I have taken a sober reflection on job roles in our security sector in Nigeria most especially when there are roadblocks on the expressway. I could still remember vividly my experience early this year when transiting from Lagos to Owerri with a friend who preferred a road trip, in the space of two hours we were stopped for a search six times by Nigerian police force, federal road safety, special armed robbery squad plus others like them.
We were usually confronted by same question “where are you going to? What is in your booth? Let me see your particulars” It was too much to handle little did I know that I should have saved my energy for the drama that was waiting for me at Benin Ore road; I met the dreaded SARS personnel. My thought initially was that they were gentlemen of the highway, I was sure of that.
Every detail of their operation gave them away as men who have tasted the crime lifestyle from their bloodshot eyes, dressing, and attitude. They were never law-abiding citizens, oh well; one should not judge a book by its cover. When the questions started rolling in, I realized I wasted my energy arguing with the policemen and the FRSC who both don’t know their job roles; I should have vented my anger here.
Asking same question? I was asked to identify the contents in my travelling bag, I was asked to bring my phone because, I had laptop in my bag. We were just two travelling, ‘oh, you people want to go and use some ladies underwear for rituals abi?’ one of them whom seemed to be more superior to the other kept shouting in a loud voice. The experience I will never forget in a hurry, it aligned so much to memories of my encounter with robbers on a bright Tuesday morning. I still can go into argument that the men I encountered then are not gainfully employed by a government outfit.
The level of insecurity in this nation has been a major concern. However, it is disturbing that we don’t know who trouble us more, the security outfit or bandits. They have same system of operation, bullying and killing people, aside that, one has been legalized. I am still amazed at how the role of Economic Financial Crime Commission [EFCC] had to be transferred to Special Armed Robbery Squad [SARS].
The level of harassment on people by these agencies is not one to pay deaf ears to. A lot of us are against internet fraud and the hazardous effect on our youths. Everyone is now categorized as one, the menace sits deep in our society, the other day, a friend considered me a “juman” when he found out that I have no foreigner I am dating via social media.
Exactly the time we find ourselves, since the popularization of internet fraud, a lot have changed. However, there has not been any record of a gun wielding fraudster at any point in time. I wonder the use of gun on innocent citizens, how many times will pages of newspapers and social media platforms. The standard practice of a arresting an alleged offender is always overlooked how it became a norm to submit your phone for checking, violation of human right! it is the world we live in. Never has it been in any record that people arrested by this men has ever been taken to any police station, rather bank ATMs have become the new station, forceful extortion is the new order of bail , is this the new world order?
Permit me to say that this could be the other version of Boko Haram! The security agencies that were to protect us are now our achilles heel. Going out as a successful youth, you have to look poor, in their standard, a twenty- seven year old have no moral right to own a car, he cannot be flashy regardless of personality trait, no he dare not! Unless you want to either gun down or be milked dry. In fact they have become the security and the judge of any individual that they stop.
Gory pictures and videos have surfaced on the internet showing all their atrocities of killing, maiming and manhandling of citizens by SARS personnel. Every young fellow is considered a fraudster so it could be the turn of anybody because there is a standard of how you should dress, the hair you should keep, car to drive by this so called security operatives, maybe government should give us a template of what and how we should be all the time.
This is not democracy anymore, maybe we are not Nigerians again, damage to the constitution and human right laws! Silence is never golden in situations like this. This is the first time, public outcry has gone hay wire yet the response has not been pleasing in any way. We still have promises never fulfilled, many times, we have seen the operation of SARS been banned, few months later they will resurface on the highway, yet people are been kidnapped and the will passed this security operatives without any scratch.
Do we need to sound to their ear, their job description every time? We have people who are supposed to checkmate robbery yet the likes of Bobrisky of PH, Gana of Benue terrorized the people for a long time before the ‘Nigerian army’ , had to come to our rescue. Do we need to remind them that people are been robbed everyday by these bandits.
There are areas prohibited for the common man to scale, our security operatives know all of them, in fact most of them come to this notorious centers to drink, smoke and be merry. They overlook the evils been perpetrated by these men who are of no good to anyone. They stand for their pockets and not the lives of the citizens they swore (did they?) to protect.
Time has come for actions to be taking in this harassment by security officers of the government. Enough is indeed enough.