“It is needful that we don't have a situation of using "animals" to maintain peace and order among humans.”
Here’s the point:
Between the years 2009 and 2013, the type of music generally referred to as “Ariria” by people in the East or “Akam” by my Efik/Ibibio brothers, was my forte. I could play the keyboard effortlessly and I enjoyed it for the period of time I played. In one of those periods, after a chain up December shows, I heard of a vocalist who was badly injured with broken bottles by someone who worked with him, because he didn’t pay as expected. How beastly humans can be!
I feel there’s a need to review the recruitment process of operatives of our country’s security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police Force. This isn’t by chance, to spite the force. No! There’s no such intention. There are still very respected individuals in the force. But this calls for attention.
Days later, in the early days of January, the next year, I met a drummer and in the course of discussion on how some supposed big shots in the vocation owed the young and upcoming folks, the drummer, let’s say A (not real name) narrated how it was he, who dastardly used broken bottles to injure the older fellow for owing him. He added that nobody jokes with his money. Of course, no one should jeopardize with another person’s money. But to be beastly not minding the consequences?
Today, A poses on the social media dressed in full regalia as an officer of the Nigeria Army and I feel so irritated at that. I’m not in any way against anyone joining the Nigeria Army. But, I asked myself, ‘What kind of security personnel will A make?’ It reminds me of the not so far fetched Warri story that happened during the nationwide lock down, of some military men who unashamedly, in a viral social media video, touted how they’d rape women in their host communities for an alleged report of indigenes beating up some military personnel. Report says they were later apprehended.
Stories abound in the media and personal experiences of citizens of the high handedness of the force men, maltreatment from them, apprehension of innocent people for crimes they never showed up when they were committed. Ultimately, many lives, especially young lives, have been lost via wanton killings by trigger-happy security operatives. Within the period of the recent coronavirus pandemic and the lock down that it occasioned, security operatives at some point, were reported to have killed more persons than the virus itself had killed. What a world! In the same period, a police man was reported to have shot a 22-year old in Anambra State Citizen, who was running away from been caught by them when the time for curfew had reached. He died…
Some thing comes clear: the security system needs to consider some things before recruitment. Educational level of candidates before recruitment should be considered. Admitted that we have a lot of educated people who don’t reason well. But at a higher percentage, the reasoning of a university graduate cannot be the same with that of an SSCE holder. The psychological condition and disposition of candidates should also be evaluated. Psychologists have suggested that they be tested to make sure they do not have underlying issues which could get enraged upon possession of a gun, and make them shoot citizens at any slightest provocation. It is needful that we don’t have a situation of using “animals” to maintain peace and order among humans.
I watch in dismay how agents of security agencies, who it has been argued in some quarters, may not even have OND in any discipline, harass journalists with several years of experience from the classroom and the field, waging them from coming close to their bosses, the politicians we unanimously elected, or maybe ones that stole out votes.
Importantly, people who represent us, purportedly sometimes though, must as a matter of urgency, raise the bar in recruitment process. If we have well educated persons at check points, their disposition to road users will be different.If it be possible, I suggest educational qualification should begin from an OND. I think, however, that the problem is that our government may not want to pay as much as is commensurate for possession of such level of education. But, it’s something that needs to be done. It will save us a whole lot.
It will in my thinking, help raise the bar in education too, as many persons who would like to work in the force, which is a good thing for us, will seek to be educated.
It will definitely rub off on their disposition in the discharge of their duties.
About the Author
Precious Ihunanya Ukeje is an Anambra-based journalist with a penchant for communication education.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Department of Communication Arts, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
He is passionate about impacting lives, research, volunteering, engaging in human affairs conversations and has keen interest in broadcast journalism with hopes of returning to the classroom soonest.