By Erasmus Ikhide
Those condemning Seun Kuti’s slap on the erring police officer, are the hypocritical denizens playing to the gallery to impress their oppressors in security attires. All of a sudden, the Nigeria Police Force has automatically becomes our friend!
To put the record straight, the Nigeria Police Force has been in the services of itself and the greedy political elites who mandate them to carry their bags; wives and babies, while one police officer designated to protect over 500 citizens are unavailable.
Often times we waxed legalistic when our vehicles are hit from the rear, with sanctimonious air of righteous indignation that those who hit us are ruthless offenders of the law. But now, we have our brains under the jackboots of the same mindless and brutal killers’ gang, called the Nigeria Police Force.
This same Nigerians burying their heads in the sand like the orstriches, to appease the terrorists in uniform have had their loved ones’ brains shattered or summarily executed by trigger happy police officers, at the slightest provocation or for refusals to part with N50 or N100 naira notes. They have forgotten their immediate history of #EndSARS# pogrom.
The Nigeria Police Force which has been mandatorilly empowered by the Nigerian Constitution, to protect lives and properties has become the ultimate violators and abusers of citizen’s rights; bizarre precursors of violent killings and the actual murderers of hapless, harmless and armless innocent citizens.
The multifaceted problems plaguing the Nigeria Police Force are driven by litany of deliberate woes, namely; corruption at the highest echelon of the force; pauperization of the ranks and file, unmitigated greed by the middle class officers, endemic poverty and their blighted role in vengeful and misguided victimhold.
It has been a case of having your hands burnt by the steaming pot, yet misplacingly slapping the mortar, according to an axiom in my part of the world.
The Nigeria Police Force has been playing the victim by transferring aggression to the citizens in the society, instead of demanding for their rights in the hands of criminal government with the help of civil society.
To be candid, no sane human being would inhabit such squalor and pigpens called police barracks across the country with the miserable living meagre wage of N120,000 a month for an inspector; with an average family of four, coupled with house rents, school fees; with a bag of rice selling for one twelfth of the total salary would recover from such federal government imposed insanity.
That is part of the unresolved tragedy of the Nigerian dream.
Why do our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, aunts uncles, nephews and nieces enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force? Are they ex-criminals? Are they druggs addicts?
Are they drunkards? Are they in the service to their mother land because of patriotism or to escape from the excruciating labour market or they are there on a revenge mission?
Seun Kuti’s message mustn’t be lost on us when he said “I know whom I am; I’m the son of Fela Anikulapo Kuti; after all, God sent Jesus Christ to die for the sins of humanity”.
As a young turk, Seun is a living witness of brutal and criminal dehumanization of his father and other members of his family in the hands of security agencies. Fela’s mother, Funmilayo Kuti, a human rights defender herself was thrown out of a three storey building in Lagos because Fela constituted himself into a bulwark of activism and a bone in the throats of Nigerian pocket tyrants.
I sensed what was running riot in Seun’s head: ‘Fela did not assault the police yet he was debased and dehumanized, alongside his mother. After all, great nations are built on the graves of the masses’.
By the way, who does not know that Nigerians youths are daily harassed and slaughtered by the police, unprovoked for either refusing to yield their phones for search or failure to give bribe?
Nigerians have witnessed Police Force platitudes of late where one or two criminal officers are either demoted or sacked for killing innocent citizens. The numbers of the police officers punished is less than 0.01%. The police is more of an embarrassment on our highway than providing security.
In fact, they’re the ones to be avoided on the highway, if you truly want to escape kidnapping.
Otherwise, how do you explain an incident that occurred in my presence having been stopped and subjected to endless search by the police at a checkpoint along Benin-Sobe-Ondo road; suddenly five Fulani terrorists with five AK47s strolled leisurely across the road with their cattle at a pole distance and the police looked the other way round?
What does that tell discerning law abiding citizens about self protection? Who will doubt the allegation not to be true that the nation’s security forces collude with bandits to foster reign of terror on the country with several evidences abound?
As a security expert and consultant, I have never been moved by the hollowness of those gun-welding police officers, soldiers and other national security agencies who are harassing, extorting monies and killing innocent Nigerians on an hourly basis on our highway.
Seun Kuti has sent a revolutionary message by his actions on the visibly drunk police officer.
Who knows, more of Seun Kuti’s slaps might reset the Nigeria Police Force’s criminal misdemeanors and their propulsive inclinations for barbarity and outright killing of innocent citizens.