“Mummy, I wan to be a policeman, so that I can be arresting thieves and other bad people”. I overheard a boy around 10 years old, whose police themed home dramas might have made him to dream of seeing himself as a member of law enforcement agency in the nearest future telling his mum while I was passing by on a street. I was shocked, very shocked – I hardly hear people wanting to be a police officer, they prefer other uniform security related jobs.
The boy actually gave a rather precised role of policing anywhere in the world which is nothing but protecting life and properties of the populace and maintaining law and order in the society. However, looking at the ways in which our police have been operating against its work principle over the years have alley huge prejudice about the force in many places in the world and especially in Nigeria.
That gave a little insight to why many hardly pray to be a police officer. The popular saying “police is your friend” means “police is your enemy” to larger people in the society. Reasons for this is simply because – the police notoriety defies human comprehension and reeks of outright incompetence, deliberate violations of human rights, extra-judicial killings and unbridled extortion.
I had heard people saying if corruption is eradicated in the country, there won’t be anything called police in the country – police is synonymous to corruption. Let’s assume they are not the only one here as they have like-minds-in-crime – the politicians, directly and indirectly extorting the people’s and nation’s purse. However, it seems police brutality is more rank than other crimes perpetuated by the blue-black uniformed men. If not why is there rise in police brutality in recent days?
One would think that during this time that everything is upside-down, and when everyone is trying to find new way of facing life’s reality, one would think the police too is together with the world and finding a lasting ‘vaccine’ for the virus which has eaten the body of the force up to its soul. But, surprisingly unsurprising, our police rather massively, keep pouring fuel to their show of inhumanity.
In far away America protest has been ongoing in most of its cities which resulted from inhumane activities of some cops. A 46 year old man, George Floyd, from Minnesota on May 25, 2020, died, when Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and some seconds which resulted into deceased death. The officer in charge and three others has been relieved of their duty after public out cry.
While that was going, Nigeria again had its latest unfortunate experience of police brutality in Lagos. One Musa Yakubu, 35, was injured and a stray bullet hit Tina Ezekwe, a 17 years old girl. The bullet pierced through the left upper side of her lap. She was rushed to the hospital but died two days after.
The trigger-happy policemen, Theophilus Otobo (ASP) and Oguntoba Olamigoke (Inspector) attached to Bariga Police Station have been reportedly subjected to internal discipline proceedings.
I do not want to peel the healed wound, I would have given accounts of people brought down by police that’s why I stopped at the fresh ones. The numbers are even countless.
A thorough findings on the reason why this act will keep increasing from cops who are suppose to protect one’s life but turning out to be life terminator reveals that most of these officers if found wanting in whatever investigation they might have been subjected to hardly go with cogent punishment and this is even more worsened by the fact that many people who made a complaint against police were brought up on counter-charges such as resisting arrest, defamation, and assault.
Government on its part has given less concern about the public cry of as regards to the way police are treating citizens. Drastic measures should be put in place to avoid revolts from the masses like it is ongoing in Minneapolis and police should have a rethink of their irrational and inhumane acts. Corruption is enough in making the police a thing to reckon with, brutality shouldn’t be added. Please!
Written by Hassan Temitope (@hatdapoet)