Since time immemorial; degrading libels, vituperations, and aspersions have always been levelled against the Nigerian Police.
And it seems no one is interested in talking about the second side of their coin – the positive sides.
It has always been a general thought; borne out of misconceptions and stereotypes, that anyone in the black uniform is either wicked, corrupt or extortive. A very sick notion this is, and must be called to halt. There are many bad eggs in the Nigeria Police Force, no doubts, but bad eggs exist there the same way they exist among the non-policemen.
The Police(wo)men are not angels; they are normal human beings like you. Blood runs through their veins like it runs through yours – and as a result, they can goof like any other person would. The corrupt ones among them are only corrupt on their own, and would have been equally corrupt in any other profession they might have belonged to. They are just timely bomb waiting for opportunity and where to explode – hence they take advantage of the NPF.
To every story, there are two sides. And from my personal encounter with some, if not many of the Police(wo)men, I can candidly attest to the fact that there are many good eggs among the Nigerian Police, as well. This draws my memory to a scenario, dated back to Nov 10, 2019, when I was making my way from Anambra to Kaduna State, wherein my expectation of getting to Kaduna around 10pm failed me, and as a result, I ended up entering the ‘Centre of Learning’ some minutes past 12 in the night.
Amidst fears that gripped me, I needed a safe place to pass the night. I was in the midst of unsettled thinking when the thought of going to a nearby police station crossed my mind. I went to Kawo Police Station and narrated my ordeal to the policemen over there, and after showing them proof, I was allowed in. Not only did I pass the night there; safe and sound, but also, I was transported with police van to the nearest Bus-Stop, where I boarded a motor to my house the following morning. The joy that permeated the nooks and crannies of my body was unquantifiable with words. In my mind, I was wondering if they are the same policemen people would besmirch with libellous words.
All things being equal, we have heard and read of policemen rendering help to ordinary citizens; like one Sergeant Edward Onriodo who relieved an unknown woman of her throes, by giving her a decent amount for upkeep in this pandemic lockdown.
In other recent news, three other policemen were reported to have helped a woman who was toiling in labor and about to beget, on Friday, April 17, 2020, at Ikoyi area of Lagos State around 3am. Not only did they convey her and her husband to the hospital where she finally gave birth, they also rubbed her palm with some cash. Too many to mention, but a few. Are these salient acts not commendable?
Instead of denigrating the Nigerian Police every now and then, why don’t we, individuals, also work on redeeming our images and change for better citizens? For, a good police force can only exist in a corruption-free-society. Imagine a situation where all taxi drivers have their particulars, intact and up-to-date; no policeman will have the guts to ask them for a bribe or settlements as they would call it.
Hashim Yussuf Amao, a graduate of University of Ilorin, wrote from Ibadan firstname.lastname@example.org