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Opinion: Nigeria Does Not Have And Does Not Need A Police Force

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The term Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is very misleading. NPF is a term used by some men and women in uniform who extort money from the citizenry for the benefit of the uniform wearer’s family. Nobody should doubt that Nigeria does not have and does not need a police force. Here are proofs dating only two years back:

1. About two years ago a young woman was seen on tape being raped by some young men. The tape suggested that the incident took place on the campus of Abia State University in Ituru in Abia state of Nigeria. Two years later the identity of the victim and those of the perpetrators have not been established. Nobody knows what has become of the case. It has not been conclusively proved that the tape was fake. Nobody even mentions it anymore. It never happened.

2. Last year another tape surfaced showing two women being sodomized by several young men who were seen sticking stuff into their private parts and the women crying helplessly and promising to do anything to be saved. Those of us who merely watch the tapes were traumatized. The incident took place somewhere in Lagos state. The women’s sin; they stole a few pennies worth of goods. The picture showed clearly the faces of the women and the back of the men who abused them. That was last year and the story has been lost since. What appeared to be public anger has since faded and as in the case of the Ituru woman, it never happened.

3. Last week a girl’s high school was attacked in the middle of the night and the entire school boarding students were “kidnapped” and taken to parts unknown. It is almost two weeks and the entire high school residents are have not been heard from and the anger has died down. In this particular case, some girls escaped to freedom but otherwise the rest have not been located and rescued. Two weeks and we could not find 85, 129, or 234 (we do not even know the true number of) young women. Even with the help of the escaped girls.

4. The same week a bomb blast went off in an Abuja suburb killing 72 residents in a bus stop and wounding possibly 100 others. Boko Haram has claimed responsibility but nobody is under arrest or being questioned. Mr. Jonathan visited and Mr. Buhari issued a statesmanlike statement. The dead have been identified and possibly buried. The wounded are hopefully receiving treatment at area hospitals. From the look of it things are returning to normal.

5. Let us say nothing about individuals who are daily kidnapped all over Nigeria, thefts of public and private property, etc.

Do I need to say anymore? Nigeria does not have or need a police force. We are doing just fine.

Some people would jump up on reading the examples above and blame people in the leadership positions. In doing so they absolve themselves of responsibilities and feel good about themselves. This is why we have what we have.

The people failed before the leadership failed.

If one were to sit down and think carefully, one would see what had happened: we hired (elected, selected, appointed, take your pick) some people to do a job for us; they bungled the job often and we did nothing and instead of firing them we sit down and bemoan our fate. Are we what!

I am a father of three girls. They all went to college and were boarders. As I think of the 200 girls now somewhere, I am incensed. Are they being fed? What? Are they being abused? What have they been wearing since they did not have a change of clothing? What happens if their period were to start? How are they managing? Where do they sleep? Do they sleep?

My anger is less with the kidnappers but more with our society. Why are the parents of these girls just sitting there? Why is there no fist fights in the legislatures of the federal and state assemblies? Why do we not have riots in the country demanding the location and return of our daughters? Why is the IG still in Abuja and not in Bornu? Where are our women groups? Where are our Abuja delegation? Our market women, all parents, other high school students, university students, faculty, religious leaders of all faiths, etc.? Why has the campus not been burnt down? Where is the faculty of the girl’s school? Why are they not rounding up the community and raising hell? Where is state and federal education ministers?

Is this a comatose nation or what?

From the look of things we would lose the girls and everything would return to normal again and the so called NPF would still be looking for N20 from drivers and soiling our names.

I carefully selected the examples I gave to show that it has happened in the East, in the West, and in the North with no marked difference. It has happened to the Christians and Muslims with no marked difference. If the loss of 200 young women does not move us; nothing will.

Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

I cry for my beloved country.

_______________________

Written By Benjamin Obiajulu Dauba

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Bolaji

    2014/05/02 at 7:10 pm

    Your article signifies a problem that most Nigerians have today. The problem of just looking at a situation through one perspective; only bringing in and elaborating on the negatives while completely discarding any positives. This article/opinion is nowhere close to neutral, and is heavily disparaging. Your opinion of Nigeria not having a police force, or not needing one is somewhat ridiculous, given that these people have achieved a lot of good things within the same time period you used in your article.

    “NPF is a term used by some men and women in uniform who extort money from the citizenry for the benefit of the uniform wearer’s family.” Do you realize these men and women are driven to do this because of the meager salaries they receive from the government? Salaries that would not even be enough to sustain them and their families in ‘high-cost’ states such as Lagos. Horrendous housing facilities, limited money set aside by the government for the Police, and a sub-standard training program doesn’t help matters, yet they still come out en masse.

    Your first and second examples are credible, but the police does not have: CCTV installed, proper testing/investigation facilities, tools and other necessities to cordon off crime scenes and gather evidence. With all this missing, the job is very hard for them, and all they have to rely on are accounts made by witnesses; who may be reluctant to give due to the social stigma that will probably ensue.

    Example five is one-sided, the police prevent so many crimes such as drug trafficking, child trafficking, kidnapping, armed robbery, bombs, the list is endless.

    For examples three and four, that role falls more on the army and other security forces than it does on the police. Despite this, the police have done their bit in preventing terrorists attacks by assisting the army. A sting operation uncovered a boko haram cell in Lagos last year which stopped a total of 33 or more bombs, that were to be exploded simultaneously across the state. Several bombs have been detonated across schools and universities, and numerous arrests and convictions have also been made. Or for what other reason did boko haram attack the SSS headquarters, bearing in mind that their members were held there?

    “Why are the parents of these girls just sitting there? Why is there no fist fights in the legislatures of the federal and state assemblies? Why do we not have riots in the country demanding the location and return of our daughters? Why is the IG still in Abuja and not in Bornu? Where are our women groups? Where are our Abuja delegation? Our market women, all parents, other high school students, university students, faculty, religious leaders of all faiths, etc.? Why has the campus not been burnt down? Where is the faculty of the girl’s school? Why are they not rounding up the community and raising hell? Where is state and federal education ministers?”
    Good questions, but the answers are right in the open. The parents of the girls have defied the army and have gone on NINE-hour journey deep into the Sambisa forest just to look for their girls. In the government level, Jonathan has sacked high ranking security chiefs and has held meetings with the new ones, including governors. Riots in the country? Doesn’t that lead to more loss of lives and possibly secession? Take a look at Ukraine, and,Myanmar; hell on Earth. Can’t the IG work from Abuja? Must he be on ground? What is he the IG for? Campus being burnt down? What about the university students, a.k.a our future? Why s=must their education be sacrificed? Why? Raising hell? That is uncivilized. Petitions are being signed, awareness on social media is on the rise, that is true progress. And all those other people you called, are on the streets in front of government buildings, holding peaceful protests.

    Best.

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