By Asunmogejo Yusuf Olawale
If the Nigerian soils could talk about the atmospheric tension in the Nigerian states for the past few days, they would have been a better channel to feel the pulse of the majority of Nigerians agitating for an end to the incessant police brutalities perpetrated by the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
Before the #EndSARS movement which shook the whole social media platforms and the majority of the Nigerian states, Nigerians have continuously raised their voices on the increasing extra-judicial killings, extortions, harassments of Nigerian youths, and inhumane treatment of the citizens by the operatives of the SARS.
According to Amnesty International, SARS has executed more than 82 Nigerians in the last 3 years ranging from ill-treatment and torture of suspected yahoo boys and extra-judicial killings of the productive workforce of the nation. What more of these kinds of anarchy can we get from them?
It is no news that the objectives of the SARS on our streets and roadways have been forfeited. Nigerians are tired of the insensitivity and the aloofness of the leadership of the Nigerian Police Force and by extension, the leadership of this country.
Due to the continuous outcry by the members of the public, the leadership of the NPF finally gave in to the demands of the people to end SARS. Looking critically into the submission made by the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, one would suspect a dubious attempt to bring these so-called “Old SARS” personnel to our streets through the back door. After a further view of the contents in submission 2 and 3, one would also ask if this is a subtle way to end the #EndSARS protest.
One major irreplaceable fact after a thorough examination of the contents in the IGP’s submission is the fact that they have only been able to scrap only the name “SARS” and not the brains behind SARS. These same SARS operatives would be deployed to the other units as said by the IGP and when it is time to form the new unit, they deploy them back to the newly formed unit with an audio warning on professional public conduct by the unit commanders. Is this what we have asked for?
One major point to note is that the struggle is not over, in fact, we still have a long way to go if we are intentional about seeing a new era of policing in Nigeria. The Nigerian government has over a long time ago term itself as “Promise and Fail”. Given this, we must not sleep on our struggle for a better police force in Nigeria. The big question is; How do we achieve a proper reform?
To this cause, there are four Rs we should collectively agitate for from the leadership of the NPF. These are; “Rebuild”, “Retrain”, “Reorientation”, and “Reintegrate”.
Firstly, for us to have a proper reform, we must admit that the problem of the Nigerian Police Force is systematic and a way to revive the lost glory is to rebuild the police institution.
The rebuild process would see to a rejig of the leadership of the police units with the establishment of an independent monitoring agency that will see to the activities carried out by the NPF. Also, the rebuild struggle will birth the establishment of a new unit that will be responsible for Anti-Robbery, Kidnapping, Illegal movement of firearms, and many other criminal activities. In as much as we are agitating for an end to police brutalities, we shouldn’t be delusional on how much we need them in our society.
Secondly, for an efficient reformation of the Nigerian Police Force, we must collectively promote the retraining of police personnel hashtag on social media. One might ask if this would work, but the truth is that for us to have a reformed police force, the leadership must be ready to retrain its members on ways to carry out policing with the utmost level of professionalism. For proper effective retraining process, reputable personalities, social media influencers, and celebrities alike must be ready to take this cause (#RetrainPoliceOfficers) and appeal to the leadership of the NPF to be accountable to the people.
Thirdly, the next step is for the leadership of the Nigerian Police Force to reorientate its members. The orientation exercise must include checks on their psychological well-being, emotional intelligence, anger management, and how sensitive they are about value for life. In this cause, experienced psychologists and mind coaches should be employed to carry out these exercises at all units and departments of the Nigerian Police Force. The Nigerian elites should also seek maximum transparency in the orientation process and demand timely progress reports from the leadership of the NPF.
After a successful implementation of the above trio, there is a need for the leadership of the NPF to properly reintegrate the operatives of the newly formed units for Anti Robbery activities into the society. This is imperative to protect us from secondary security and social vices that may arise as a result of the lack of rapid checks and responses on criminal activities in the society.
Besides, we must make sure that the submission in the contents 4 and 5 are rightly implemented. We must continue to make our demands known to the leadership of the Police Force so that the creation of the Citizens and Strategic Stakeholders Forum is not sabotaged, and their activities are carried out with utmost respect for the people. Also, we must stretch our demands to the leadership of the country on the independence of the Investigative Teams so that their objectives are not forfeited.
In conclusion, Power they say belongs to the people, and it has manifested in our #EndPoliceBrutality, #EndSARS movement. All hands must be on deck if we must make Nigeria great once again. The big question is: If we don’t stop the brutalities, extortions, extra-judicial killings, and inhumane treatment now, IS THERE ANY BETTER TIME?
…….. ………. ………. ………… ……….. ………. …….. ……
Asunmogejo Yusuf Olawale writes from Lagos, Nigeria.
Phone Number: 07082398867
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of News Live Nigeria.
Donate to News Live
Your donation will be much appreciated. It will help our journalistic efforts.