Once A Thug, Always A Thug....
Take it or leave it, the average Nigerian policeman not just conjures the image of a thug, is not just a thug but loves being feared and revered as a thug! A consummate bully, you can see him glow as cab drivers and "area boys" call him up using nicknames like "Iku" or "Ijaya". You may not know this...but Iku means Death....and Ijaya means Fear or Trepidation! In Yoruba language....
So, you may wonder how a man....any sane man....can enjoy being fondly called these evil names!
He is a liar! A shameless conjurer and manufacturer of evidence! A torturer! Disgustingly slothful.....especially within the precincts of mentation....and anything cerebral. An epitome of incompetence! A man lacking in shame! He is ever eager to deliver slaps! Onto the faces of citizens he is paid to protect. He prides himself in being a patron of sorcerers! He sees nothing wrong in stooping low....for he is a man without dignity.
Integrity is absent in his dictionary! He bribed his way into the "force"....so he must recoup his "investments"! His thinking...as he goes on the prowl...chasing down innocent citizens....to extort monies from them....long after robbers have escaped. For he goes around with nylon bags....that come in handy for his rumpled shirt and cap whenever there is any shooting in the vicinity. Yeah! Whenever there is a robbery, the Nigerian cop runs into a nearby house....and as he sprawls on the floor a-begging the occupants, hurriedly tanks off his unform so he emerges from this house a "transformed" man!
The hallmark of all bullies is that they are cowards!
The Nigerian cop would not respond to distress calls. Not for accidents! Or for robbery! How can he....when he habitually rents his uniform to them on robbery raids....with a full complement of guns and bullets! He is a man on contract....ever eager to kill the same citizens he is sworn to protect....on contract!
To him, all is fair in line of "business".....so long as money can be made! His actions zero in on the bizarre. He visibly sprays "spiritual water" on the floor of the Police Station...so "business" may flourish as the day unfolds!
Our cops scramble for "lucrative" postings....being postings to stations where the most illicit monies can be made....through bribery and extortion! And younger officers must pay regular royalties to their immediate superiors....up to the highest echelons of the force!
Police technicians compel cops to pay for charging their one-way radios! Police store-keepers sell uniform materials to cops while police tailors charge cops for sewing uniforms! Monies to fuel and maintain patrol vehicles are ever stolen by senior officers who then expect their juniors to fuel and service those vehicles from monies made via bribes and extortion! Even salaries and allowances are stolen. So also are police pension funds!
So, how can anything good ever come out of the Nigerian cop? For those bent on staying good are soon inducted, framed or killed "in line of duty"!
And when we are visionless enough to appoint policemen...serving or retired....into positions of trust, what do we expect?
What do we expect from an Oba who cut his teeth as an officer in the Nigeria Police....rising to the post of a Deputy Commissioner of Police?
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has failed to make any impact because we always appoint policemen as its head!
Rilwan Akiolu recently summoned Lagos-based Igbos to a meeting. Main agendum? To compel them to vote for the APC....lest they all risk being flung into the lagoon to drown!
Now you may wonder at the sheer incredulity!
Only a Nigerian-cop-turned-Oba is capable of such crudity!
So you can take the man out of the Nigerian Police...but you cannot take the Nigerian Police out of the man!
You can make spirited attempts at indoctrination of the man prior to his inauguration! You can adorn his neck and wrists with beads....present him a staff of office....and place a crown atop his head.
He even lives rest assured that a curfew would be declared at his death....ostensibly to hunt down humans to behead as "royal" accompaniment to his carcass! But does that change the man?
The APC has duly dissociated itself from this irresponsible tirade by the Oba....and understandably so! Words of condemnation have poured in from all and sundry!
Eze Ndigbos across Lagos state have called on their kinsmen to ignore the Oba's rant and vote massively for the APC.
But if I were an Igboman, I would use my vote in a manner contrary to the directive of this royal thug.
I would dare him to throw me into the lagoon!
Dr Tosin Akindele is a medical practitioner and public affairs analyst.