This period does not appear to be the best of time for our security operatives. The security situation in the country is challenging to everybody. While the security men are supposed to provide protection to the citizens, experience has shown that those in need of protection have also turned nightmares to those who ought to protect them.
It is no longer news that the Nigerian police are no longer in the good books of the ordinary folks on the streets. There is a complete loss of confidence in the police. The citizens nurse a lot of ill feelings towards the police borne out of experience. The police are alleged to be running their affairs contrary to the expectations of the people.
It was not surprising therefore that the citizens came hard on the police during the ENDSARS protest when Nigerian youths pressed home their demand to do away with the SARS. The government, contrary to expectations yielded to the peoples’ demand. The SARS it is reported became anti-people, turned themselves into demons that oppressed the people, killing and maiming as much as they want with impunity.
During the ENDSARS protest, the police suffered huge losses with over 200 police stations burnt throughout the country. It was a colossal loss however it is looked at which affects not just the police as an institution alone but also the perpetrators. It would sound like a vengeance or aggression against the police but clearly it was an aggression against self and grossly misplaced.
What many do not recognize is that the funding and maintenance of the police comes from the tax payers’ money. Money used to rehabilitate these destroyed police posts could have been utilized for other purposes. Violence indeed is an ill wind that blows none any good.
The ENDSARS protest did not end the attack on police stations. Recently, there have been reported accounts of continued attack on police posts for one reason or another. Early this month the police station in Obowo, was attacked by gunmen and two police officers lost their lives in the attack which gutted the station.
The police divisional office in Onicha local government of Ebonyi State had a section of it razed down and four of its patrol vans set ablaze too. Other areas have also had their own attack especially in the north.
Attacks on police stations are only a reflection or process of ventilating out the displeasure of the people against the government. It is inconceivable that any sane person would go out of its way to vent its anger against an institution that is delivering on its expectations
The police as an institution is grappling with myriads of challenges which manifests in its performance that is considered suboptimal. Whatever the police is encountering as a protest is reflective of the nature of our government. From time to time pressure is on the government to improve the police system and make it more people friendly by adopting acceptable global practices.
Whatever the government may claim to have done is seen as but a palliative action, amounting to just scratching the surface and leaving the substance. The police is still poorly equipped, poorly trained, poorly motivated, insufficient in number and lacking in the resources to meet the challenges of the moment.
The attitude of the police is what basically puts it against the people. Though it runs with the slogan that police is your friend, everything points to the contrary when it is learnt that the police reveals information made available to it. This is most uncharitable and defeats its objective.
News Echo wishes to appeal to the public to cease from further attacks on police stations because the consequences also play out against the people. The government on the other hand should give the required attention the police as an institution for it to function effectively. The government should not expect wonders from a poorly motivated and ill equipped police system.
Naturally, no one gives what he does not have.