Somebody once said that Nigerian policemen are meant to protect the rich and not the poor. The poor are left at the mercy of robbers, buglers, kidnappers and other evils. This is not far from the truth. This is proven by the number of policemen who secure politicians and other prominent Nigerians. There are about 370,000 policemen in the country. But Nigeria has a total of over 200million persons. Out of this figure, over 80 percent of them are securing prominent persons in the country. The prominent persons are not more than 5 percent of the entire populace in Nigeria but these people have over 80 percent of the security architecture at their disposal.
The prominent persons include president of Nigeria, the 36 state governors, senate president and senators, speaker of the house of representatives and members of the house, house of assembly members in the states and local government chairmen, directors general of commissions and agencies of government, ministers and commissioners, chairmen of political parties across states, big business moguls, banks CEOS, vice chancellors of universities and rectors of polytechnics, fraudsters who have made so much money by theft, some highly placed entertainers and many others across the nation.
The policemen are shared to protect these personalities who feel they need high level protection more than the ordinary people on the street. Although they may not be wrong, however, they are the cause of the insecurity in the nation. A nation where a director general will appropriate N50millin as impress for his office and other senior staff N18million on a monthly basis, they are bound to be afraid because the boys have not eaten and they must go after them. And to protect themselves from the boys, they need high wired security anywhere they go.
A nation where senators go home monthly with not less than N25million and other emoluments, they are afraid to enter the streets because the boys have not eaten and they must eat. Nobody knows what governors go home with every month. Nobody knows what ministers go home with every month. Nobody knows what senators go home with every month, hence there is fear of the unknown. There is fear of boys from the underworld attacking them. And to protect them from such unsuspecting attacks they gather a retinue of security details to themselves at the detriment of the ordinary Nigerian.
The policemen, on the other hand, can do anything to protect their subject, undermining whose ox is gored. Anybody standing on the way of their subject must be cleared out of the road to pave way for easy passage of their subject. They can use the gun to intimidate and harass the ordinary man to clear the way for the supposed extra-ordinary Nigerian. The politian feels he is more superior to other Nigerians, hence he needs the police more than other people. And for this, the police are ready to die to ensure their subject is protected because that is their job. And they must do it whether professionally or not. The end result is the protection of the boss.
We have read of situations where policemen have beaten people on the highway because they did not clear from the road for their subjects to pass and the subjects will keep quiet, watching the scene inside the car. Just for the sake of one Nigerian, police will ensure everybody is moved out of the road because a personality is coming. Who is that person, a governor, senator, president, director general of a corporation, speaker of house of assembly and other business moguls. In this process, they infringe on the rights of people and go scot free, all just to protect one man. But is this man greater than other Nigerians? Is the situation in the country that warrants such abuse not created by them? If they had fixed the nation, will such security lapses be there? We are praying for Nigeria and we will keep praying for it. Our desire is for a just and egalitarian society but this equality seems difficult to come by. This is because Nigeria is structured to favour only the big boys.