What about shifting mass anger towards so-called leaders and their circles responsible for the systemic failures in Nigeria?
Why are Nigerians not channeling their fury towards leaders sabotaging democracy? What about Nigerians’ shifting negative emotions and rage towards corrupt political, institutional, and corporate leadership, causing, and inflaming the nation’s rotating problems?
Nigerians in recent times, generally see the country as one of the world’s most hopeless, damaged, and insecure environments, and the pervasive and continued failure of governance in Nigeria victimizes the average police officer and his or her safety.
No one denies the fact that many police officers struggle with the spirit, reality, and habits of dishonesty, but it will be a contradiction not to see their long-standing behaviors as a consequence of an endemically diseased and criminal leadership.
The Nigerian media has reported widely on intentional killings of police officers, and here are a few real situations.
Around the time of writing this article, five policemen, among others, were unlawfully and brutally killed in Katsina State by armed men.
A month ago, in Enugu State, two police officers were shot dead when some gunmen attacked a police checkpoint.
In the fifth month of this year in Rivers State, in a night of violence, at least seven police officers were killed after gunmen opened fire on a checkpoint, massacred some officers, and then drove to two police stations, killed others, and burned patrol cars.
In the fourth month of this year in Kogi State, three policemen were killed after gunmen stormed a police station.
In the third month of this year in Kebbi State, outlaws killed six mobile police officers at a local factory and killed another four in the state.
In the second month of this year in Enugu State, a team of four policemen on duty were shot dead by armed criminals.
In the first month of this year, two police officers were killed by gunmen in north Jigawa state.
In a society known for lacking adequate institutional statistics, the intentional and felonious killings of police officers and other law enforcement officers is certainly large, including unknown numbers that later died from severe gun injuries.
As Nigeria continues to be a security disaster and enters a turbulent election season, more shootings of officers could go up. Currently, armed criminals have reportedly kidnapped ten police officers of the Nasarawa State Command in Kogi while coming back from election duty in Osun State, whose status is unknown in terms of being alive or dead.
Violence against police officers is a phenomenon that happens across many countries, but in Nigeria, unprovoked attacks and the killing of police officers are catalysts that are more common in Nigeria.
Day in and day out. Nigerians are under men and women in authority with low confidence and distrust. In such a climate of animosity, some Nigerians have turned their anger into easy targets—police officers in the line of duty. Wrong.
What about turning mass anger mentally, emotionally, and spiritually toward those responsible for systemic failures in society? In what way is a police officer at work responsible for a system filled with institutional and social failures that continues to expose the average civilian and police officer to harm?
Although it might be tempting to dislike police officers, especially those with poor professional conducts who sometimes behave in hostile and corrupt manners partly due to systemic hardship, hunger, and frustration, the dislike should mainly go to those apparently innately evil creatures who shock the average Nigerian by their insensitivity.
The proclivity of Nigerian leaders to send their children abroad for studies and family safety, to brag on social media about their children graduating from expensive institutions abroad, to travel abroad for medical treatment, to buy judgments in courts, and to surround themselves with force of arms by using the police, army, and other security forces is deeply vexing.
No matter what one thinks about the average police officer when he or she is attacked and killed, remember it is mostly when the officer, in a conscientious, patriotic, and committed way, is on duty.
It will be realistic to feel sorry for that common patrolling and working officer, knowing that he or she is placed in different places watching and protecting those who, in the last 16 or more years, have been swimming in abrasive corruption and engaging in looting that continues to worsen the country.
The world saw how bottled anger led to mass action calling for a complete ban of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which was really a protest aimed at evil generational types of leadership and governance failures.
The same type of wicked leadership sent police and other uniformed officers to use ammunition on peaceful protesters, beating down and killing some young men and women.
There is no doubt there is fear of leadership and government, known for its’ ‘no mercy ‘ways in Nigeria. In fact, it is the government that should fear and respect the people in a democracy.
Well, in the words of a current freedom fighting governor, the powerful ‘should be ready to kill all of us’ because there is a different type of ‘fire in the mountain’ and time is coming when Nigerians will no longer feel like conquered people; and start bypassing common police officers who are not responsible for misgovernance.
Instead, Nigerians, in a fueled manner and with a bold name and an open face, should turn their mass negative emotions or anger towards saboteurs of Nigerian democracy.
The killings of law enforcement officers in the line of duty, I can tell you, will not solve the problems of those in authority who intentionally, with their families and allies, continue to break democracy in Nigeria. Nigerian public turn the bucket of anger now.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, who was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria to a father who served in the Nigeria police for 37 years, is an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult and child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional, and Career Development. He is a former Interim Associate Dean/Assistant Professor at Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African Settings In 2011, he introduced State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and Nasarawa State University, where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. He is currently a Virtual Behavioral Leadership Professor at ISCOM University, Republic of Benin. Founder of the proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien Open University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of Truth, Ethics, and Openness. Over forty academic publications and creations, at least 200 public opinion pieces on African issues, and various books have been written by him. He specializes in psycho-prescriptive writings regarding African institutional and governance issues.
Prof. Oshodi wrote in via email@example.com