Social Affairs

ENDSARS: Pay the Police Officers Well

For nearly 2 weeks, our country has been shaken to the core due to the passionate supplications from the Nigerian citizens as regards the nation-wide trend—#ENDSARS and #ENDSWAT.

It is common knowledge that we have some bad eggs in the security system who have given the police force a bad reputation, ill-treated many Nigerians and, warranted the Nigerian youth to voice their grievances against the brutality they have experienced over the years.

Inasmuch as we have these unprincipled set of people in the system, we can’t obviate the fact that there are so many good police officers in the system working judiciously to protect the lives of Nigerians. We know some of these good officers: some of them are our friends, our family members, acquaintances or people whom we have witnessed carrying out their tasks as required by the system.
 
We agitated for SARS to be banned because they constitute the highest percentage of police brutality for any recognized tactical team in the police force, and the federal government dissolved it; but truthfully—if you ask me—this is not where it ought to end.
 
Can you go home and sleep peacefully bearing in mind that police brutality has been eliminated completely in this country? Have we all taken out time to find out what these police officers are passing through daily? Do you know that these men are severely underfunded for the staggering task of protecting human lives and properties they are expected to carry out?
 
Just imagine this: A police Constable, according to Wikipedia, earns a little above N43, 000 per month in a country where a bag of rice is almost N30,000. He cannot feed himself well and take care of other personal needs yet he is being saddled with the responsibility of securing the lives of Nigerian citizens. And we wonder why we have a heightened level of police brutality in the country?
 
What the Nigerian youth is agitating for is a good cause, but it needs a holistic approach. We seek a reformation of the security system which will address different aspects such as police remuneration and training.
 
The salaries of these police officers need to be increased and adequate training needs to be carried out frequently to always remind them of what their jobs are.
 
Also, more people need to be employed into the force to help shore up the UN security standard of 1 police officer to 450 citizens. Just imagine a company that does not remunerate its workers adequately. What do you think will happen to it? its employees will find other means to augment their poor salaries. It could be a legitimate or a crooked way.
 
With this scenario in mind, think about a police officer who earns N43, 000 per month, how is that going to sustain him in a month? You think about it.
It is crystal clear that when poorly fed dogs are kept to guard a herd of sheep, they will one day turn the sheep to their preys. All we need to do is to pay our police officers well, and you will see that the majority of our problems will be solved.

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