Rita Okoye, Lagos
A former aspirant for the Imo State House of Assembly in the 2019 elections, Victor Ngumah, has demanded that mental health checks be a prerequisite for recruits into the Nigeria Police Force.
According to the politician and philanthropist who contested to represent Ezinihitte on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), mental health checks are a surefire way to forestall impudence.
‘I have traveled all over the world, but I can see that we have the most corrupt and brutal police force. I don’t really believe that [it’s because] they are underpaid, but I think they need more training and recruitment should be of a good standard. They have to check on mental and psychological health to be police officer,’ he said.
‘I support the idea of ending SARS and police brutality in Nigeria. I have been a victim, they were about to torture us before they realised that I was a political candidate as of then just that I wasn’t with my usual police escort.’
Speaking on the persistence of police brutality in spite of the protests, Ngumah said: ‘We all know how our government operates and it’s not the first time of pronouncing disbandment; people need to see actions, they need to start prosecuting bad officers publicly. Even as people are protesting, they are still killing. They should give a short time frame, precise dates; if people don’t see changes or reforms then we can act on that.’
‘What baffles me is that 85 per cent of these SARS officers and police officers on road blocks are youths. I wonder if they have consciences when they brutalise follow youths unjustly.’
Ngumah lauded the role and support of the private sector in the ongoing Anti-SARS protests, while calling on the government to live up to its responsibilities. ‘The private sector has already stepped in and they are doing what they are supposed to do; these protests and awareness is mostly from them, but the right to put an end to SARS and police brutality rests absolutely with the government,’ he said.