I had the “privilege” of entering a Nigerian Police station recently and was shell shocked at how dingy the place was. The buildings were so ugly that a coat of paint would shiver in trepidation and disgust before embracing their walls.  It had rained the night before and there was enough water inside the station to make me go looking for a scuba diving gear. The squalor was so bad that Napoleon and his cronies in George Orwell’s “Animal farm” would not have stayed there for a day. Their own accommodation would have seemed like the Plaza or the Ritz compared to what my eyes beheld.

Some of the officers could not string words to form a good sentence in English even at the risk of losing their lives and they strolled in way past their resumption time though they are supposed to be a bastion of punctuality. Their approach to urgent things and pace was slower than a hamstrung tortoise (I wonder if they have some tortoises’ for tutors in their colleges). Looking at their physical condition, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of them cannot do a 5 meter dash without their hearts giving in.

Someone had gone to report the theft of a car and you could almost see them licking their chops like wolves at the sight of hapless lambs. They converged on this fellow with the predatory instincts and rapacity of sharks at the smell of blood. The frenzy with which they encompassed the guy even made them start fighting amongst one another. Greed filled their eyes like malevolent light and their compassion meters read zero. Anyone with the eyes to see would notice a reverse evolution taking place as men transformed into something less human. (I finally could get into J.R.R Tolkien’s mind and understand how greed turned a living being into Gollum in Lords of the Ring. Greed does that). All this was in a bid to get something out of a guy that had been emotionally assaulted by armed robbers.

Recently in the southern part of the country a young man was shot to death in the presence of his mother because he confronted some policemen and told them to stop harassing and taking N20 from bus drivers. These same guys, who attack citizens with impunity and so much bravado, who pump limitless rounds of bullets into innocent boys, flee at the sight of armed thieves. They look the other way when area boys molest innocent citizens.

The men in black have become more of undertakers than protectors. They say that they are our friends but in reality they are the biggest enemy of this country apart from the “great” PHCN.  Black uniform and all, they are like soulless fiends from Hades instead of friends.

In all sincerity, I met a really good one amongst them who cared but what good can one ant do amongst so many scarab beetles.

Observing this made my heart break and I wept for this country. If the force that is supposed to protect its citizens is almost as bad if not worse than bandits aside from the fact that they wear uniforms then it is pathetic. Thinking of the whole thing reminded me of the dirge David sang for Saul and his sons. He might as well have been singing for Nigeria because that jeremiad was about the tragedy of a nation amongst other things. Truth is, the police do not have a monopoly on greed, the vice is like a cancer in the blood of this country and that is one of the major reasons the nation is in the quagmire of stagnancy, poverty and mediocrity. We forget that Jesus said that, “WE SHOULD BEWARE OF COVETOUSNESS; THE LIFE OF A MAN DOES NOT CONSIST OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THINGS WHICH HE OWNS”!!! The malady of greed is just worse with the police because of what they stand for.

But the experience got questions running in my head like a herd of stampeding wildebeest. Why is the police force the way it is? I strongly believe the answers to these questions would help the force and be like a panacea to this ill nation.  For me it is a riddle of the egg and the chicken, which comes first?

Are these people the way they are because the Government does not give a hoot about them?  Is it because they are cultured in poverty soaked and filthy environments (no one raises peacocks in pig’s swill). Is it because they don’t go for trainings and are not paid well even though their line of duty is hazardous? Is it because they almost have no insurance for them and their families to fall back on when they become casualties in the line of duty? Or is it that it is the dregs of the Nigerian’s society (the unschooled, the uneducated, the unrefined, and the mediocre) that are enlisted in to its Police force, people who were stuck in ruts on the path of destiny and decided to join its ranks for lack of something better to do? Is there a vision that guides their behavioural patterns? Do they have a clear understanding of what they are supposed to be doing?

The Nigeria populace is filled with citizens whose limbs and hearts were at one time or another bitten to bits by this black uniformed monster at one time and another. This country is hemorrhaging, HOW DO WE TAME THE SHARK??? Please, I need your input, I need some answer here.


2 thoughts on “A SHARK’S TALE.

  1. The police force in africa is same..from east to west north and perhaps south..if you start responding to all your questions then i guess…you wouldnt want to live not a single minute…Africa has ignored its own…


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