IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE NIGERIA POLICEBY DONS EZEThe police in Nigeria today is facing a very serious challenge. They are in a difficult time, in a perilous situation. All over the country, from North to South, and from East to West, the police in Nigeria are despised, hated, and resented. Many people see them as their enemy. Nobody wants them anymore.Many policemen are currently hiding, chased out of the roads. They are hunted, killed, and their formations burnt, or destroyed. For many people in Nigeria, the police’s motto: “Police is your friend”, no longer makes meaning. It has become a misnomer.The general resentment against the police in Nigeria easily manifested itself last October, when thousands of youths in the country trooped to the streets, to demand the dismantling of a particular unit of the Nigeria Police Force, known as the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS), due to their alleged high-handedness, and human rights abuses.Known as #EndSARS protests, what started as peaceful demonstration, easily turned violent when some miscreants hijacked it, and hell was let loose, and the most invidious actions visited on the police and their formations. Many of them were killed, while a number of police stations were burnt, and many vehicles destroyed.Some people hate the Nigeria Police because they see the police as the face of the government, as representatives of those in government, those who oppress them, who formulate draconian policies that affect them adversely, and who pauperize them by stealing their common wealth. They know these people as their enemy, but they can not reach them, because they are very powerful people, who are fortified or protected with very high walls that are heavily guarded.When these people want to go out, they will move with very long convoys, and with heavy security guards. They will blow sirens to scare people away, and to chase them off the roads. They are untouchables. Thus, the people, the oppressed, are handicapped, and cannot vent their spleen on these their known enemies.But the police, the representative of government, live among the people, and interact with them. They are always in the field, bursting out criminals, and try to prevent people from committing crimes. Many of these policemen are good, but some people hate them, particularly, the bad boys, the criminal elements in society, because they will not give them respite, or freedom to carry out their nefarious activities.There are, however, some few elements among the Nigeria Police Force who cast the police in bad light, who deface the image of policemen in Nigeria. Some of them will build barricades on the roads, and begin to collect N50 from hapless Okada riders and from commercial vehicle operators. Some others will use their position to strike deals with some big time criminals in order to make money, or to intimidate and harass innocent citizens. Many people generalize the behaviours of these bad eggs and use them as yardstick to judge all policemen in the country.But unlike the people in government who formulate draconian policies against the people, who corner the people’s common wealth, but who are hedged in, or protected through the power or instrumentality of government, many policemen in Nigeria are highly exposed. They are not protected. They are vulnerable. They are easy targets.Thus, when some Nigerians begin to attack police formations and other government institutions, and kill some policemen in the process, they are indirectly fighting those in government or protesting against a system that is injurious to them. They want to vent their spleen on those who occupy governmental positions, those who they believe are responsible for their plights and their problems. But because these people are very far away from them, and are also well fortified, they will turn their gaze on the government nearest to them, that is, members of the Nigeria Police Force, and attack them.Therefore, both the federal government, and the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force, have urgent tasks on hand to deal with this ugly situation. They should quickly do introspection, look inwards, to find the reason for the incessant attacks by militant youths on police formations and the killing of policemen on duty. This has resulted to the current state of affairs where policemen have deserted many roads in the South East, in particular, thus endangering the lives and property of the people.In other words, the current situation of things in Nigeria does not call for cheer. It does not give anybody joy. It is a worrisome situation. Year in year out, people come out from various institutions of higher learning, but they will have nothing to do. They will have no jobs. They will be roaming the streets endlessly looking for what to do to make ends meet, but they will see none. They are hungry. They also want to cover their nakedness. They will have no place to lie down, a roof over their heads. These are basic needs of man.Meanwhile, the cost of living in the country has continued to escalate on daily basis, and nobody seems to be doing anything to help the situation. The people are frustrated. They are tired, helpless, and despaired. They are angry, and as they say, a hungry man is an angry man, while in the same vein, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.In the end, the police are made scapegoats, innocent victims of the unfortunate Nigerian situation. They are attacked and killed, their stations burned down, and their vehicles destroyed. They carry the guilt of the sins of the people.It is thus a wake up call for the federal government to rise to the challenge. The situation of things in Nigeria are getting out of hand. People are suffering. Many people are dying. There should be no more playing the ostrich, burying the head, while every other part of the body is exposed. Some people are pretending that everything is okay in Nigeria, while the country on fire. Nigeria is sitting on the kerg of gunpowder, which may explode at any time, and unless something is done urgently, everything may go out of hand, and the consequences may be calamitous, disastrous.Dr. Dons Eze, KSJI

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *