Why Are Nigerian Police Officers Off The Streets?

October 31, 2020

Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.

There has been a curious observation that Nigerian police officers are off the streets. This is coming after the wave of violence that greeted the curfew order imposed in Lagos State and other states in Nigeria following the #EndSARS protests and the highly controversial #LekkiMassacre

But if police officers are truly off the streets, there’s only one thing that can happen next — anarchy. 

Hoodlums, thugs and other miscreants will cause mayhem and unleash havoc on the lives and properties of many citizens, and there will be widespread lawlessness. And maybe it is already happening.

But Why Are The Police Off The Streets — Fear or Anger?

Over the past few days, the police have maintained that 22 of their officers have been killed in wave of violence that spiraled after the #EndSARS protests, and that 205 police stations were destroyed in the mayhem.

Other reports also claim that, at least, 17 police stations were destroyed in Lagos alone, including the loss of about 205 “security assets”.

10 firearms, including 8 AK-47 rifles were also reportedly taken away from police stations during the violent attacks.

It is this attack on Nigerian police officers that is said to have affected the morale of members of the police force, with many of them preferring to stay in their barracks rather than return to the streets or police stations for fear of being attacked or killed.

Meanwhile, the Police Service Commission, the body that monitors the conduct of police officers, has directed the striking police officers to return back to their duty posts or face dismissal.

Read: Who Has Powers Over The Nigeria Police Force?

Illegal Arrests

But the police are altogether not complicit in this situation. Following attacks on police stations and police officers, the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, stated that the police had arrested 1,596 suspects in connection with the attacks and the subsequent looting all over the country. 

However, the way and manner these “suspects” are being treated leaves more questions to be answered.

Many of the arrested suspects have been held in detention for days, without access to necessities like food and water, or even communication with their family and friends.

In many instances, the police round up suspects, parade them and presume they are guilty, even without the pronouncement of the court to this effect.

Read: Here’s All You Need To Know About The #AbujaPoliceRaidOnWomen

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about how to unfuck yourself when the Nigerian government moves mad. Check back every weekday by 10am for more Zikoko Citizen explainers.


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