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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Why I don’t “deal” with the police


“To serve and protect with integrity”

No offense to any one of my acquaintances who may be a member of the police force. While writing this piece, I did a quick run-through of my friends just to check if I have any one who is a police officer as a friend. I wasn’t so surprised when I didn’t find any.
I really do not have stuff to do with the police or anything against them, but even when there is a genuine reason to get their help on an issue
, I honestly do not like getting them involved. I bet many Nigerians have had bad experiences with the police one way or another, even cases where they turn the issue around against you. Not to say that every police officer is bad and corrupt or that the Nigerian police cannot be of help/service to you, but most times, the case is in the reverse.

Some of the reasons why I do not have dealings with the police force or have hem as friends is because:
Ø  I don’t like their uniforms: They look “dark”, black, dirty and evil in their uniforms and sometimes even scary. Thank God for the new IG that introduced some new colours for top officers. Perhaps that change can and should be spread across board to the lower ranking officers.
Ø  They oppress the poor and favour the rich: Most times, the police tend to respond more easily to, and favour those who are of means than those who have little or nothing to offer them. Perhaps the saying "he who pays the piper dictates the tune" applies here...
Ø  They must be “settled” before they settle your matter: It’s common practice to “settle” the police before you can get them to be involved in whatever issue you need them to resolve. Sometimes this "settlement" can be so insensitive or irrelevant to the matter that one would rather not have them settle the matter.
Ø  They are insensitive: A lot of times, one would wonder if the police officer that is supposed to attend to your complain is even listening to what you are saying, is empathic about your situation, or is even considerate about you. All they seem to care about is that you "write a statement", "submit bail", "enter the cell" or simply dole out "egunje". 
Ø  They are never there when you need them most: How many times have we called on the police when we had an emergency and hoped/wished they came, only to have them come minutes or hours after the situation must have calmed or the emergency dissipated, to arrest innocent members of the public.
Ø  Their vehicles always end up in tatters: Seems like they never really carry out routine maintenance of their vehicles as they are always getting new ones after the old ones have gotten really bad. A new vehicle in the hands of the police barely has a life span of more than 5 years(I stand to be corrected on that one). Perhaps a little maintenance culture on their part would have their vehicles lasting longer and looking newer and nicer.
Ø  A couple more reasons that I may not be able to list hear for avoidance of being arrested for “unscrupulous claims”, “unfounded allegations”, or seen as demeaning the police force.

However, in spite of these, I believe that our kids should be inspired enough to choose joining the police as a dream job. I’m yet to meet a child who when asked what he/she would like to be would say a “police officer”. I’ve heard of kids who got a thorough beating from their parents for even considering the idea of being a police officer in the future. I believe that our police force can be reformed to such a point that the impression people have about them would be changed and taking policing as a profession would be seen as something noble.
It should be the goal of every police officer to do their jobs with the with such attitude disposition, integrity and mindset that the eyes of society are on them and that posterity holds their profession in very bad light and that it is up to them to change that negative perception.
It is my sincere desire that you guys (the police) would improve and be like the top-class police in other parts of the developed world where people are inspired to serve by the attitude, disposition, actions and behavior of the police officers. I will consider dealing with the police if you guys would do the following:
o   Be decent in dressing and appearance, look and dress better
o   Be more humane, sensitive and have human affection
o   Respond promptly to crime when called and not run into hiding or give flimsy excuses
o   Maintain vehicles to look new and clean always
o   Help kids cross the roads safely between traffic
o   Ask how you can help you when you see members of the public stranded in a public place and be of service to them
o   Do not demand bribes and also refuse collecting bribes and tips even when offered willingly
o   Demonstrate the values of service, and integrity which you profess in you motto/mission statement to Nigerians and the general public.
Perhaps the police force can then become my “friend”… Until then… *straight face* *eyes rolling*
Written by Precious Nwanganga © 2014
Follow him on twitter @Pmoney_Talks
Email him on buzzfizzle@gmail.com

2 comments:

  1. Nice one bro! This is very timely. Every police Man and Woman should read this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Owai! I believe so too! If you would lend your voice too and help me spread the word and share this post, perhaps more people would get to read this. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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