Beyond FSARS dissolution
Sir: The disbandment of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in its present form by the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed is a welcome development. However, as many security experts have advised we need to carry out a holistic reform of our security agencies to make them efficient, professional and human rights compliant. Therefore, using the police as a metaphor for reforming our security agencies, we need to get to the root of the problem by answering the following questions which security experts had posed in the past.
Is the recruitment of our policemen based on merit? Are background checks of prospective policemen carried out before recruitment? What is the standard of Police Colleges and the quality of their instructors? Do policemen undergo periodic psychological and psychiatric tests? What type of accommodation is provided for them both as offices and residential quarters? Are they well remunerated? How are they kitted with uniforms, booths, arms and ammunition? If they die in active service are members of their families well taken care of by the government? Is promotion in the police on merit? These and other questions should be addressed in our quest to have the kind of police or security agents that we desire. Therefore, every Nigerian, regardless of their tribal, religious and political affiliation must condemn in its entirety, all forms of jungle justice. It doesn’t matter who is perpetrating it.
When consistent wrongs of injustice, hopelessness and not enough opportunities cannot be redressed after many years of repeated petitions to the authorities, then by all means, a protest like the one against FSARS is justifiable even in the eyes of the law and God. Nigeria cannot continue to be a sick and lifeless country. No sensible person should justify the senseless killings of innocent and unarmed citizens, nor expose their children to daily harm or leaving Nigerians vulnerable from those who are sworn by law to protect them. FSARS or not, it is not the name that should be annihilated, because other enforcement agencies do same. It is their content that should be erased.
Every Nigerian has the fundamental humam right to a life with dignity and justice, without violence. Our body is not a battle field. The victims of these human rights violation must have a right to justice. It must be the right of victims to demand for consistent prosecution of rouge officers by setting up Special Civil Right Tribunal or Courts to expeditiously prosecute these crimes against humanity.
The Nigeria government has to assume responsibility and provide support and ensure effective protection for all Nigerians against these heinous peacetime crimes, violence, and law enforcement brutality. When the disadvantages of an entity outweighs whatever advantages it provides, then it’s eradication must be considered and advanced to save the soul of the nation. Only by working together can we put an end to law enforcement violence and brutality, eradicate poverty and bring about social justice.
Chief Obi Aguocha holds the traditional title of Udo Ji Agu-Ohuhu in Umuahia, Abia State.
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