Nigeria holds a catchphrase —Police is your friend— describing the Nigeria Police Force and as embracive as it sounds, Nigerians need no counsel from Aristotle himself to know when and how to run away from this deception. It was Aristotle who said, “a friend to all is a friend to none.”
In the case of the principal security agency of Nigeria, it seems they are friends to none but the current government. Since established in 1930, the Nigeria Police Force has never been more politicized than as it is today.
It has been dwarfed into political oppression tool and discreditable machinery for election rigging and illegal impeachment. The force plans to increase its workforce.
With staff strength of 371,800, I believe the plan to increase this numerical strength requires facility extension and expansion. Could it be the reason the force now has annexes in the offices of the ruling party?
Nigerians have been bellowing for police reforms, a vehement outcry tilted towards revamping and restructuring the police have equally been rending the public domain.
However, I say without a tincture of doubt in my mind that this hue and cry may garner a dime’s worth of influence on the police because of its leadership.
Under the current leadership of Ibrahim Idris, one may say that the police have been taken as the pocket-puppet of the ruling party.
Recently, the apprehension, hasty arraignment and incarceration of a political activist, Deji Adeyanju, who had been arrested, earlier in April this year at Unity Fountain when he demanded the release of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, show undeniably the partisanship of the force.
In October this year, he was reported to have accused President Muhammadu Buhari of having no regard for the rule of law after the Department of State Security had raided the houses of some prominent justices of the Federal High Court and Supreme Court, including Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Walter Onnoghen.
What was the rationale behind Deji Adeyanju’s arrest? He was arrested for conducting a peaceful protest and hurriedly arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court in Abuja, charged with criminal conspiracy,
joint act, defamation of character, public nuisance, disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant, disturbance of public peace, inciting public disturbance, threat to public security, and whatnot, citing sections 96, 113,114,152,183 and 391 of the Penal Code.
The presiding magistrate, Aliyu Kagargo, granted him bail on the conditions that he should provide a level-14 civil servant and a businessman with N20 million bond. These conditions were met by Deji the following day but the magistrate who was supposed to sign his release papers was nowhere to be found, as reported by PRENIUMTIMES.
This is very much suggestive of underhandedness in Deji’s ordeal. Deji Adeyanju represents a voice which transcends the embers of repression. The complicity of the police force with the power that be is only transient.
It is quite instructive to state clearly that Deji represents a chunk of Nigerian youths asking questions, though silently about the sanity of those who should act independently to protect lives and property.
When institutions become weapons in the hands of those who control power and command repression, remonstration follows and, if not properly addressed, may lead to unrestrained rebellion which of course could beget violence.
Moreover, Deji was right after all, police are not politicians. Why should an independent security agency be hamstrung?
From the attempted illegal impeachment of the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, by eight members of Benue State House of Assembly, rigging of Osun State Governorship election,
to the recent attempt to impeach the Akwa Ibom State Speaker of House of Assembly by five members of the opposition party in the state, the police were prominently involved as they were caught on camera aiding and abetting these elements of disrespect to the constitution.
One thing the police under the leadership of Ibrahim Idris fail to realize is that Deji is the combined voice against failed campaign promises.
He is the voice of the youths who are said to be lazy. He represents a movement for a brighter future which appears bleak due largely to poor governance. His continued detention is unacceptable. Everyone has a right to PEACEFUL protest.
Moses Einstein Felix