That men of the Mobile Police Force on security assignment in Borno State had to recourse to public protest in demand of their allowances is most unfair to them. It should never have happened at all and the Police authorities should be blamed directly while the Federal Government as the parent body also deserves condemnation. The protesters claim they were owed six months allowances, besides that some have no accommodation and must sleep on the corridor of their office after a hard day’s work. These for men who are put in harm’s way every day confronting Boko Haram terrorists and their sympathizers? This is terribly wrong and disgraceful. The claim by the police authorities that the delay in paying these allowances was due, in turn, to the delay in passing the 2018 budget is untenable. It is an excuse that defies common sense.
Even in generally safe times and places, the role and duties of the police as the first line of defense of society against internal threat and lawlessness requires, nay, demands unequivocally, that the welfare of policemen and women be a priority. Indeed, the long list of ‘constitutional duties’ assigned to Nigeria’s police men and women, and the even longer list of code of conduct by which they must abide, necessitate, ipso facto, that everything necessary must be put into assuring, first, their own safety and welfare in order that they can concentrate on the job. And truth be told, it is a tough job to be an effective policeman in this seriously under-policed country. The overarching mandate of the Police force is such that it is society’s first line of defense against criminality.
Consider that the 400,000 or so officers and men are charged to secure about 180 million Nigerians 24 hours, seven days of the week. Consider that in this context, they are expected to prevent the occurrence of crime, to arrest offenders, to detect crime, to investigate a criminal act, to protect lives and property of citizens, and to maintain law and order in society. All these are expected to be carried out in line with professional ethics, the utmost personal integrity and courteousness.
If, as Section 14 (2)(b) of the extant Constitution states, that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government…’ it is reasonable to assert that the government can fulfill the security component of this ‘primary purpose’ only to the extent of the preparedness and effectiveness of the principal law enforcement agency which is the Police Force. Pray, how can anyone justify entrusting the security of life and property to …read more
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