It is a policeman's duty to protect men from criminals -- criminals being those who seize wealth by force. It is a policeman's duty to retrieve stolen property and return it to its owners. But when robbery becomes the purpose of the law, and the policeman's duty becomes, not the protection, but the plunder of property -- then it is an outlaw who has to become a policeman (Ayn Rand)
Continued from Part 1
Let's take time out to look at some of the things the Nigeria Police Force is today, contrary to a police force Haz Iwendi had in mind:
Nigeria Police Force that has failed in its constitutional duty was not what Haz Iwendi had in mind. As the Force Public Relations Officer, he worked hard to cleanse the image of the force, but, lo, since he left the department and his exit due to death, the police image has gotten filthier. The Tribune revealed that out of the 330,000 police staff strength, over 100,000 are attached to individuals, to be carrying handbags for their wives. That was not the kind of police force Haz Iwendi envisaged as the Police Public Relation Officer. Quoting the chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC), DIG Parry Osayande (retd), who made the revelation while addressing the Senate Committee on Police Affairs recently, the Paper wrote that Osayande said that it was regrettable that only 230,000 policemen were left to police 150 million Nigerians. In his words: "are these 150 million Nigerians supposed not to be protected, if only a few fortunate individuals are being protected by over 100,000 policemen?" The Paper also wrote that Osayande said that he had made it clear on several occasions that a special force be trained to serve as guards, because the use of policemen for that purpose had become a status symbol. And that the police required surgical operation for the nation to get what it deserved. According to the Paper, Osayande noted the factors militating against the force as misuse, misapplication of available resources and lack of accountability through award of bogus contracts, outright diversion and misappropriation of the meagre resources, failure to plan and lack of vision. The PSC Chairman, although corrupt himself and one of the problems of the police force, also disclosed that corruption had assumed a great dimension and seemed to have been institutionalised, as some of the officers and men who engaged in the practice had been found to collude with and, sometimes, shield criminals, rather than prevent crimes. According to the Chairman, "some policemen had been found to facilitate the escape of criminals from lawful custody, obtain money from suspects for closure of case files or to derail the cause of justice, escort contraband, steal from suspects and accident victims and supply police weapons and uniforms to criminals".
Unfortunately, our policemen have turned to handbag carriers as stated above or slaves to useless whitemen in their own land as the picture below depicts! Different from the kind of police Haz Iwendi had in mind before death snatched him away.
Although nobody supports crime, but, that the politicians loot our commonwealth and give no damn about the condition of our Police Force is regrettable! No wonder there's no security in the land. The politicians are castigating the police for its inability to protect lives and property when they (the politicians) are irresponsible themselves. Jeffrey R. Snyder, an American attorney and author was right in his book "A Nation of Cowards, 113 Public Interest (Fall 1993)" where he wrote "is your life worth protecting? If so, whose responsibility is it to protect it? ... How can you rightfully ask another human being to risk his life to protect yours, when you will assume no responsibility yourself?" As Val. Ojo noted "the poor men (policemen) are underpaid and out-gunned - what then do you expect...? And they have no life insurance for their families in case...God forbid bad thing"!
The question becomes why is it that none of those who committed financial crimes have been convicted? None of the former or immediate past governors or politicians, who brazenly embezzled funds entrusted to their care, has been convicted. EFCC is only giving us one excuse after another why it has failed woefully to bring those who have ruined Nigeria to justice.
Haz Iwendi was a different kind of cop. While the Chairman, Police Service Commission, Parry Osayande, DIG (retd) just said that Nigeria is not safe at night because only police constables are saddled with policing the country as the experienced officers close from work at 4pm, Haz Iwendi was working till 12 Midnight and had to leave for office, sometimes, at about 3.00 am the next morning.
A force that will utilize 50% of its work force in a state to guard a president on a visit is not the kind of force Haz Iwendi had in mind. The Niger State Police Command, in order to guarantee a hitch-free visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the state on Thursday October 20, 2011, assigned about 50 percent of its 11,000 workforce (50, 000) the duties of the provision of security for the presidential visit.
An underpaid, unequipped, untrained and demoralised Police Force wasn't what Haz Iwendi had in mind. That was why he gave his all and even single-handedly trained more than 700 police men in basic computer skills.
This column concurs with Osayande:
- that Nigeria needs a highly motivated, professional, disciplined and accountable police force that upholds human rights.
- that the poor funding of the force had affected the morale and self-esteem of the personnel, adding that the average policeman has no raincoat, poorly paid and ill-equipped to do his job effectively.
- that proliferation of security agencies in the country has deprived the police of funds and infrastructure.
- that some of the agencies created to perform quasi-police functions like the ICPC, EFCC, FRSC and NSCDC are better funded and their staff better paid than officers and men of the Nigeria Police.
The Nigeria Police Force is in a mess, far from the kind of force Haz Iwendi wanted. This column noted it when Mike Okiro, as the Inspector General, acknowledged that some officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force were mentally deranged based on the test conducted on some of them! Now, they are not only mentally deranged, but, lunatic. The question is: why are those mad men in police uniform still carrying guns up and down? No wonder they are killing innocent citizens they are supposed to be protecting with reckless abandon and allowing the criminals they are supposed to be catching to be "operating" unhindered.
Police Force of personnel killing those who they are supposed to protect was not the kind (of force) Haz Iwendi had in mind:
Just an instance would do here: The Vanguard wrote that two brothers were reportedly shot dead by a policeman in Okitipupa area of Ondo state over N20 bribe (Egunje) at check point. The deceased brothers are motorcycle riders in the ancient town. According to the Paper the ugly incident occurred at Kajola street junction along Broad Street at about 9.15pm on Thursday October 13, 2011 when the policeman who was on a foot patrol flagged down one of the deceased and demanded for a twenty naira bribe from him, the okada rider popularly known as Osare according to an eye witness told the police man that he was off duty that day and would be unable to pay the bribe. This according to an eyewitness account provoked the policeman and he immediately shot him at a close range and hit him on the chest. Then the younger brother of the deceased called Robinson was said to have rushed to the police station to get information about the death of his brother. Robinson was reported to have engaged the police men on duty in a hot argument and threatened to lodge complaint with the higher authorities. According to the Paper, "but unknown to Robinson some youths had invaded the police station to demand for the killer police man. In a bid to disperse the surging crowd one of the policemen at the station reportedly shot sporadically to scare away the irate mob but in the process Robinson was hit by a stray bullet and he died on the spot".
Please click or google these links to read more pathetic stories:
A Police Force that first of all denied that there was rape at the Abia State University despite all the evidence, then later admitted that the rape incident occurred, but, that no victim has come forward despite the disclosed identity of the rapists and then finally explained that it suspended investigations into the gang rape that happened at the University because, according to it, "the girl-victim consented to the rape". Mr. J.G. Micloth, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Abia State Police Command Criminal Investigation Department said the lady had consented to the gang crime. In the words of ACP Micloth: "after watching the DVD, I did not see the young lady resist the rape". Imagine that? This can't be the force of Haz Iwendi!
A Police Force that steals exhibit money is not the one Haz Iwendi worked hard to cleanse its soiled image. According to the Punch, recently, an Ebute-Meta Chief Magistrate's Court, Lagos, summoned the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Yakubu Alkali, for the alleged failure of policemen to release N700, 000 withheld by them as an exhibit.
Haz Iwendi knew what the major problem of the force was and he was out to tackle it, but, death didn't give him the chance to finish what he started. Haz Iwendi wanted a literate police force and he started working for it before his death. While it's the tradition for junior police officers to be forced to pay up the chain of command to their superiors, Haz Iwendi did it the other way round by using his meagre resources to train some of the junior officers under his command. The Nigeria Police Force was, is and will continue to be in a mess until the entire police structure inherited from the colonial masters is completed dismantled and in its place, state or regional police apparatus would take over. Training is of the essence here but our police personnel are not getting it and that was what Haz Iwendi was all out to change. The Punch of April 6, 2009 wrote that the Police College unleashed half-baked constables on Nigerians. That was where Haz Iwendi came in. When any of those constables was posted to his state command, he then re-trained them to fit in well in their job and that's part of what his family is trying to do with the foundation they have started in his name and memory.
The Punch quoted above wrote: "It is common knowledge among stakeholders in the security business that most of the problems that characterise the Nigeria Police emanate from members of the rank and file. Among the rank and file, however, the general belief is that the constables are more notorious. In the recent times, the Police Colleges where the constables are trained are not making sufficient positive impact on them. Immediately they graduate from the colleges, the only dexterity they display is in the area of extorting members of the public. Successive inspectors-general of police had had cause to express disdain at the performances of the colleges that turn out these constables. So sad is the story of the police colleges that instructors posted there to lecture recruits see such posting as punitive. The fear is that if the products being turned out by these colleges at the end of their courses are half-baked, what happens to those whose course duration is reduced for only God-knows-why? For instance, there were indications that unless urgent steps are taken by the appropriate authorities, the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos, may soon turn out half-baked constables. This, our correspondent learnt, may have a negative effect on the already battered image of the force. Instead of the mandatory six-month training meant for the new recruits, the college will soon graduate fresh constables who have spent less than five months in the school. This, it was further learnt, is causing disquiet among the students. Already, some of the students are crying foul and are afraid of their future in the force since they are graduating without being well-equipped with the requisite skill needed to police a nation like Nigeria".
Look at this picture below: A way to Stop Boko Haram. Isn't it? This is not the police Haz Iwendi died for!
BEHOLD THE MEN THAT WILL CHASE AWAY BOKO HARAM! (courtesy of Kay.)
A way the police can stop election rigging. Isn't it? Definitely not what Haz Iwendi had in mind!
A perfect way for a policeman to behave! Isn't it? Definitely not Haz Iwendi's way!
Look at policemen guarding a bank! No wonder bank robberies are rampant these days.
Here (below), a policewoman blocks a driver who was reluctant to give them money, while her partner puts pressure on the driver to meet their demands. Eventually the policewoman was knocked down by the unyielding driver, who successfully sped away (courtesy of Naijapals). This is not the kind of police Haz Iwendi had in mind!
How to catch MEND? (courtesy of Dickson)
No, no, no! Definitely, this is not the police Haz Iwendi laid down his life for!
Imagine policemen who should be catching criminals fighting each other! That was what happened in Lagos on Thursday November 11, 2010. The Nigerian Compass of Friday 12, 2010 with the caption "Policemen in a show of shame in Lagos" wrote: "Policemen are out in every society to keep the peace, and maintain law and order. But the story was different in Lagos yesterday, as three policemen engaged in a brawl at Ajegunle, along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, endangering the lives of hundreds of road users with their AK 47 rifles held carelessly as they exchanged blows. People were seen scampering for safety, and nobody could tell what caused the fight, which got so messy that the policemen wrestled and dragged themselves on the ground. The fight caused a heavy traffic build up that lasted for hours on both sides of the road. The three fighters are corporals serving in the elite Mobile Police Force. Some motorists and hawkers, who could have intervened, were afraid of the guns they were wielding while the fight was going on. One of them said: "We don't really know the cause of the fight. We just saw them fighting. Some of us tried to move in to know the cause of the fight but because of the way they were holding their guns while still fighting, we were afraid of a case of accidental discharge. It would have been better if they had handled the matter more maturely than to engage in a street fight."
(Picture Below) Are these not policemen who are supposed to be checking vehicles for banned items or for kidnappers and their victims, hailing a motorist after receiving probably less than N100 from him and then letting him go unsearched?
On the whole: Haz Iwendi will be sad, in his grave, seeing all these, because, these are not the image of a police force he worked hard to improve.
THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!
Continued from Part 1