A trained police officer is the outcome of our collective commonwealth effort with the understanding to protect and secure our lives and property. In other words, the police officer is the symbol of protection and hope for every Nigerian. If the policy for recruitment were aimed to satisfy the country and not aimed at suiting any segment of the country with political, ethnic or religious considerations, probably, the upsurge in police killings would have been nipped in the bud.
Imagine if things were done decently, equitably, with the over 300,000 police officers registered, and with 774 local government areas in the country, had all the 774 LGAs across the country had their sons and daughters offered the opportunity to be recruited into the police, instead of the selective favoritism that is tilted towards religion and ethnic attendance, no doubt, every one would openly lay claim to being a contributor to the Nigeria Police. I could not believe it that my village AMAOGWUGWU, in Abia State, with over one million inhabitants, cannot boast of a single police officer.
Since the establishment of the police in 1930, never in its history had the institution suffered such hatred and wicked public venom on its personnel as is being witnessed in recent times, before the sacked Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Adamu Muhammed, and the President Muhammadu Buhari regime.
Verifiable reports state that 497 police officers were killed in different attacks across the country in the last six years. It worsened after the EndSARS agitation when armed hoodlums ransacked and killed police officers, even chopping off a head to play game.
SBMorgen, a Lagos-based intelligence platform, covered the period between January 7, 2015, and March 22, 2021. According to report, the 497 police officers were killed in 554 incidents across the country during the period.
SBMorgen said, of all the six geopolitical zones in the country, the South-South region tops the chart with 163 incidents that sent 174 policemen to their early graves during the years under review. It said 51 policemen were killed in Delta State alone within the period, making the state the highest among the six states in the region; 16 police officers were killed in Nigeria last week, excluding the mayhem in Imo, Rivers, Ebonyi, Benue, Kogi, Kwara and Akwa Ibom, where scores were mercilessly killed like chickens and their stations destroyed with arms and ammunition carted away with no resistance.
It behoves on the IGP to immediately restore the deflated morale of his men who are no longer proud of the job because of their nonchalant leader. The police, especially junior officers, need morale-booster.
Men of the caliber of former IGP Mike Okiro, M.D. Abubakar, Solomon Arase and Tafa Balogun exhibited exceptional leadership. The police force has all it takes to combat attacks by bandits and other criminal elements inflicting pains on the citizens, and has the wherewithal to protect itself without recording any casualty. The armed criminals parading the streets must be treated as criminals without mercy. They declared war and the war should be carried to their hideouts.
Many have passionately asked the question, Why kill a policeman like a chicken?” A police officer is someone’s father, husband, brother or in-law, so why kill a police officer for no just cause?
No matter how cogent the answer, no one has the right to kill a Nigerian police officer. If some among them are found liable for being trigger-happy, the court is there to adjudicate. Killing a police officer is a slap on the Constitution of the country. Is that not why the police set up complaint sections? Is that not why there is a Human Rights Complaints Commission? So, why kill the police officer? They were posted for the benefit of every Nigerian, so why kill the police officer like a chicken?
Even at that, there are always two sides to a coin. However, many are quick to point at the unforgiving policy stand of the federal government in federal appointments, which they describe as nepotistic. Apart from that, they query why all the five eastern states’ police headquarters are headed by non-Igbo, while the northern states’ police commands and the West and Lagos are commanded by sons of the states. Is this not open injustice where the easterners have been crying not only for justice but for inclusiveness in all federal policies?
More painful, they argued, are the unprofessional activities of all the security agencies posted to the five eastern states, where uncalled-for actions of extortion and intimidation are perpetrated along the high-ways that record triple the number of checkpoints in the northern parts of the country, with their attendant bad, provocative attitudes usually unleashed on road users.
Truly, some past leaders of the security agency should bury their heads in shame for not attending to most complaints forwarded to their office. They should pay a visit to the headquarters of the Immigrations Service and witness what service is all about. Kudos to the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigrations Service, Mr. Muhammadu Babandede, who has completely transformed every aspect of the agency.
Why would a police station not be fenced and equipped with CCTV cameras in this technologically advanced age?.
The Abia CP who boasted
She wanted to perform the same ritual traditionally associated with newly appointed or posted police leaders to a command or as the head of the police force.
They spit fire from both cylinders of the mouth and initial attitude. Most often, this volcanic eruption never takes time to cool down as the boasting turns out to be a deflated balloon.
So was the story of Mrs. Jane Agbede, the first female Police Commissioner posted to Abia State on April 24, 2020. In her maiden media chat, she thunderously warned criminals to pack and leave Abia State or face the consequences.
(To be continued)