The issue of police brutality that started trending after a young man was allegedly shot by men of Special Anti-Robbery Sqaud (SARS) in Ugheli, Delta State, on Saturday has been drawing reactions from all angles of the country.
Media executive, Somtoo Okoye, believes that the rise in police brutality is not unconnected with frustration and underpayment of police officers working in the Nigerian Police.
No matter how you jump up shouting EndSARS, the beast called police brutality will always rear its ugly head if you don’t fund and restrategize the police.
1. However you put it, paying a man 48k (police Corporal) as salary and sending him to stand under the hot sun from Monday to Sunday, facing all sorts of threats and risk will always negatively affect his mental condition, pushing him to frustration.
2. Arming him with a war rifle AK47 and paying him such abysmal salary will eventually lead him to even more temptation. These are family breadwinners who pay school fees & rent. Don’t forget they have needs too. Anybody that comes his way could become the next victim.
3. The work of special units (SARS, anti-kidnapping, IRT etc) in police cannot be overemphasized. These are the people that actually face criminals in heavy shootout. For being the backbone of security, none of them should receive less than 200k if Senators and Reps get 13.5m and 9.5m salary respectively for sitting barely 10 times a month. Special forces officers are not plenty in number. Enable a complaint unit that sacks and prosecutes any erring officer.
4. Fund the police. You can’t give Police Force with 300k staff just 25bn yet give National Assembly with 469 lawmakers 125bn inside the same 2019 budget. Where will police get money for equipment and essentials after salary consumes the whole 25bn?
5. Withdraw policemen from being houseboys to politicians and VIPs. No seriously developing/developed country in the world where politician, jobless rich men, Malaysian returnee, yahoo boy, children/wives/girlfriends of politicians are guided with policemen.
6. When you withdraw policemen from escorting these so-called VIPS, they (VIPs) will start asking same security questions everyone else is asking. Win win. They are still free to obtain their own private bodyguards from security companies just as applicable in every other country. It will enable more policemen to be available at police stations and respond to emergencies instead of being holed up in one politicians’s house or the other.
Do either this or be screaming EndSARS on social media after every six months.