#EndSars Crisis: In Defense of The Nigeria Police

By Abdulrahaman Abubakar

The President could have stopped the violence in his address to the nation by declaring a state of emergency but he cast his lot with those who spaciously impugn our criminal justice system,by acceding to all their demands.

The #EndSars protesters had an operative formula;
(a) Select the easiest target of hate (SARS) and use it to mobilize thugs, hence the hashtag #EndSars.

(b)Disregard alternative explanations for the phenomenon #EndSars.

(c)Blame the Lekki incident on the army.
(d)Extend to other cities, impact the whole country and blame others for the mayhem.

(e)Use the media to attract world attention.
The bottom line was the massive destruction of public and private properties, killing and burning of policemen and their stations, looting of private and public-owned establishments, indeed it was a complete mayhem.

The Press could not utter one word of condemnation against the savages who self-indulgently destroyed the livelihoods of struggling entrepreneurs and their employees. The Speaker or the House of Representative in his speech could not even mention a word in memory of policemen killed or slain in the mayhem.

COP-HATRED: Many newspapers are cop-haters and serve anti-cop propaganda. Without question, they are plenty officers who treat civilians rudely and who desperately need retraining in professional courtesy. Officers have a duty to respect the public, even when they throw thrash on you from the rooftops or curse you or block you from making an arrest or in pursuit of suspects. Police are not out on the streets out of malice. There is need for law-abiding residents to be protected.

Such mass destruction threaten democracy by exposing the rule of law as powerless to check political driven anarchy. The only people responsible for such inferno are the perpetrators themselves and their behind-the-scene facilitators. We have entered into an era of intense anti-police activism led by opposition politicians and supported by Civil Right Groups and professional agitators. It is an ill wind that blows no one, any good. Already, we have insecurity plaguing the nation, from Maiduguri to Sokoto, Yobe to Zamfara, Kaduna to Enugu, Enugu to Port-Harcourt, Lagos, it is the same story. Any nation that denigrates its security forces is in for destruction.

In view of the situation, we expect some spike in criminal activities as the security forces, especially the Police, count their losses and alienation. The relentless effort to demonize the police from enforcing the law can only leave the same alleged victimized fellows and every other law-abiding person more vulnerable to anarchy. In fact, the much touted “Community Policing” strategy recently approved by the Federal Government is under attack; dead on arrival. How do we build community partnership with the police and other stakeholders under this situation?

EARLIER INCIDENTS: #EndSars hoodlums had been operating in Lagos prior to the latest events. It could be recalled that they always gather as a mob and move into Estates in the Lekki-axis to rob. They gather through social media to steal, rob from stores and assault innocent motorist caught up in traffic. Any future violence should be met by the force it deserves.

There have been anti-police violence in many cities around the globe, for example, in USA, there was George Floyd anti-police demonstrations across the country but none rivaled that of #EndSars in Nigeria. What has #EndSars got to do with the Palace of Oba of Lagos or palliative warehouses that were broken into?

Tough times await all of us alike. Be prepared. The mantra “if you hate the police call a thug" is relevant for now.

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