Dikko, Udeze advise NPFL players on relationship with security agents
Chairman of League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko has advised players and club officials in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) to see the police and other law enforcement agents as partners and friends despite the unfortunate behaviour of a few of the officers.
Speaking on the backdrop of the recent killing of a Remo Stars’ player, Tiamiyu Kazeem and the shooting of former Shooting Stars of Ibadan star, Izu Joseph a few years ago, Dikko noted that more has to be done to orientate players on how to conduct themselves when approached by any security agent.
While admonishing NPFL players to conduct themselves as professionals inside and outside the pitch, Dikko also charged the Police authorities to accord due respect to players and charge them according to the law of the land if they were arrested for any offence.
He noted that the public outcry on the death of Kazeem was a pointer to the security agencies, especially the Police Force that more has to be done to educate and train their officers on how to handle citizens in crisis situations.
“The Killings of Kazeem, Joseph and many other Nigerian players by security agents have nothing to do with a special attack on NPFL players. “This is a security issue. Nobody has the right to take the life of anybody, not only footballers. Most of the time in our stadiums during matches, this security agents are always their to protect these players; so, you can see the problem we have here is lack of good communication and conduct.
“When a policeman approaches a player, the player should conduct himself well, follow all their guidelines without aggression.
“If the player is not satisfied with the way he was treated, he should report his case to the right authority.
“You know most times Police harass these players because of the way they make their hair, thinking they are criminals. So, what the player needs to do is to conduct himself in the manner that will make the officer know he is truly a professional footballer.”
Dikko thanked the Inspector General of Police for showing concern in Kazeem’s killing, adding that the Police have assured that proper orientation would be given to their officers to be more civil when dealing with citizens.
Also speaking on the death of the NPFL players, former Super Eagles defender, Ifeanyi Udeze called on club administrators to give their players proper identification permit to show that they are NPFL players. He also advised security agencies to also understand that domestic players could be successful enough to buy luxurious cars if they are prudent in spending.
“When I played in Europe, if a police flagged you down for any offence, after identifying yourself as a player, he would warn you and even take pictures with you. But if the offence is serious, he would then charge you, hand you over to the right authority.
“But I am surprised it does not happen here. Nigerian players need to be respected by the security agents, being a footballer is not easy.
“Every club has to give its players quality ID cards as identity cards. Some officers also believe that domestic players cannot drive cars.
“There was an issue that went viral some months ago when a player told a police officer that he played for Enyimba FC and the Police said you cannot be playing in Nigeria and own a big Benz like this. You see this are the misinformation that needs to be corrected,” he said.
Udeze advised NPFL players to conduct themselves properly and avoid altercations with security agents when stopped by them, adding, “They should obey the command and report any case of miscarriage of justice to the right authority. Their club management could also help them when their right has been abused.”