quite the year of dramatic events, the worldwide pandemic, the ASUU strike, the #endSARS protests, deaths numbers rising in tolls, police brutality all across the globe, sexual allegations against men of God, the alarming rape cases amongst many others.

One of the many things we fought against at home towards the tail end of the year was the fight against police brutality. We fought with hopes that our government would hear us. Well, maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, it’s hard to tell.

First, it was the Lekki massacre, then they promised us that the police were being rejuvenated. However, during the week, we had yet another case of a policeman gunning down a harmless civilian in Rivers State. This, once again begs the question, are we safe as a people in our country? The African Union and the United Nations have already placed Nigeria as a war zone country in Africa due to the insecurity issues in the country.

Time and time again, Nigerians have had to question the emotional and mental stability of their police force, a group of people meant to protect them. The case of a Sergeant in the Elelenwo Police Division in Rivers state is yet another testament to that. The sergeant shot a 38-year-old father of three, Abiodun Jimoh, on the premises of the station.

Jimoh and his younger brother while riding their bike were pulled over by the sergeant and transported to the police station. According to Ishaheed, the sergeant who was drunk shot his brother, Abiodun Jimoh, cause of their arguments over documents as regards the bike. Mr. Jimoh was immediately rushed to the hospital where he later died.

Nigerians major agitation in 2020 was to see to the end of police extortion and police brutality, hence, the #EndSARS campaign. However, the government has turned a deaf ear to Nigerians. The cases of Police brutality and shootings even after the dissolving of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Nigerians still feel less safe.

We thought regional policing would be the answer, however, the activities and subtle threatening of the Hisbah in the North and Amotekun in the South-West suggests differently. People are not safe! Our livelihood, our lives are threatened by those sworn to protect us while our government sleeps on.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

First, we need an active government. A government that can assure Nigerians that it knows what it is doing and can have things under control. Nigerians need to feel safe. Nigerians need to know that their government is for them, by them, and with them.

A psychic evaluation of the police force should also be done. The mental and emotional stability of officers sworn to protect is of utmost importance. If we are to put a gun with live rounds in the hands of a man, then, we must also ensure that that man is in the right state of mind to wield such power. Nigerians are not chickens. 

The police force should stop burying and covering up for offenders such as this sergeant. Nigerians deserve justice. Offenders should be duly punished, their uniforms collected from them and the public should not be left in the dark for transparency reasons.

The federal government owes Nigerians the sole duty of ensuring that they are safe. 

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