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Soyinka expresses concern over corruption in police force

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Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has expressed worries over the high level of corruption in the Nigerian Police, asking, “who corrupts the police?”

Soyinka spoke yesterday at a colloquium to mark the 60th birthday of Mr. Kunle Ajibade held in Victoria Island, Lagos.

He said among those he thought were untouchable were the police until news of their misconduct was everywhere.

“Among those that I believe were untouchable before were the police but not those that are on the streets harassing and collecting money from people.

“I know the police were often involved in profiling corrupt persons. But the questions that later baffles me was who then corrupted the police. Who made sure that the agencies enforcing law were corrupt?

“And that was why when I met Nuhu Ribadu after former IGP, Tafa Balogun was arrested, I emphasised that the job of fighting corruption does not end with the person holding the money but also how he got the money or how the money got into his bank account. Does he engage in other businesses aside law enforcement? And where did the money come from?”

He maintained that if issues of corruption can be solved then rigging during election period would be a thing of the past.

“If we can solve issues of corruption, we will also be addressing cases of election rigging. This is because there is a direct nexus between that level of corruption and the degradation of democratic process that we have witnessed in the country.

“If we had solved the cases properly, it would have helped curb corruption and solve the issue of democratic failure in Nigeria.”

He urged young journalists to emulate the tenacity of Ajibade adding, “the number of journalists that were killed while engaging in investigative journalism were more than those that died on the battlefield.”

Also, human rights activists, Femi Falana called for the training of Nigerians in military warfare.

Falana explained that in the light of recent killings across the country, Nigerians should be trained in military warfare since the government has lost monopoly of violence.

He maintained that the country should go back to when the police was controlled by the states, stressing that murder cases could only be addressed by the states and not the federal.

Falana added that there has to be peace before the nation can plan and progress.

“There are areas in Kaduna state now where killings are going on.

“Since the government has lost the monopoly of violence to criminals – and they can only do that in a failed state, where criminals take control of the monopoly of violence – it is high time that we called on the National Assembly to enact a law to allow military training for Nigerian citizens.’’

On his part, Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola urged the citizens not to despair.

“The success of any African country as said by former Ghanaian president will be nothing if it is not linked to the success of the people.’’


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