Wednesday, 22 May 2013
A Plea To The Inspector General Of Police By Jon Chikadibie Okafo
A few weeks ago, I penned an essay in which I drew the attention of the public to a very wicked and weird action of the Anambra State police command-the Commissioner of police in Anambra State decided to block a public road in a very bizarre attempt at securing his office located along Zik Avenue, Amawbia, in the heart of the State capital.
After a few days of publishing the article, I was made to understand that the government of Anambra State requested that the concrete barriers used in blocking the road to the public be removed. Well, as I write, the Anambra State police Commissioner have continued to ignore the sufferings and hardship his refusal to re-open a public road is causing the citizens of the State.
As a law abiding citizen who believes in using dialogue and reason to bring issues of public interest to the attention of those in authority, I am using this medium to draw the attention of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Muhammed Abubakar to the hell his appointed CP is causing the good people of Anambra State.
Sir, the road on which the Anambra State Police headquarters is located happens to be a Tunk-A road which is at the centre of the State Capital Territory. This road is the only major road leading into the heart of Awka, the State capital, resulting in a high vehicular traffic. By diverting traffic through a narrow road filled with gullies, road users groan under an unwarranted hardship for the singular reason that the police have decided to restrict the movement of people close to their headquarters (is this the case in those Boko Haram-ravaged States in the North?).
On whose authority did the Anambra State police close a Federal road? Why should we be made to bear the brunt of police inefficiency? Is our State under occupation like the notorious Gaza and West Bank all in Israel/Palestine? Is closing a busy road to the public the best way to ward off intruders and criminal elements? Whatever happened to the police employing efficient intelligence to combat crime? The questions are just too many.
With only a few weeks to Christmas, this cry to the Inspector General of police is timely because it is simply too scary to imagine the plight of Ndi Igbo who are already making plans to travel home for the holiday. Any person who is familiar with the volume of traffic in Igboland during the Christmas period would be in a better position to imagine the traffic gridlock that would envelope the whole of Awka and its environs due to the State police Commissioner’s callousness.
Again, issues like this have a way of melting down to the commitment of our government to the sufferings of her citizens. It beggars belief that the Government of Anambra State would allow the police to deny her citizens access to a road it constructed with public funds. Is the security of the police more important than the welfare of the people of Anambra State?
The people of Anambra are known to be very accommodating to the police and this translates to why most police officers go the extra mile to thwart any attempt to transfer them out of the State; it is the simple truth that most police officers in Anambra State have been there for more than 20yrs. Is this the best way to pay us back-by denying us access to our road?
If other security outfits in our Anambra should dare to follow the bitter example of the police, then I foresee a situation whereby we would resort to bush-paths as a means of moving from one point to the other-the Army, the State Security Service, Nigeria Prison Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, NDLEA and many more would all block the roads leading to their offices!
How dare the State Commissioner of police block our road?
Does this act of the Anambra State police command have anything to do with insuring the proper security of the State or just an attempt stemming out of that archaic military mind-frame of “I have the gun and can do whatever pleases me”? It beats my imagination why the people of Anambra State have chosen to be filled with impotent rage rather than collectively insist and demand that their road be re-opened. We are in a democracy and the citizens must be vigilant at all times before those in authority drag us down the painful route of dictatorship.
Are we really in a democracy –the type that harps on “the government of the people, for the people and by the people”, or is this just a contraption put in place to ensure that those few in power continue to live large at our expense?
Why do we always hear of the Federal Government, down to the States budgeting money “to build a befitting official residence” for themselves while there is no such thing as a housing policy for millions of Nigerians that are homeless?
Why is it fashionable for our leaders to strut to foreign hospitals to be treated for all sorts of ailment (Senator David Mark recently went to Israel to be attended to by a Dentist!), while the hapless/disillusioned citizens of Nigeria resort to financing the luxurious lifestyles of jet-flying pastors in order to be cured of an illness?
Our leaders move around in tinted-armoured 4x4 (imported) cars, while they continue to tell us to “move about without fear as government is up to the task of securing our societies”?
There are so many things wrong with the Nigerian state and the police in Anambra State appear to be so keen on celebrating hardship, rather than “Serving and Protecting with Integrity”. In an earlier essay, I pointed out the notorious location that is a normal police station in our country-a place you venture into at your own peril. That picture has not changed. It is my humble opinion that rather than glide into modern day policing, ours continue to cling unto that colonial idea of a police force-the one that treats citizens as captives to be terrorized, exploited and dehumanized!
The present Inspector General of police, Mr M.D Abubakar should please harken to this call and direct his CP in Anambra State to as a matter of great urgency, dismantle the barriers erected on Zik Avenue. The issue of security should be a collective effort-the Commissioner of Police should not secure his office while smiling gleefully at the harrowing experience of US, the good people of Anambra State.
We have every right to enjoy our Christmas holiday in our State without having to be mentally and physically battered by the action of the Commissioner of Police. The IGP must tell this man to give his police force a human face rather than this picture of a rampaging “nameless” creature that I am seeing.