#EndSARS: Even the Police Cry – My Blog
#EndSARS: Even the police cry
On October 9, 2020, two radio hosts at the popular Lagos radio station, Nigeria Info, were doing their usual job of discussing current affairs throughout Nigeria. This time, they touched on a massive #EndSARS protest against a banned dishonest Nigerian police unit called the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS. A unit that has gotten out of hand over the years and got worse than the problem it was created to solve.
One of the biggest hits recorded on the talk show was when a brave policewoman broke all protocols to make explosive revelations about poor pay and the living conditions of her colleagues.
A police woman, on condition of anonymity, revealed the bitter truth about the NPF, from which politicians flee because of the huge sacrifices in order to solve it. Our quick fixes are synonymous with giving paracetamol only to a patient dying of malaria. He focused the main problem of NPFs on low remuneration. According to her, she joined the NPF 17 years ago on merit, while some of her comrades spent over N 100,000 in 2003 to get a job. He vowed never to collect bribes, but today he seems to regret this decision.
He is a resident sergeant in Lagos and receives a monthly salary of NN 53,000. He cannot send his children to a good school and runs the risk of being homeless because of his inability to pay rent. He owed his landlord for the past two years. She added that she tries her best to feed her children and also wears pretty clothes.
“I live in Ikotuna and work in Ikea. If I’m going to carry myself every day, how much will remain for the week? The nameless woman asked.
“And these are the people to whom you give weapons, they will abuse it,” he added.
The woman stressed that the paltry salary became the police albatross. According to the woman’s postulate, the system paid bribes to security personnel. He said higher police salaries and harsher penalties for mistaken officials would help rebuild police forces. The woman was brave enough to demand such a discussion with Frank Mba, the public relations officer for the NPF.
He painted police work as a duty of pain, hardship and gnashing of teeth. According to him:
“None of us are having fun. None of us are happy. We just get along. Many will say that there are people for whom the salary does not rise, but they are still alive, do they survive, but do they have weapons with them? They have no weapons. They have no iron in their hands. One on one, you can defeat them (the police) without weapons. But when they have weapons, they can do anything. You can’t live in a barracks, you can’t bring up children in a barracks. I don’t want to raise children in a barrack. Therefore, I rented an apartment on the street, but, unfortunately, now I cannot even pay. For 17 years of service, no transport, no land, no home, and I am still 18 years old. “The organization was created to make Nigerians poor,” he complained on the air.
The woman came to the conclusion that she wants to join SARS, as she is the cash cow of the NPF. He is even willing to pay for a slot. The SARS officials who changed the oppressors of the common man are the best performers in the police force. And where do they get their money from? The answer is not far-fetched. This is due to the ruthless pursuit of innocent citizens and cooperation with criminals. This is the civic mentality of a bankrupt state, whose citizens now parasitically rely on their neighbors to survive. Even in the animal kingdom, animals devour themselves in case of hunger. This is the natural behavior that living things exhibit in order to survive in certain circumstances.
Every man is selfish. A man will naturally strive for self-preservation before thinking about others. Human needs are insatiable, and he loves to acquire property even at the expense of others. But when the state monopolizes the use of force, human excesses are contained.
According to the famous English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, man in his natural state was “lonely, poor, bad, cruel and low.” In the natural state, safety is impossible for anyone, and the fear of death dominates all aspects of life. According to Hobbes, the natural state is a “war of all against all,” in which people constantly try to destroy each other in a relentless pursuit of power.
Despite the fact that our forces were subordinated to the Leviathan (government) under a social contract, man still retains these natural attributes. The state, which includes established laws and authorities, minimizes male excesses only. The weak structure of the NPF, combined with a leadership vacuum across the country, turned good people into monsters. SARS is not a problem, as I have always said. SARS is just one symptom of a serious illness that has turned Nigeria into a sleeping giant.
Nigeria’s police force is so easy to reform. At least not in our life. The President knows. Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu also knows about it. Positive changes happen gradually, and we cannot skip the processes. But what are you doing in the face of strong public pressure? As a smart person, you have to pretend to work to calm people’s nerves. The Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, was disbanded and a few days later the IGP announced the formation of the Special Weapons and Tactics Squad (SWAT) to replace the Rogue Squad. The same old wine in a new bottle! This is similar to the story we’ve heard before. NEPA also evolved into PHCN before the exploitative DISCO took over and provided more darkness than light.
The protesters are in high spirits and it seems that young people are no longer sleeping for the planned revolution. But wait, what can you achieve at the end of the day? My eyes are focused on the larger picture. As I’ve always told those who want to listen, this is a dead end. This is a problem that you would like to solve naturally, because you have no answer. There is no hope. Nonconformist artist Charles “Charlie Boy” Oputa said, “Criminals cannot fix criminals.”
SARS officers and other rotten eggs in the police are just victims of a faulty system. They, too, are people who struggle to survive, but they do it in the worst possible way. Although they cause excessive pain and make people cry, the police also cry.
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