teensexonline.com

That Determination To Destroy The Police

By Tunji Ajibade

Worldwide, the police are the face of the government that citizens see the most. It’s the case because they are the primary enforcers of law and order in society. They also come in between the accused and the accuser and thereby forestall citizens from taking the law into their own hands. The police equally ensure that the will of the government is carried out where there is resistance to such. These require that those wearing police uniforms be some of the best a society has, in quality, character, and professionalism.

Pointers though are that over the years this hasn’t always been the case in Nigeria. We see it in the attitude of some in uniform. For me, the root of that problem is what happens at the recruitment stage and it has been the case so for years. This time the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Kayode Egbetokun, is personally speaking up on what he regards as a massively compromised recruitment exercise. I don’t know if his speaking up is a first of such by any IG, but it’s important we take note that he does.

Incidentally, I’ve followed the latest recruitment process with interest. I made some reposts online of the information concerning the application and the different stages of the recruitment process for the use of those who may be interested. I do this not because I know anyone who applies. I don’t. I simply want to follow how this one goes under the current IG. As it turns out it is the IG himself who calls attention to another round of mess that has been made of the process by those responsible. In a statement on the latest list of recruits, the IG is quoted as saying thus: “The published list contains several names of candidates who failed either the Computer-Based Test or the physical screening exercise or both.

“There are those who made it to the last stage of the exercise but were disqualified, having been found medically unfit through the standardised medical test but who also made the list of successful candidates as published by the Police Service Commission. Most worrisome is the allegation of financial dealings and corrupt practices leading to the outcome where unqualified and untrainable individuals have been shortlisted”.

To the IG, the power of the PSC does not include the power to recruit unqualified and untrained individuals for the police, noting that it is the police that bears the brunt of the recruitment of unqualified individuals and not the PSC. “The same people who recruited anyhow for the police today will turn round to accuse the police tomorrow of inefficiency when their recruits start messing up,” he added.

That this is a strong attack by a government institution on a sister body is unmistakable. But to me, it speaks to the determination of the current IG to sanitise that one crucial instrument of the state and I think he should be supported. Why? It’s not all the time an official in government speaks up. This current IG has the backing of the president to do the right thing so he speaks to what is right. Who benefits when the right thing is done? You and I. It’s a harrowing experience for citizens when the state’s means of enforcing law and order is bad, and corrupt through and through. I have my experience which I stated on this page in the past.

Nothing was wrong with my vehicle papers over a decade ago when I was stopped somewhere in Osun State on my return journey to Abuja. I was made to go to the police station with this weather-beaten, mean-looking officer. In their office, he asked me for money which I refused to give. Other motorists gave. I didn’t. When I reported the matter to his Divisional Police Officer some six hours later, he said nothing was wrong with my vehicle papers; he collected them from his officer and handed them back to me. Not too long ago also, I reported a case of armed robbery at a Divisional Police Office where the officer who took my report asked for money. I refused and left after I asked them, “Is this what you people do here, asking me for money for reporting a case of armed robbery?”

More than this, my ears are full of stories of what some unscrupulous officers do. In a recent high-profile case, one wealthy Nigerian was able to bribe everyone in the hierarchy in order to have his ex-wife extradited from the United Kingdom to Nigeria over false charges of unauthorised use of their company’s funds. The UK court which reviewed the case gave a verdict, stating that the police system was compromised to ensure such a frivolous extradition claim was made in the first place. It then gave a verdict in favour of the ex-wife. Other court judgments in Nigeria in favour of the ex-wife have been ignored by the ex-husband, including a pronouncement of maintaining the status quo over some properties owned by the ex-wife which the ex-husband wanted to seize. The ex-husband has severally breached such orders using known police officers whose names have already been ingloriously mentioned in court papers by lawyers to the ex-wife.

The grudges Nigerians had against compromised police officers were manifested in the ENDSARS protest. Nigerians were so frustrated by the treatment they got from officers who engaged in extortion that they took to the streets in protest. When the police are so hated by citizens the consequences are not advisable for any nation. But this is what we have on our hands. I’ve been at events where questions are asked as to what the problem with the nation is such that things are the way they are. I’ve explained that the problem is systemic; that the problems are interwoven, interconnected with no single solution that can take care of all issues. No one answer fits all situations.

That may sound hopeless. But as the regular reader of this page knows, I don’t intervene with the intention to present a hopeless situation. There is always a way out if we carefully think through the layers and wilderness of dilemmas that the nation finds itself in. For instance, one problem in Nigeria is insecurity. If we want to attend to it and secure our nation better, the police are a core factor. I refer to the personnel now, not even strategy, adoption of technology or intelligence gathering to fight crime. Personnel. I’m convinced that when the personnel is right, of the right quality, the right character, and the right education over 80 per cent of the problem of policing would have been taken care of.

Does it occur to us that sometimes the level of intelligence of an officer, their capacity to take on-the-spot decisions that are spot on can just prevent a crime or help get a criminal arrested? Give a dull and unmotivated officer the best digital device and nothing will change. This is where the system needs to support a recruitment process that places emphasis on the right kind of recruits. I think this is what the current IG is doing; the reason he’s been so different in his comments since he came to office regarding what the police force should be like. I think he’s reflecting the said and unsaid disposition of the president in this regard. Do we want to solve one major problem in the aspect of insecurity in the nation? Recruiting the right quality of persons into the police force is where to start. Then every other thing can be added from there.

It’s been a while since we got an IG that speaks in the manner the current one does. It’s high time he did for it was not today we began to have a flawed recruitment process that Nigerians complained about. If this one is addressed and a pattern is laid for the future the nation will benefit from it. I think the latest infractions that attend the recruitment process into the police force are a determination to further destroy the police force by some unpatriotic elements. In order to stop them therefore, I urge the President to support the IG on this issue as well as in the recruitment processes into the other Armed Forces too.

Tunji Ajibade is an author at Punch Newspapers and can be reached at 08036683657

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

0FansLike
0FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisement -

Latest Articles