Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
A heartbreak is for a citizen to be treated unjustly by law enforcement officials over one’s ethnicity.
A common cause of disaffection towards Nigeria is the tribal bias of security agents.
Reforms are recommended in law enforcement agencies such that principal decision makers especially in the North are of other identities.
And by identities, I mean psychological independence.
It is disheartening to hear a police officer or Divisional Police Officer ~DPO berate a citizen and exonerate another on no basis other than the latter is of own ethnicity.
While in remand – not prison, as I am being technical as advised by the deputy Commissioner Of Police – in Sokoto State Prison, I discovered that persons involved in ethnic or sectarian violence were not brought there.
– Blatant injustice, really.
However, as one has no leverage over the (mis)conducts of others, one ought to find within self solutions to preserve security and freedom.
One needs to change whatever one does or says that encourages the status quo.
Early this year, I scolded Yorubas who come to the North and embrace Hausa-Fulani mentality.
My own people Ndi Igbo are equally accountable for maintaining the same trend.
In fact, it is difficult to convince many Nigerians of every ethnicity and belief system I have met here that all citizens resident in Sokoto have freedoms protected in the Constitution.
It is their land, is the usual response.
While I was in detention at Wamakko Police Division and in a discourse with a concerned officer I explained my reluctance to speak Hausa is so everyone identifies me as non-Hausa-Fulani.
Although this infuriates a particular ethnicity, the attention of other officers is immediately drawn to any violations of my rights and freedoms.
A vast majority of other citizens do the opposite to appease the sons of the soil, so to speak.
The outcome is that one is buried and no one notices.
Several Nigerians continue to experience abuses even by persons who will tell us they were trained to keep their personal problems out of their work.
We, however, cannot afford to lose faith in Nigeria.
The police, for instance, regularly organise training and retraining programmes for police officers.
The objective of the seminars is to ensure officers imbibe the law as work ethics.
Officers are expected to administer the law without considerations of ethnicity, Religion, gender, or socioeconomic status.
The Department Of State Security implement a gagging rule on the population so one must not inform Nigerians of the mentality among some to consciously make own beliefs the law in contempt of the Constitution.
One cannot enlighten Nigerians that some are adamant that the freedom of religion guaranteed by the Constitution applies only to the belief systems of SSS officials.
The suspect’s religious practices must be in accordance with that of SSS, anything else is extremism.
For instance, Nigerians must be kept oblivious of the situation that a Muslim suspect can conduct own religion only as performed by some Muslim SSS staff.
In any case, Nigerians who wish to lodge complaints, including anonymously, against any member of the Nigeria Police Force ~NPF can do so through a number of channels.
For recourse to state Public Complaint Bureau, communicate complaints to any of the Public Relations Officer ~PRO, Deputy Commissioner ~DC, or Commissioner Of Police ~CP.
Ask for PRO contact leaflets at the Police Division or State Command.
At the national level, contact:
1~ Adebayo Fayomi, Public Complaint Bureau on email@example.com
2~ Abayomi Shogunle, Deputy Force PRO on firstname.lastname@example.org
It is prudent to add sufficient details to aid in identifying the erring police officer.
A precaution is to dispense the notion that the system shields offending DPOs.
Moreover, precise information on abuses ought to be forwarded bearing in mind the aggrieved person will not be present during police investigation of the complaints.
Finally, provided the addressed was not involved in the abuse, it is wise to transmit the complaint in a polite manner.