YBTC News-In 2017, a viral video that emerged after a robbery attack at a bank by armed robbers in Owerri, Imo state, showed how a policeman engaged in a sporadic shooting against the robbers. The video which went viral was released through the closed-circuit television camera of Zenith Bank where the whole incident happened after the armed robbers trailed a customer to the bank. The policeman who was later identified as Sergeant Chukwudi Idoko killed one of the robbers in the process. Hence, it was revealed later that the Idoko lost his life in the process.
Similarly, in 2014, one Bidemi Adetula while responding to a distress call in Alagbado area of Lagos where he served as a sergeant was shot by a colleague in his right leg during an operation. Despite his injury, the 42 years old Adetula is still in the service striving had to put food on the table for his family.
I recall an incident that occurred in Minna some years back when armed robbers attacked a bank and carted away money while killing a policeman who was attached to the bank. The policeman who I can’t simply recall his name exchanged fire with the armed robbers but eventually lost his life in the process
It is important to point out that the story of Idoko, Adetula, and co. is just a few of much unsung police heroism. According to a Punch report: “sad as it is, cases of policemen and their families abandoned by authorities after being killed or injured in the line of duty have been a common phenomenon these days. With the security situation in most parts of the country today, very volatile, the ‘men in black’ have come under intense hostility from members of the public.
It is obvious that since the #ENDSARS protest it has been observed that most police officers decline or have lost their morale in the pursuit of national security in the country.
This has resulted in increased attacks around various spots in the country. Little wonder that PUNCH’s main headline on 31st 0ctober, 2020 came with a warning by the Police Service Commission to “return to duty post or face dismissal.
A police officer revealed in confidence that some days back after the physical and mouth attacks by the members of the public during and after the #ENDSARS protest declined a distress call. This shows the level of the police’s loss of morale. Hence, it is expedient that the necessary action is taken to address this challenge.
In light of this, there is an urgent need to reform the Nigeria Police force through the adoption of the Police Act 2020. Recalled that the #ENDASARs protest kick-started as a result of police brutality by some section or unit of the Nigeria Police force, notably, Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Undoubtedly, this unit has been found guilty of public harassment and molestation of individuals for one unverified case or another.
Based on Section 37 of the Police Act 2020, a suspect shall be accorded humane treatment. And a suspect shall not be subjected to torture, cruelty, inhumane or degrading treatment. This has directly shown that if it is properly implemented such inhumane treatment and police brutality will be a thing of the past.
Aside from the implementation of the act properly, the welfare of the police force must be properly looked into, especially in due concern for the junior officers. There is also the need to ensure the adequate fund is disbursed to the officers at the right time. Most of the officers who collect 20 naira bribe at the streets do not have buoyant funds in their pocket at the end of the month. In the same vein, the welfarism of such officers would help build their morale in securing and protecting the lives and properties of the people.