FEATURE ARTICLE

Monday, May 17, 2021
theo.okparaebo@gmail.com

THE WITHDRAWAL OF POLICE ESCORTS TO VIPS IN SOUTH-EAST AND SOUTH-SOUTH:
A HIGH DEGREE OF IMPUNITY AND ILLEGALITY

ery recently, there was an announcement that the Ag inspector-General of Police, Usman A. Baba had suspended personnel escorting VIPs in S-East and S-South geo-political zones.

On the one hand, all patriotic Nigerians ought to condemn in its entirety the activities of the criminal and unpatriotic elements who on regular basis terrorise the society and carry out other heinous crimes against humanity. But on the other hand, the police, other law enforcement agents and the Commander-in- Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari failed to come up with appropriate responses to the challenges posed by terrorists and other criminal elements within the length and breadth of Nigeria.

The question that can promptly come to mind is, if the withdrawal of police escorts to VIPs in the targeted zones under the circumstance is the most appropriate response? Of course the answer should be a capital NO. It is crystal clear that the insecurity challenge to police and army posts as well as to the general public is experienced in all parts of Nigeria. One wonders then the rationale for the selective punishment being meted to VIPs in South-East and South-South zones, if the motive is not aimed at stigmatizing the already marginalized group-calling a dog a bad name, to kill it as common knowledge will confirm that no corner of Nigeria is isolated from the prevalent security issue.

Based on this ridiculous, obnoxious and draconian measure that is being meted to persons of a particular geo-political area, the already dented image of Nigeria with regard to impunity and illegality is further painted much darker before the outside world. And this unwarranted and collective punitive measure that has no iota of regard to the constitution is a clear demonstration of high degree of impunity and illegality; it is equally a slap on the faces of all the citizenry of the targeted zones

It is indeed very unfortunate and embarrassing that this is manifesting in the twenty-first century. And if this persistent and prevalent impunity and illegality are not promptly checkmated, it will surely snowball into an unprecedented and precarious situation in Nigeria.

Any Solution?

One does not wait on a prophet to confirm that finding a lasting solution will obviously be an uphill task, but encouragingly it is not insurmountable. Objectively, one would have loved to hear the police are taking certain genuine steps to address the challenges; such anticipated steps should include reinforcing all its posts with personnel, arms and ammunition and engaging in a thorough and intensive intelligence gathering as well as an indepth investigation rather than the selective withdrawal of police escorts to VIPs in S-East and S-South zones.

2 To minimize the unintended consequences of this police order, I am urging all progressive Nigerians to speak with a unified voice in calling on Nigerian Attorney-General and the 2 chambers of Nigerian law makers to as a matter of urgency ensure the immediate nullification of the said police order that withdrew the police escort to VIPs in S-East and S-South geo-political zones.

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