BY: Prince Chukwudi Timothy Samuel (The CEO micmirasteph Communication, publisher of apexreporters)
The news of the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus filtered through Nigeria communities recently and the federal govt of Nigeria immediately responded by taking steps to contain the spread. One of the major steps, aside other measures is the lockdown order which crippled big, medium and small businesses and also imposed a-no-movement situation as a way of ensuring the social distancing law to check the possibility of the virus decimating Nigeria, just the way it killed thousands in China, Italy, Britain, America etc.
I advised the Inspector General of Police Adamu Muhammed and Commissioner of Police Lagos State Hakeem Odumosu then to actualize these measures. The Nigeria Police Force as usual, have to be up and doing to maintain law and order. They started the enforcement of government order by positioning officers everywhere, to undertake a task difficult to accomplish due to the fact that Nigerians are ruled by myths, superstition and religious beliefs.
Above all, the disorganised nature of Nigeria society is another challenge that the Police must confront for effective prosecution of their duties. The hurdles before the Police includes the checking of a relatively poor populace who must be kept indoors, without adequate food, electricity and other basic amenities. But these not withstanding, the policemen on the roads are combating crime and enforcing the FGN and LASG lockdown or stay-off-the-roads order without necessary protection.They are doing the job on the roads without face masks, hand gloves, hand sanitizers and of course health insurance schemes. This is not in tandem with global best practices.
In advanced nations, the police have all it takes to work in dangerous situations and stay alive, healthy and happy. The reverse is the case here where officers are forced to work under the most dangerous situation/conditions without necessary palliative and safety provisions. Under the covid-19 regime, Nigerian policemen are on the roads, face-to-face with different violators and perhaps infected people and objects with little or no protection. Divine protection is what has kept the men and officers of the force going thus far.
The truth that must be told is that the police deserve a lot more from the authorities especially as they are daily exposed to various dangers and the possibility of contacting the highly contagious Coronavirus (God forbid). So rather than view the police from a negative perspective in this dangerous era, they should be appreciated and supported.
“I recently spoke with the Commissioner of Police Lagos State on patrol vehicles especially at Ikotun and Ijegun axis, how can a DPO in the area, work and fight criminals without a single patrol vehicle from the state or federal?” Also going by our investigations, our findings revealed that the reason why the Police responds very late when called upon for rescue mission during any problem is because, according to them…
“How can we go to face armed robbers with superior weapons while we don’t even have common bullet in our guns?”
All measures should be put in place to provide for the policemen, especially those essential materials (patrol vehicles for Ikotun, Idimu especially Ijegun, Isheri and Igando Police divisions (all under Area M Command), ammunition for their guns), measures that will enable them to work effectively while remaining safe and healthy for their families as well. As it presently stands, they are operating as endangered species, in environments where they are hardly appreciated.
In the talk of deploying Army to help in enforcing the lockdown order, I will suggest that government should first of all weigh the options very well so that there will not be a conflict of interest/intention and possible compromise.
Finally, my humble advise is that:
-The paradigm should changed so that we can derive the best out from the Police Force in the interest of all the citizenry.