By Uthman Qasim
At a time of rapid rot across different institutions in Nigeria, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) appears to have woken from a snooze in recent times by responding swiftly to public outcry against some of its officers, who went beyond their professional scope to search mobile accessories of citizens or even assault of alleged offenders. It is not difficult to suggest that the Force’s response is a smart way to avoid a compound series of unprofessional conduct of her members that could later degenerate into a spectacle similar to the END-SARS protest, but dismissing trained personnel from service isn’t better than keeping them in a better-supervised circle like their duty post.
In less than three months, the NPF has dismissed about five officers who were found guilty of conduct contrary to their professional boundaries, the latest being one Corpora Opeyemi Kadiri, who was caught on a viral video searching a passerby’s mobile phone. The act is not new to what Nigerians witness on a daily basis from those who signed up to protect them. The difference, however, has to do with dismissal meted out to Kadiri within days while other prevalent incidents remain unresolved.
How the NPF churns out its bad eggs back into society should call for serious concern from Nigerians who yearn for safety day and night. When trained security agents are rendered jobless, the danger they pose to the peace of society is beyond measure. Instead of taking them out of the force, why not devise a better measure to punish them while they still serve the country?
Of equal importance, the NPF pays less attention to compensating victims of its officers. Except for extortion, victims of unwarranted search and assault never get any compensation. Culprits could be in service while their allowance(s) go to their victims. This will ensure an all-round reform.
What people want is a Nigeria Police Force that does not engage in arbitrary arrest and detention of poor and innocent Nigerians and not the one that sacks its members because of viral videos.
Qasim writes from Abuja and he can be reached via: [email protected]