The Nigeria police, like policemen in every country of the world are mandated to
serve and protect their citizens from internal aggression. The issues I
see with them carrying out of their function are multifaceted. Starting
with these questions, why do we have a police force? Who gives power to them?
Who checks their excesses? Who maintains them and how? Do they need to
be trained? The list is endless.

As a citizen of a country with certain rights, I expect that a right to life, to be
one of my fundamental human rights, but with the system in place today,
the mode of operation in policing is typically man-to-thyself. 

I have heard it a million times over that ' the police is your friend',
'bail is free' but how true are these statements? The impression I have
everyday about the police is that they are the problem we have
with security today.

When a police officer wants to arrest a traffic offender, he first beats on his car bonnet with a baton or an outright slap to
the face! It smacks of incivility and leaves a bystander with the
impression that Nigerians are recalcitrant.

When you consider a situation where someone is on the verge of loosing his/her
life, the average Nigerian will not help for fear of the police! You
hear things like “I no wan go write statement for police', if dem
arrest me, I no get who go come bail me” In the shadow of these
myriad of complains, a citizen will then die.

Why do people have to be so sacred when the police are mentioned? Simply put,
they are more of symbols of oppression than the protectors or friends they
ought to be.

This is the 21st century but many of us do not know what the clear
duties of the police are to beat up a debtor? To collect tolls? Or to
shoot at us at the slightest provocation like withholding the Okada or
taxi tolls. Every one with a responsibility here tends to be mendacious
about it.

The people in government, on the other hand, are the ones that took an oath to
protect us, as enshrined in the constitution, using the police to
enforce the law hence the responsibility of building and maintaining
our society is solely at their feet.

What have successive governments done to
make us feel safer? Hardly anything. I see an area having more than
twenty thousand inhabitants being manned by less than 20 police officers
with one two-liter truck as their only means of getting around or take the instance where you will have only one mobile phone number listed as the official call line of the police. But that number is not known to more than 80% of
residents.

How do you expect security to be maintained under such
restricted conditions? The specialty of teams I guess does not so exist in the police force,
if there is; it is so insignificant that it has no worthy impact.
Regular police are not polite in attending to issues; riot police
are more of shoot-at-sight stock. The intelligence department rely more on
reporters that dare.

Lastly, how come our policemen are so shabbily dressed? Can't the system afford
them good uniforms?

The government should wake up to her responsibility of providing
security and this is to be done by training, funding, equipping
their security personnel’s, and rewarding outstanding performances in crime fighting.
The average Nigerian is a good follower, get the police on track and
we will all be law abiding. Godspeed to the Government!
 

 Isuosuo Samson


Port Harcourt.

 

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