Nigeria Police Force: Of Companions of National Burden By Eben Enasco Kingsley

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FREEPRESS – The Nigeria Police Force is the principal law enforcement agency in Nigeria founded in 1930, saddled with the responsibilities of maintaining law and order has become synonymous with a long history of engaging in unprofessional, corrupt, and criminal conduct.

They are group of people tasked with the prevention of crime and apprehension of offenders which clearly they have deviated from.

As part of law enforcement, police officers have four major responsibilities: enforcing laws, preventing crimes, responding to emergencies, and providing support services.

The ‘police’ itself began as a regulating body back in Greece.

It was supposed to improve life in the Greek cities, but only during the Roman Empire this administration was improved and turned into a real system that was used as a model for British and also Nigeria police force (since Nigeria was invaded by Britain back in 1851 and got its full independence from the British rule only in 1960).

The first group of officers whose main duty was to maintain order and law in the territory of Nigeria was organized in the eastern regions of our country, and this happened even before the invasion of British forces into Lagos.

The nationalization of the organization occurred in the 1960s when Nigeria got its independence and became a republic.

The changes followed, and the Nigeria Police Force kept developing with improvements following all the modifications.

However, the constitution of 1999 describe the powers and functions of the current Nigeria Police Force.

The modern Nigeria Police Force has several hundred thousand of members who work in each of the 36 states and are grouped by regions (there are twelve zones) and seven administrative structures.

The role of police in controlling crime cannot be underestimated.

It is extremely important for Nigeria police to keep an eye on the crime situation in their district of responsibility.

Protection of lives is one of the top functions of the Nigerian police force.

Police officers have to guide their districts and do everything to prevent crimes that can potentially cause human death.

Property protection Since nowadays many people have expensive houses, furniture, jewelry, gadgets, and other costly goods, one of the top functions of the Police in modern society is to protect all types of property from thieves and bad people.

But today, they are companions of national burden who rebels not only against its constitutional responsibilities but against those they are to protect.

With Countless ordinary Nigerians attempting to make precarious ends meet as taxi drivers, market traders, and shopkeepers are accosted on a daily basis by armed police officers who demand bribes and commit human rights abuses against them as a means of extorting money.

They are now well engrossed in bribery and chase after gifts.

They do not defend the cause of the fatherland anymore as their first task.

The police frequently extort money from the public at taxi stands, in marketplaces, or while going about their daily lives.

However, the most common venue for extortion occurs at police roadblocks, ostensibly put in place to combat crime.

In practice, these checkpoints have become a lucrative criminal venture for the police who routinely demand bribes from drivers and passengers alike, in some places enforcing a de facto standardized toll.

Those who fail to pay are frequently threatened with arrest and physical harm. Far too often these threats are carried out.

There are report of series of extra judicial killings hitting at geometric progression across the news stand everyday with no one having idea of when this will stop.

They subject suspects and innocent Nigerians to abject tortures which completely negate the right to freedom.

See how the faithful city has become a harlot! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her–but now they are murderers using tax payers own resources to carryout the heinous act against them.

Their New Moon festivals and appointed feasts, the soul of those they gruesomely murdered hates.

The Police have become a burden to me, you and others and now we are weary of bearing them.

Everyone deserves to live a safe life and keep all his or her belongings.

The life of every citizen of Nigeria is priceless, and thus it has to be protected at all levels.

The Police must stop bringing meaningless offerings as it has become detestable incense to Nigerians.

The Police Community must be aware that the strength of a nation lies in security avalanche and the ability to manifest and use the available apparatus to defend its sovereignty.

Although, we can’t completely write off their efforts. Because in its folks, there are fine officers who are hell bent on remaining on track in ensuring the citizens are defended.

These ones are outnumbered by the uncivilized gun peddlers whose only intention is to extort the low income earners who may wish to seek their protection when in danger.

The rank and file are not in the business of extortion alone because Money flows up the chain of command through the informal but widespread system of returns in which subordinates pay their superiors a portion of the money they make from bribes and extortion.

Subordinates often pay their superiors to be assigned to positions where they have ample opportunities to extract money from the public.

Superior officers frequently set monetary targets for subordinates assigned to these lucrative posts and remove those who fail to meet their targets.

Money continues up the chain of command as officers who take returns from their subordinates pay their superiors in turn.

They will be remembered for their negative or positive efforts to better the police community.

Another main functions of the Police in modern society since law and order are what has to be respected and followed in every community.

Nigeria Police has to preserve order in the district they are responsible for, and only when everyone in the community starts to value law there will be peace and most crime will be prevented beforehand.

Offenders arrest has become very regrettable. You need to see how Police officers molest and harass Nigerians to perhaps make confessions against the run of play.

The police know the answer, and their function is to arrest those people who are offenders, thieves and anyone who commits illegal acts in public or privately.

Officers can only arrest such people but are not allowed to badly punish them (kick, bang up, etc.)

Police must implore professionalism in Crime detection and not just do its best to prevent it. Crime detection is an important duty and task of every officer in every state across the country.

Yes! each crime has to be investigated, related offenders have to be arrested and onwardly charged to a competent court of law for a suspected offence committed, and if found guilty, face the penalty.

Another issue that now sounds like daily pill is searching through phones indiscriminately.

Although, Searching through belongings is also the function of the Police if the person seems suspicious. The officer has the right to see the documents, any possession or thing carried if he or she believes that the person might have stolen it or got in any illegal way.

But a situation where you find nothing and task the person to pay ransom is purely wickedness and criminal. It is extortion and condemnable.

Police corruption affects nearly every Nigerian, though it disproportionately impacts Nigeria’s poor.

Those in precarious economic situations, scraping out a living day to day, are more susceptible to police extortion because of the profound effects that unlawful detention, or the mere threat of arbitrary arrest, have on their livelihoods.

it is curious to learn more about the important role of police in controlling crime and helping each Nigerian to feel protected and secured everyday of his or her life.

The aggressiveness of police officers particularly the rank and file is becoming very worrisome. This calls for serious reformation and review from relevant authorities. They are really preoccupied with huge bail charges which has assumed a heightened dimension.

Thankfully, the new acting Inspector General of Police IGP Mohammed Adamu is very keen on facing out the criminals in police uniform. His fight against human rights abuse has received applauds across board and he must be encouraged to continue to win.

The police commission should as a matter of public interest set up a Public Complaint Desk at the 36 States command in sync with the civil society, Media group, and the legal practitioners, to establish a model that will help serve immediate punishment for erring officers.

The Nigerian government, including the National Assembly, and the anti-corruption commissions should improve transparency and accountability in the police force by reforming and ensuring better coordination of oversight mechanisms.

The authorities should investigate and prosecute without delay police officers implicated in extortion, embezzlement, and human rights abuses if police should not be seen as as national burden to citizens

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