As we wandered through the market that very day, we saw it
was soon becoming late and for our safety it was best to begin our journey home
as this was very close to the elections, but most emphatically to get home we
needed a boat ride for about 15 minutes to the island, a late boat ride is
always risky. We boarded the boat about 6pm and we were the only passengers,
that didn’t bother us because that town wasn’t a popular destination. It was
just where we stayed at that moment. So it began; the ride. Just over five
minutes into the deep sea, we looked over and saw a second boat approaching in our direction
with great acceleration and no smiling crew member. My partner leaned over to me and said “we are
finished!!” with his eyes bulging. I thought to myself “for over 6 months I
have not even seen a police man here” Let’s pause a while from the story and
Police is from the root word which is same as that of
Politics where obviously a Politician emerges; both were intended to be the
first line of civil organization in a state.
But one makes the law while the other enforces it in the state. Both
were supposed to need each other. The police should be separate from the
military but should not be inferior to it. In a system that works both actually
complement each other in functionality. But by default the Nigerian police
system doesn’t exude this attributes, well except you are among the ‘’Oga at
the top’’ cadre. So what do we have?
Low self-esteemed officers that could be publicly embarrassed
by the military or the navy to the extent that they are now a form of
caricature for the countries comedians. Officers that stay under the rain, the
sun and in the harmattan with ill maintained uniforms, more than a decade old
cars and very inferior pay. This job is actually the most unattractive in
Nigeria. Let me rephrase that; due to policies made over the years, the job of
being a hero on a daily basis has been made very unattractive in Nigeria. Like
you just meet a graduate of human relations and you ask him where you would
like to practice and he says “the police force” you are likely to ask if he is
insane or if he has been looking for a job for just too long. So what can be
Pride is the issue. It’s not just money. But money well invested
could boost up the pride of even a common officer. Through the security
challenges being faced all around the globe and around the country it would be
in the best interest of the nation to start thinking like engineers “Safety
First”. If the police was as offensive as it was supposed to be the issues of
insurgence would have been prevented no matter anybody’s religious or political
beliefs but we have a force structured to be very defensive. Therefore the
country needs to re-invent the police force for real, this means more than
changing their basic colours. So what do we want to see?
On my way back from the airport recently. I noticed the
increased police presence on the roads. But they stood at un-strategic points.
Like somebody just put them there to show them off; men with kids. Some just
stood like it was secondary school and they were being punished for being noise
makers. The police should be made to be more involved, rather made to look like
just mere body guards with uniforms going around with the highest bidders. Also
the federal police needs a 3 digit number code that even a kid can dial not the 11
digit number it currently has at least make it 4, take a cue from the Lagos state government. That being said. I salute the
initiative of the Complaints Response Unit (CRU) that is a step in the right direction.
The story concludes as thus. This foreign boat as suspected
did what most boats would not do, and that is approach another speed boat
because of the wave each can create. All I could think was “what do they want”
I was relieved when I heard “please help transport these people going to the
town after yours” from the other boat rider. Why not!!? We all echoed in
response with a clear sign of relief, even our boat rider seemed liberated; someone I believed could swim that depth. And
off we went.
When was the day, you needed the police?
By the way am just a bystander.
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