By Victory Akpomedaye
I am still left perplexed at the official misconduct and deliberate manipulation of the Nigerian Police, as seen as the End Sars one year anniversary. But the bitter truth here is that police brutality is not endemic to Nigeria. It is indeed a global pandemic.
The extra judicial killings means that precious lives have been lost, amidst reported cases of extortion and other atrocities of the men and women in the Police uniform. As a technology entrepreneur or digipreneur as I would always call myself, I know how things got tough having to deal with the Nigerian Police.
How I have had to reveal my identity as a digital entrepreneur with international affiliations. How I have had to sternly refuse to be labeled a Yahoo boy. How I have tried to educate the gentle ones amongst the Nigerian policemen I encounter about affiliate marketing, dropshipping, and the abundant money-making opportunities online. The typical Nigerian Policeman sees a budding young Nigerian as a potential criminal. This warped mentality and convoluted mindset are what every young Nigerian faces every day while trying to eke out a living in a dear country.
This is not to deny the obvious cybercrimes out there. I am even sad to admit that from the data available online, cyber crimes are at an all-time high in Nigeria. What an irony that intelligent people like the Nigerian youth can be traced to detestable ways of life that put Nigeria on the wrong side of the global digital narrative. Unfortunately, only a few smart young Nigerians have been able to harness the net-breaking wealth Information Communication Technology has to offer, while a larger number are stranded waiting for the government to provide their basic needs.
My curiosity and craving to explore the Internet World were stretched beyond proportion when I discovered that the few smart youngsters who are doing well in terms of ICT have only had a scratch and not a full dose of what Digital Skill has to offer. What do you think would become of Nigeria and the continent of Africa if we would explore the wonders and ravishing resources available on the internet?
Back to the seemingly corrupt practices of the supposed friend of the Nigerian people, and amidst these abounding opportunities, I am sad to admit that the Nigerian youth, especially the tech-savvy ones may never fulfil their potentials if the Nigerian government does not actionably rein in the operations of our Police system.
Regarding a recent announcement by the Federal Governemnt that it will employ more people into the Police Force, this piece also serves as a clarion call on the Nigerian Police Commission to employ competent, intelligent and tech-savvy young Nigerians that will do more diligent work other than the trigger-happy ones we have around. It is high time the Nigerian Police unlearnt their modus operandi. The Police should stop sending young Nigerians to their early grave.
It is worthy to note the recent attacks on Police formations in the country. There is no tenable and justifiable reason to support criminal operations against the Nigerian state but these people that have invariably been waging war against the Police have somehow had enough of the impunity displayed by the bad eggs of our Nation’s policing system. How about the phrase THE POLICE IS YOUR FRIEND? That is a rhetorical question that will not be answered by Nigerians, especially the youth. I even make bold to say that the Nigerian Police can no longer say it is the friend of the people anymore. The friendship has long been dead but not buried. And because it is not buried, it is like the Biblical story of the dry bones that lived again. I hope that the Nigerian Police can honestly be friends with the Nigerian youth again.