THE CLIMATE HAS CHANGED
The world is changing and so are governments and institutions therein, which means that change is dynamic and like it is popular said, the only thing that is constant is change itself. In every country when the activites of men are controlled by laws , there are always the tendency for the government to evolve a change and when this happen, it means that such a government is moving with the wind of change. Today. meteorologists and scientists would tell you there is a climate change.
A time was in in our continent when the only language was military coup and change of government , and for over thirty years, Nigeria was ruled by these men in uniform through fiat and our consciousness has severally been woven around militrocracy. For instance when ever ministers were either appointed or removed from office, such an announcement are always followed with the popular slogan 'with immediate effect' even our children use it jokingly when playing in their schools. Interestingly, with the return of democracy and the gradual burial of military rule, Nigerian have started breathing an air of relieve especially in the area of self expression.
Truly it is a new dawn. One can joyfully say that a new climate now pervades the entire stratosphere of the country call Nigeria. The adults among us cannot easily forget the 'Alli Must Go 'mother of all demonstrations, neither can they easily forget the June 12 demonstartions plus many others especially those spear-headed by Adams Oshiomole who was then the president of the Nigerian labour congress. Why did I say the climate has changed, just one simple reason, that the police is wearing a democratic face without shooting a single canister into the air during civil protest should be appreciated by all.
I watched it all on the TV as our own police men and women turned themselves into human barrier and shield and held their hands while the DPO incharge of the National Assembly was announcing who he is and urging the protesters to comport themselves, which they did. Even the demonstators applauded the role of the police. This could not have happened if not for the orientation of those at the helm of the police affairs. Ogbonna Onovo believes in the rule lot law and believes that the rights of individuals should not be trampled upon unjustly and that such a right to lawfully protest is covered by the constitution.
All that the police says they demand from demonstrators is that, it should be informed ahead of time for proper consideration and analysis which iam sure will take care of whether it would be volatile or peaceful, whether if would be hijacked by hoodlums or not. The attributable success of all the protest march that had taken place in Abuja can be seen as the result of the implementation of government white paper on police reforms. On his assumption of office, Mr. Onovo saw clearly the need for the re-training of police men as an imperative for professionalism and confidence building.
These he masterly crafted out of the reform programme among others and coded it as his blueprint for his three point agenda. Any security observer would say that Onovo's strategies are yielding the desired results to the extent that even those who for ages don't see anything good in the police now clap hands for them even if they do it in the confines of their offices or rooms, at least the walls have ears. It is these well crafted three point agenda of Onovo that one would have loved to scrutinise but that will be for another write-up. The truth that must be told is that even our own Nobel laureate professor Wole Soyinka witnessed not a new police but what retraining of policemen can exhibit. I hav e no doublt in my mind that he must have wisphered to someone about the new police he saw in Abuja and lagos.
When a rusty brain is retrained, fresh idea are imparted and before your very eyes, you witness a 360 degree change in attitude and the country will be better off for it, just as the police glory would be restored.