To be honest with you, I didn’t really know the usefulness of the Nigerian police force in this laive.
Having said this, I would like to employ this opportunity to tender a pre-apologetic gesture to every member of the police force (hardworking or corrupt and lazy).
I witnessed a fight between motorist and a passenger at the famous Ibadan Bodija market on my way to the University one morning. This fight was brutal and I’m surprised at how the scenario played out. The motorist was a man and the passenger a woman and to my bemusement, the woman was showing the man what they call pepper. She had his head locked in her elbow and she was sucker punching this guy. WWE cannot be ready for this woman and the policemen seemed unbothered and uninterested (Funfact: I counted at least 6 policemen at the area). All they did was stand there and observe the fight (while holding their customary assault rifles). They were having laughs in fact and I was stunned. So in a flash, I remembered all the incompetence i have witnessed from them since i gained self-consciousness.
I have seen policemen allow underage drivers with no licenses go scot free. I have seen them take bribes from drivers with expired licenses and most disgusting of all is their habit of ‘chilling’ on the highways. I guess the logic is that they can stand there (while ignoring that we have a Federal Road Safety Corps) and collect what i assume must be ‘Road Usage Tax’.
Actually, after all I’ve said, i don’t blame them. Wearing their uniform is a risk. It is like walking around with a neon sign that says ‘please come and kill me’ while they don’t seem to have training in the areas of combat and self-defense (I’ve seen so many fat ones and potbellied ones and they never show up at the scene of a crime till the perps are long gone) neither do they seem to have reasonable wages and allowances (in a country where the lawmakers who sit down in the national assembly doing nothing are sharing millions per month as allowance). I believe the policemen deserve to be able to afford nice suits and traditional regalia (the cool and expensive kind, just like the lawmakers – after all they are law enforcers which is an extension of law making).
The problem is the general lack of order and discipline in the country. The policemen are not to blame. Their problem is that they reflect a general culture of indispline that is embedded within the core structures of our society’s behavior patterns while their job is supposed to give them a higher sense of discipline to maintain the peace. My opinion is that the policemen should be reorganized. They should be recruited and trained by the army to learn their stringent disciplinary laws.
But i think i have the best solution. Can the government organize the whistle-blowing idea for the police force? That is, we get a reward for reporting (with evidence beyond reasonable doubt) that some policemen are slacking on the job. Ol’ boy, I go get money ehn. Also i think this would give the force some form of discipline.