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Security operatives and brutality of citizens

One of the most important obligations, which the federal government owes Nigerians, is to take very drastic measures to curb the recurring menace and brutality of citizens by  its security operatives. It is very sad that law enforcement officers who are paid with taxpayers’ money still  give  the  impression that they are above the law.
Their public carriage leaves much to be desired and the earlier this menace was curbed, the better for the country’s image. It amounts to abdication of its constitutional responsibilities for the federal government to feel nonchalant at the brazen conduct of security operatives.
In Lagos, a magistrate with the Lagos State task force on environmental and special offences unit was brutalised by officials of the Customs Service for impounding their vehicle parked at an unauthorised place. Civilised behaviour demanded that customs officials explain to the task force team on reason for parking at such place.
Similarly, a student of the Lagos State Polytechnic was bundled into a police van after being labelled a criminal and locked up in a cell. It took the relatives N30, 000 to get him released, all because of his alleged stubbornness in wanting to know the reason for his arrest.
The new acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris must tackle such impunity with the ranks of police personnel. It is very sickening and heart rending to see police cell as hell on earth due to the inhumane manner suspects are treated. Police cells should not be places of  impunity and mindless violation of human rights.
It is proper  to cite the ordeal of a hotel owner in Onitsha,Anambra State who with  his wife and other  persons were  beaten to pulp  by personnel of the Department of State Security (DSS). The couple only survived  because they were flown abroad for medical treatment. The others were locked up in police cells on a frivolous and unsubstantiated petition that arose because of some misunderstanding within their organisation. Even at that, the DSS would not allow them inform their families about  their ordeal and whereabouts.
Notwithstanding the absurdity, these unfortunate citizens were detained for three days and only released when it became known that the petition was frivolous. Their families could have been saved all emotional traumas if the law enforcement agents had acted in much civilised manner.
For the “Change Mantra to be meaningful, it is imperative that President Muhammadu Buhari should use his office to put a stop to such brazen impunities by law enforcement agents. He can do this by dismissing and prosecuting law enforcement officers found to have brutalises any citizens in the course of their duty.
One factor responsible for the consistent animalistic behaviours within the security agencies is the inherent nepotism in the recruitments of their personnel. Presently, merit has taken a back seat; thereby leading some operatives to believe that powerful ‘godfathers’ would protect them for any infractions.
The government must therefore set high recruitment standards for law enforcement agents, even as they should be trained and educated on the need to be subordinate to the rule of law. The country cannot continue to tolerate degrading and inhuman acts on of security agents, all in the name of carrying out their duty.

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