Group sends SOS to IGP as South-East Christmas travellers smell pepper in the hands of the police
Posted by News Express | 22 December 2016 | 4,656 times
IGP Ibrahim Idris.
The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) has called on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to urgently intervene and address the concerns of citizens travelling to the South-East during this Yuletide.
“We are receiving several complaints of too many Police checkpoints within very close range to each other which are seriously obstructing, rather than easing, free flow of traffic. One witness wrote: ‘Sir, l counted twenty three (23) Check Points between Onitsha Head Bridge and my destination in lmo State. This is terrible and disturbing’,” Okechukwu Nwanguma, National Coordinator, NOPRIN, said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
According to Nwanguma, “These ubiquitous checkpoints and road blocks are causing traffic gridlock with the attendant delays and hardship for travellers.
“The need for Police patrol to beef up security and ensure the safety and security of road users, especially during this period cannot be overemphasised. But when such efforts become counterproductive by constituting a source of suffering for the citizens, it calls for urgent review. “The sheer number of Police checkpoints on South-east roads makes the zone look like it is under siege, like a conquered territory and this is breeding ill-feelings and frustration.
“We are not aware that the ban on Police checkpoints has been lifted. What we know the Police have ordered are police patrols, not road blocks or checkpoints.
“These checkpoints have historically been known to be nothing more than avenues for extortion, harassment and killings.
“We therefore, request the IGP to order a review and close monitoring of the operations and activities of personnel within the Southeast zone to ensure that they carry out their duties in a proper, citizen-friendly and lawful manner that does not constitute traffic obstruction and inconveniences, or become avenues for extortion and harassment of road users.”