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1 year after #EndSARS protest: Police brutality, extortion, lawlessness take demonic dimension (Editorial)

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(Editorial, Congress newspaper)

We have taken time to x-ray the conducts of Nigerian Police after one year of the most destructive and dreadful nationwide #EndSARS protest in the country.

The protest was caused by prevalent police brutality, extortion, unlawful arrest and detention of citizens in the country.

Nigerian police appear to be the most cruel, brutal, heartless, and unexposed, as Nigerian citizens are treated like animals and slaves in their own country. They kill at the slightest provocation and extort at will. These culminated in the offensive EndSARS protest in the country, yet no lesson has been learnt.

However, the protest was bloody and destructive. It drew the attention of the international Community to prevail on the Nigerian government to stop the brutalities against her citizens.

Nigeria was apparently shut down, prices of commodities skyrocketed and movement restricted nationwide. It resulted in angry youths attacking police, burning of police stations and jail breaks in some states.

But in spite of this horrible situation and tragedies, the Nigerian police have not learnt any lesson. It is a pity! Worse scenarios of police brutality, extortion, aggression, intimidation, unlawful arrests and detentions are being repeated after one year of the EndSARS protest.

Nigerian police are in a vendetta, venting undue anger and repression on innocent citizens on destruction incurred during the protest. Our investigation has recorded over 10 cases of police brutality and extortion, running into millions and hundreds of thousands in nationwide.

The police now accost Nigerians at will, taken them to POS centres and forcing them to withdraw cash and giving to them in millions and hundreds of thousands.

Police remained so dreaded and aggressive despite the lessons of the EndSARS protest. They abuse citizens rights and now see extortion as a norm.

Citizens are disturbed why this menace continues, despite authorities are in place to checkmate it. The average Nigerian police have no self dignity, no respect for human rights, known for chronic extortion and unimaginable aggression against Nigerians.

We have began to wonder what the police authorities and Government up to? Why this police lawlessness continues?
Is it true that relevant authorities are helpless? If the Government and the relevant authorities are helpless, then who will save the Nigerian citizens?

Nigerian police need reorientation. It should be overhauled. Police now see crime fighting as second agenda and deleted protection of citizens from its daily routine activities. Human rights abuse is worsening in the 21st century.

The police in Nigeria are now dreaded than the common criminals. People are now afraid of travelling by road for fear of police intimidation.
There is a saying that a clear conscience fears no accusation.
In this case, you do not need to be a criminal to be afraid of the police. Motorists and travellers are all victims.

Nigerian police always have a daily set goal on how to make extra money on the road. Sometimes, the DPOs allegedly gave the boys a daily target on what to remit to their table. Same time, the police commissioners give their monthly target to the DPOs on what to be remitted. So police come to the road to look for money and not crime fighting any longer. They intimidate and harass citizens with their gun bought with tax payers’ money. They operate by libeling citizens, and some cases threatened to shoot, except you cooperate.

This is how the system has been bastardized and jeopardized. Nigerian citizens may also fight back if this menace is not curtailed. EndSARS is a typical example. The next protest may be worse than EndSARS. Police authorities and Governments should swing into action to address the fears of Nigerian citizens before it is too late.

Editorial
Congress newspaper

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