The Nigerian Police Force has been regarded as the primary symbol of corruption, inefficiency, state brutality in Nigeria. Bribery is considered as the motto of the Police Force, little wonder why people treat them with contempt. People are quick to point accusing fingers at any policeman failing to acknowledge the fact that there are good ones among these men.
Their sacrifices are ignored while their failures are magnified. Have people ever wondered how risky the job of a policeman is? These people risk their lives daily; they secure houses of merchant, political big wigs and captains of industry in the society. There are no street monuments to officers who died in the line of duty. There are no known national awards to the policemen who eradicate a violent arm robbery gang. And yet people, the government precisely have the conscience to give them peanuts as take home. In a plight to erase and protect people’s life from the notorious occult group called Boko Haram, high number of policemen have lost their lives living their families behind. The average policeman are paid in “gun power” and not in welfare, it is unsurprising that they are quick to turn this gun power against the citizens.
The average police officer is no better than an armed slave. Policemen spend most of their time in an inhospitable and the most deplorable working environment. And when they get home hoping to find comfort and relief from the stress of the day, what they get is un-met demands from their wives and children and no matter how hard they try to ignore the nagging of their families, they can’t because they live in a one room apartment, hence the only way is to bear it. This explains why the average police man is a bundle of frustration and self-disappointment which is why they are always aggressive. Little wonder why policemen die of high pressure, stress and shock every day.
The government have absolutely no regards for the police officer and they are treated with hostility from the people they spare their lives for on a daily basis. The governments do not invest much in an organization whose services cannot be disputed and compared to other fields. Some police officer earn well monthly while some are still living from hand to mouth. The Nigerian police that earned well are those in a high rank, they earn well compare to those in the grassroots’ level. These people are family men, some are bread winners. How are they expected to fed for their family with such salaries they are being paid? People keep saying that Police children are bad, wayward, and good for nothing, poor looking and all sorts of negativity. People judge police children without examining the roots which is poverty and the bad and inconducive environment they were raised in known as ‘Barracks’.
Considering what police officers go through daily in their respective lives, they cease or jump into any opportunity that comes their way in order to make quick money and make life easy for them. People frown at police officers for collecting bribe but they keep quiet on the lootings of the politicians. It must not be forgotten that the peanut a policeman collects from the road side can go a long way in putting at least a meal on his family table.
The killings of innocent people by the police men constitute psychology problems. People need must understand that some policemen do this out of frustration, and the act is not just about policemen, even a civil man battered with frustrations tend to pour his/her anger on the next individual that get on his/her nerves.
Some policemen are not well oriented before joining the police force. Nigerians need to understand the sufferings of police officers. The vehicles provided to them are being repaired out of their pockets, and sometimes, the police men are being sent out on roads to collect bribe which they must report daily.
Most policemen who spoke to our reporter out of anonymity disclosed that life for them is steadily on the decline; as a result, they are no longer ashamed to collect money from motorists or any other person in broad day light.