I read betwixt sadness and soliloquy, the news of Protesting Police Officers, who protested over non-payment of their gratuities at the just concluded Anambra State Gubernatorial Election. It knocked my mind with a troubling question, “who will arrest these protesting police officers?”.
I know policemen arrest protesting citizens, especially, the ones that halt the smooth running of public activities. Recently however, the policemen engage more in the same act they arrest others for.
In the past, they have held protests in Kaduna, Delta, Yola, Ogun and many other states. Also, the Nationwide protest held on November 8, 2020 by the new constables who had lamented non-payment of salaries since April 2020 in which they’ve been recruited.
They Nigerian Policemen take so much risks to suffer late or low payment, yet, they arrest and brutalize citizens who demands better justice that would favour their conditions too, as the least paid and ill-treated Police Force in the World.
Pathetic it is, when the annual salary of a policeman at Grade Level 06 is not equal to a single consolidated salary of Nigerian senator who earns ₦700k, or do one talk of the #13.5m the “Agbada-wearing” men are given monthly amid other mouthwatering allowances, as said by ex-senator Shehu Sanni on March 7, 2018.
I watched a Video of how popular comedian, Mr Macaroni was arrested and maltreated on Feb 13, 2021 for exercising his constitutional right alongside many others at the #OccupyLekkiTollGateProtest. The comedian would later come out after his release to bemoan the bad he was met with at the hands of the Nigerian Police. Hear him, “They said in my life when next I hear police, I will run! One said if not that people would ask about me, he would have killed me.”
If the Nigerian Police continues to arrest and brutalize innocent citizens who only demand a better Nigeria that the Policemen too would enjoy, who then will arrest the protesting Policemen?
Hashim Yussuf Amao, Ibadan