Since the commencement of the infamous EndSars saga, and the resultant ugliness it left behind, virtually everyone, including the criminals, have come to realize the importance and indispensability of the Police. The initial intention of the promoters of the protest was to intimidate the government, through dubiously organized rallies, that were syndicated and hyped, with a view to ridiculing the police. But alas, the result came in the reverse.
Pursuant to the skyrocketing of crimes after the disbandment of SARS, where early this week, the Kaduna-Abuja highway was taken over by kidnappers, after states like Edo, Delta and even the home state of the President, Katsina, have started bleeding, PMB was compelled to call an emergency security council meeting on Tuesday.
In the end, the essentiality of the Police was not only recognised, but the need to re-boost and restore their morale was acknowledged.
Having accepted that on matters of internal security, the police possessed the quality that cannot possibly be wished away, strong and strategic members of the blackmailed/disbanded SARS were invited to the drawing board for brain-storming.
The result, was the air and ground bombardments we were told had occurred at the criminals’ enclaves along the Abuja-Kaduna road yesterday, and the day before yesterday. The question now is, why did the government succumb to such blackmail in the first place?
There is a saying in the global police parlance, viz: “Please do not confuse my personality with my attitude. My Personality is who I am, my attitude depends on how you act”. If we go by the aforementioned saying, we would see that it is the public attitude that shapes or determines the attitude or response of the police. If we sacrifice the police, we must be ready to satisfy the criminals.
Yesterday Thursday, the Lagos State Government was forced to issue a warning to some miscreants, who hide under the aegis of Okada riders to inflict heavy harm on free public movements and the discharge of official assignments in some areas of Lagos. The government had to say, “The game is over for belligerence and lawlessness in Lagos”. The success of the slogan is surely dependent on the satisfaction of the police.
By taking advantage of the low morale of the police after the EndSARS intimidation, where many of them were harassed and even killed, Okada riders took over major roads and expressways in Lagos, brazenly driving against traffic and on BRT lanes. They were attacking Task Force officials trying to regulate the law, vandalising vehicles and injuring security operatives in uniform. Lagos was on the verge of turning into a state of lawlessness, with the upsurge in the perpetration of crimes.
The warning of, “the game is over for Okada riders” would only carry weight and become enforceable if the public is ready to pacify and placate the police. The abandoned slogan of, “Police Is Your Friend” must be revisited. And the government must also match action with words, through the promised positive police reforms.
We all know that the police are the officials responsible for law enforcement, order and civil association in the society, but because of the hidden agenda of the sponsors of crime, particularly heinous crimes committed by hardened criminals, the government was arm-twisted into believing that some members of SARS, who are in constant contact with these hardened criminals, are less civil and more brutal, by using force beyond the limit permissible by law.
I don’t know anywhere in the world, including America, the founders of Guantanamo Bay, where hardened criminals are treated with excessive niceties. How the government succumbed to this blackmail, remains a pressing question.
As I write this article, the minister of Information, Mr. Lai Mohammed, has just concluded a press conference with select journalists. I am yet to receive the details of their discussion, but I am certain he would be made to comment on the poorly put and unprofessionally presented documentary by the CNN, on the alleged military brutality during the END SARS protests.
The documentary is not only bias but manifestly sponsored to smear the image of the military and by extension the regime in power. It is part of the game plan of blackmailing the government to surrender through the back door. The public is continuously puzzled, by the reasons behind why the government is succumbing to such blackmail.
It was the French philosopher, Francois-Marie Arouet, famously known under his pen name Voltaire, that said, “Those who make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”.