The Nigeria Police: Society's Ally Or Menace?
By Isoboye Allison-Ekine
The police, they say are friends to the society, to protect
lives and property. This is the expectation. Today, however we
see but police violence and destruction of lives and property.
They encourage violence against people by humiliating them, thus
doing more harm than good.
On Tuesday, June 20, 2011, for instance, a taxi driver plying
Illoabuchi Street was caught by the police. Rather than
apprehending the taxi driver, about four of the policemen
attacked the passengers in the taxi. One of the passengers named
Obare Stanley advised one of the policemen not to harass the
passengers but the policeman took offence and slapped Obare and
grabbed him by his shirt and, in the process the policeman's
watch fell on the ground. Obare was forced to pick up the watch.
The officer asked him to either repair the watch or buy a new
watch. He dragged Obare's cell phone from him and drove away,
leaving him broken and upset. Observers advised Obare to go home
and avoid going to a police station with the report in order to
avoid more harassment.
Looking at the responsibilities of the police in the society,
and the way they go about it, one can rightly say they have
rather turned a menace and now disturb the people government
asked them to protect. They are now more of law breakers than
Whatever law made by government is always violated by the police
who have put themselves above the law.
In the area of traffic, they violate this more than any other
person or organization.
They terrorize people with their patrol van. It has come to
pubic notice that they could be on security alert without any
problem or emergency. A police patrol van driver can even flog
people with his koboko in a traffic jam or put on his security
alarm and cause accident without remorse, as long as this gives
way for him to have a field day.
Again, on May 22, 2011, armed robbers attacked three buildings
at New Road, Borokiri and the so called emergency number, 112
was dialed. To everybody's surprise no sign of the police was
seen. It took the robbers two good hours to operate and yet no
police. The robbers, thus carted away cash and property worth
There is a question we need to ask ourselves; are we to continue
in this way? Government should proffer solution to the problem
before the society seeks ways to rise to the challenge. ###