By Prosper Ojoh
Like the saying goes, “It is easier to pull down than to put up; easier to destroy than to build.” The current agitation by a large section of the country to dissolve the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) leave a bitter taste in the bud.
It is pertinent to buttress that Nigerians, being attuned to the vestibules of Democracy, have a right to air their views and opinions, but that should be exercised in proper way and manner, obeying the rule of law and adhering to the precepts of decorum.
The drift into violent destruction of properties (Public & Private), molestation and manhandling of Security Personnel is tantamount to a breach of peace, which could incur the wrath of the law. The Inspector General of Police (IGP) a man attuned to the yearnings and aspirations of the hoi polloi, responsively disbanded the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
It is pertinent to buttress that the IGP, a man of integrity and purpose; a man anchored in tides of greatness; the best in recent times; made the difficult decision to restore peace and tranquility in the country and to quell the mass protest inimical to the nation’s harmony.
It is imperative to state that the chief reason why the Police is easily ridiculed and often lamblasted is because of the daily interface with members of the public unlike other security agencies and not necessarily because they are completely bad, incompetent or dishonest.
It is quite a shame that people always forget their numerous and countless good, because of a few bad eggs. Like every thing that bothers on human nature, there must be elements of good and evil.
SARS, as integral to the Nigeria Police is made up of all manners of people, some good, some bad. So, it is disheartening that the actions of a few bad elements has led to the chant and clamour to truncate the selflessness of the countless good ones.
People are so quick to talk about the few cases of molestation and harrassment, but blind and deaf towards the countless lives the body have saved. Countless Nigerians sleep with their eyes closed because of the efficiency and efficacy of SARS in combating armed robbery and terrorism in all parts of the nation.
The Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) being a critical stakeholder in the often selfless business of crime prevention, detection and community policing, wish to emphasise that the Police is our friend. They excel outside the shores of our great land, and come out tops when provided with right technology, good working environment, good packages, welfare, etc.
Most people, especially those blinded by the loud voices of the naysayers, quickly beat on the drums of harassment on civilians but failed to talk about the countless killings of Policemen and other security agencies. Are Policemen not Nigerians too?
Many are quick to voice out their contempt for SARS operatives, but are tight lipped when heinous crimes are committed against the Men and Women in Blue.
The CP, Delta State Command, who I can attest without fear or favour, has been very outstanding, a disciplinarian who always ensure that Justice is served at all times in respective of who is involved, has lost some of his personnel on this clamour to an End to SARS, yet taking it in his strides, he continues exercise intervention with human face, even in the face of direct provocation.
Nobody is talking about the poor funding of the Police, which has negated effective and efficient Policing in the nation. Nobody is talking about lack of proper welfare packages for Police Officers, which is largely attributed to the low morale and enthusiasm in the police system.
Nobody talks about the many sacrifices made by the Police, who often use their meagre savings and salaries to combat crime and criminality in their locale when it becomes inevitable in the line of duty. Nobody talks about the endless abuse and insults meted out to the Nigeria Police in the carriage of their duties.
Nobody is talking of the inadequacies and the shortage of manpower, nobody cares about shelter and work vehicles, and sundry equipments for the police. All that resonates is the outs of many is the chant of ‘CRUCIFY THEM’, especially those standing behind the divide of justice and good ethics.
Before we jump on the bandwagon and overreach it on the #ENDSARS rant, ask yourself, ‘HAVE THE SARS OPERATIVES, DONE MORE HARM THAN GOOD?
We should preach reform, training and retraining of police until we get it right,rather than outright scraping. This set of police remain part of the police institution. If they are not disciplined and trained to be good ambassadors of the police institution, wherever you redraft them, they will still constitute the perceived social nuisance and drag the hard earned reputation of the police into the mud. Reformation is the watchword. My two kobo opinion.
Amb. (Marshal) Prosper Ojoh, Chairman, PCRC Delta State and a social commentator, wrote from Warri in Delta State.