THE DISAPPOINTING LEGACIES OF NIGERIA POLICE FORCE:
Raise no doubt that the future of our country rests on dysfunctional police force. The notion that “our safety from Boko Haram requires armored cars” is a pretension that the police or State Security Service (SSS) has the muscle to take on Boko Haram. They do not, and innocent Nigerians are paying the price daily with their blood and the price are far higher than the security Nigerian Police force has brought to our people.
We cannot rate inspector general of police on tough talks but on competent and effective response to our security needs. The record shows that Nigeria Police force were at the scene as armed robbers robbed two banks in the heart of commerce in Eket while the police officers stationed in Eket were watching. The robbery lasted for two good hours without police response.
The citizens we are told “were there clapping hands and admiring the brazen acts of the robbers” showing disdain and contempt for the corrupt police force. Four innocent citizens were reported killed in the operation. The writer lost two relatives during that attack. No letter of condolence has ever been received by those who lost their loved ones either from the commissioner of police or Inspector General of Police.
The Nigeria Police force is not a force we can count on but has long been a national embarrassment. Police failures are deeply rooted in our national consciousness. For more than a century, police corruption has touched more than a facet of our daily lives. There is structural ethics and moral deficit in the Nigeria Police Force that is not going to be cured by a war against Boko Haram. The Nigeria Police Force is at war with itself. No Police Force can war against itself and still function effectively. One of the reasons why the Inspector General of Police warnings to Boko Haram seems to travel so slow is because we have a law enforcement system that is under indictment. So, how can it remedy the ills of the Country?
Some Nigeria Police officers are on pay roll of crime bosses. Some Police officers are complicit in the crimes that are taking place in the country. Criminals pay high ranking police officers some healthy monthly salaries to protect their criminal activities against the country and its people instead of protecting the lives and property of the Nigerian people. Little wonder why the Boko Haram is reported as asserting that the Nigeria Police force and the State Security Service can only bark but they cannot bite.” There may some kernel of truth to this statement. How can the Nigeria Police Force take on Boko Haram - a well equipped revolutionary group when they cannot take on armed robbers that molest the daily lives of our citizens and in some instances conduct two hours operation twice in Eket and got away with no single arrest or confrontation? Some citizens who are fed up with corruption and exploitation by the police force "could be supporting Boko Haram's revolutionary ideology as claimed by Boko Haram."
The report in the forum that “soldiers intercepted a truck load of no fewer than 700 explosives in Abuja and that the vehicle was escorted by two armed police men” suggest implicit or explicit complicity by the police and should come as no surprise to anyone who understands the culture and history of corruption in the Nigeria Police Force.
Lack of proper oversight and misplaced priorities and greed has led to unbelievable corruption in the police force. The primary motivations of some Nigeria Police Officers appear not to be honest public service and what is good for the country but self promotion, financial empire building, blinding ego and abuse of power that too often comes with high office.
The numerous security lapses and the lawlessness that has engulfed the nation and rising simmering anger toward the police force obviously require urgent police reform.