Nigerian Police: Kill and Go

Adeola Aderounmu

 Mr. Ehindero is the boss of the Nigeria Police and in May 2007, he has literarily ordered his men to kill people who dare demonstrate or protest against the useless elections that took place in Nigeria recently. These are people, Nigerians like himself, who are also demanding for better conditions with respect to their occupational status. He didn’t use the word “kill” but he doesn’t have to use it either. If a police boss in Nigeria orders his men to use tear gas on people who are demonstrating or if he gives them the order to stop the protests by whichever means possible, then we know that the missing word is “kill-them”!  You can discuss the Nigeria Police from many perspectives: shameless bribe takers, ill-equipped force, gun trotting, trigger happy, mischievous, negligent, underpaid, Y2K non-compliant and so on and so forth. 

 There could be many factors why Nigerians allow evil to prevail in the society. The kill and go principle of the security forces is one of the main factors. It is possible for policemen or other armed forces in Nigeria to kill anyone at anytime and never be brought to justice. Instead, lies are cooked up and fables are told to cover up for the killers. Sometimes there are no investigations and the victims die for nothing or “for fun” as they use to say. This in my opinion is one of the reasons why people have resolved not to take confrontational positions when it comes to opposition to the states even when it is obvious that what the state is doing is evil. When discussing about mounting resistance to oppression and suppression, someone may ask you “are you ready to be in the front”?  Some may even remind you like this, “why don’t you come back to Nigeria and help with the opposition”? 

But the real issue is this, why is it possible for the police to act in violation to the law and never face the consequences? This is not for the police only but all military and Para-military institutions that have been used over the years by the government and persons in influential positions to oppress other helpless people. Sometimes, people lose their lives as a result of senseless killings by these agents. The recent pronouncement by the stupid police boss in Nigeria should be condemned totally. Obviously he is trying to please his masters in the government house who have killed thousands of people in the last 8 years. We have not seen anything worse since the civil war more than 35 years ago. 

Someone needs to tell the Nigerian police that they should stop killing people who are protesting peacefully on the streets. We know that they are not well paid. Many people are underpaid in Nigeria. The police cannot continue to pour their frustrations on innocent citizens for demanding a better society for the collective good of all. They should stop filling their masters’ cup with the blood of the blameless. The police should not get tired of the people; instead they should offer the necessary protection to demonstrators and ensure that the process is peaceful and orderly. It is not enough to change the uniform of the Nigerian Police from black to blue. They need more education in order to demonstrate clear understanding of the fundamentals of human rights, to appreciate such and to do things within the frame of the law especially as law enforcement agents. 

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