Posted by News Express | 8 October 2020 | 2,157 times
Even though the Muhammadu Buhari regime cannot stop annoying Nigerians with its actions and inactions, like the recent appointment of Lauretta Onochie as a Commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which is nothing but an act of insanity and warrants a national protest of its own, the government has for once succumbed to the wishes of “lazy Nigerian youths” by disbanding the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which has become a terror to innocent Nigerian citizens.
The duty of the Police, to the best of my knowledge, is the protection of the citizenry from the bad guys and enthronement of law and order in the society.
But instead of enthroning law and order, the Nigeria Police has become anarchists and outlaws unto the citizens. Borrowing a leaf from the government in power at the centre, that triumphs in impunity and insensibility, believing that it can do anything and get away with it, which must have informed the appointment of Lauretta Onochie, a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as an aide to the President and which may possibly be followed with the announcement of Lai Mohammed as the new INEC National Chairman, SARS forgot the robbers that they were constituted to fight and turned their guns on the innocent Nigeria masses that they are meant to protect.
They became completely anti-people as “I will waste you and nothing will happen,” became their sing-song.
However, by coming down from his high horse to do the wishes of the “lazy Nigerian youths,” President Muhammadu Buhari has for once shown that power really belongs to the people, the “Lazy Nigerian youths” included. He has shown that he is holding power in trust for the people.
When the Inspector General of Police, saw the determination of the youths to protest to no end, he had announced the disbarment of SARS.
However, the “lazy Nigerian youths had insisted that the “hard working President” must speak on the issue and the President did not only ratify what the Inspector General of Police (IGP) said he took it to their famed “Next Level,” by saying that he would ensure a total reformation of the entire Police Force.
Though from experience, we would not take the message of the “hard working President” to the bank, but for the President to agree to the demand of “lazy Nigerian youths,” should be commended.
But we should not lose sight of the fact that the recklessness upon which SARS operated came from the presidency. We are saddled with a presidency that believes in jungle justice instead of due process. A presidency that believes that Nigerians are lilly-livered. A presidency that believes that Nigerians have no spine, let alone teeth to bite.
That is from where the members of SARS drew their boldness and with it they were committing day light robberies under the guise of fighting crime.
Like Nigeria Customs Services that have left the border posts to the streets and markets to search for contraband or smuggled goods, SARS left armed robbers and turned to the youths. As far as they were concerned, any youth that is driving a good car is involved in Yahoo Plus. Any well-dressed youth is involved in yahoo, yahoo. Any youth that has a good phone or is in possession of ATM card is a criminal. But instead of taking the person to the station, they would take him to the nearest ATM and force him to withdraw the money and hand it over to them. But if he refuses, they would “waste him.” And many lives have been wasted for no just cause.
However, I believe that over 90 per cent of the people in Nigeria Police Force are there out of frustration. Most of them are there because they could not get other jobs.
When many of us were growing up, our ambitions were never to become police men because the job is not appealing and the name stinks to hell. Even then salary was nothing to right home about.
So, it is out of frustration that a lot of them ended up in the Police Force and most of the time they do engage in transfer of aggression by expressing their envy and frustration on those who are in the places that they would have wished to be but could not. That is the reason why they hate those who drive clean cars or dress well. They wish that every person should be as frustrated as they are.
But since President Muhammadu Buhari has promised reform of the Nigeria Police Force. He should be made to know that the major challenges of the officers and men of the Nigeria Police are not external. They are internal.
The fact is that the mind of most Police men are filled with evil. Their minds are filled with envy and jealously. Most of them are not happy with where they have found themselves. They know that they are like society outcasts. They know that they are in a hated profession.
Therefore, for the reform to achieve the desired result, it has to be more of internal than external. It should be more of a change of mindset. They need psychologists to work on their minds so that they would be able to love and appreciate the members of the society. The slogan, ‘Police is your friend’ is fake news, a very big lie. It is working hard to make evil look good. Police are haters. They should be made to love and also be happy with themselves, because a lot of them like I said earlier are not happy with themselves. A lot of them don’t love themselves and if one does not love himself, there is no way he can love another person, because it all starts from the mind.
So, if the presidency is serious about reforming Police, it has to be a revolution of the mind and not of arms, because it is only when the masses see a change of mindset and attitude on the part of the Police towards them, that they would accept them as part of the society.
But until then, the cat and mice relationship which has been existing between the Nigerian masses and officers and men of the Nigeria Police that got to boiling point with the nefarious activities of the officers of SARS is bound to continue.
ABOUT THE COLUMNIST
Peter Anosike is a well-known journalist and development economist.
His book, Dangote’s Ten Commandments on Money (Lessons on How to Make Money from One of the World’s Richest Men), was rated as one of the best development books in the world by Wall Street Journal and FORBES. The book has been adopted as a workbook for grooming entrepreneurs by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). Anosike’s other of his books include, How To Be The Best You Can Be and Look Forward and Lean Less On Your Past – all trending in Smashwords along with Dangote’s Ten Commandment on Money and How To Be The Best You Can Be. You can follow him on Facebook and Linkedin.
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