Sunday, 4 October 2020

What is the worth of the words of the Inspector General of Police? —Inibehe Effiong


4 October 2020

These screenshots show that this is not the first time Nigeria Police Force authorities will announce that SARS has no business engaging in stop and search or routine movements on the road. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as Acting President made similar declarations.

Today's announcement by the IGP is nothing but a smoke screen. I don't believe in the very least, that the government is ready to reform the police. A President who has been deaf to agitations to sack his Service Chiefs will not easily respond to the #EndSARS campaign.

Buhari is a dictator and will not address the escalating impunity in the police except Nigerians take to the streets across the country in their thousands to demand action. This is going to be a long walk to freedom. Anything short of a total disbandment of SARS is cosmetic.

These people are used to doing the wrong things. It is either the IGP is living in denial or he is oblivious of the rot in the Force. Telling SARS not to patrol the streets is easier said than done. They can always claim that they got information about robbery and kidnapping.

SARS will not stop criminality simply because the IGP has issued a directive. As earlier shown, such directives have historically proven to be worthless. In this country, almost every IGP has banned policemen from extorting suspects before granting bail. Has anything changed?

Different laws have prohibited the police from acting as debt recovery agents. Has anything changed? Has the police stopped arresting people for land disputes and other civil transactions? Don't be swayed by the empty words of the IGP. We have heard such false promises before.

The IGP also announced that SARS Commanders, Commissioners and other superior officers under whose misconduct takes place will be held vicariously liable and punished. This ordinarily is a good policy, but we have heard such statement before. There's no political will to reform.

It is ludicrous that the IGP and the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State are rolling out phone numbers to members of the public to report misconduct by policemen. Only a fool does the same thing repeatedly and expect a different result. There has always been numbers to call.

Complaint Response Unit  - CRU, Nigeria Police Force was set-up to checkmate excesses and abuse by policemen. The Complaint Response Unit (CPU) is overwhelmed and has failed to end police excesses. The IGP should stop playing games with the lives of Nigerians. Disband the monstrous SARS. Enough of cosmetic changes.



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