The Nigerian Police Challenge to the Nation

The Nigerian Police Challenge to the Nation

The Nigerian police are part of the Force meant to protect the citizens by ensuring everyone adheres to the rules and regulations set by governing bodies. But it’s a shame that they are the first to disobey the rules and regulations.

There are two things I want to point out in this article:

  • If you don’t obey the rules, the citizens won’t obey too. It’s simple.
  • A police officer taking bribes from common citizens can’t correct the citizens. He does not deem fit.

Bribery has become a norm for every citizen of Nigeria. Sometimes, I am in disbelief when I see public taxi drivers paying unaccountable money to police officers by the roadside.

The money is meant to cover up for the driver’s incomplete vehicle documents and driver’s license. Also, the money is meant to cover up for the thorough search that should be carried out on any suspected vehicle.

Meaning, the lives of all citizens are at stake for a meagre 50 naira. That’s the worst state of corruption in the country. Some police officers I see on the road are not fit enough to be a gatekeeper and I still wonder why they are still on duty. Most of them can’t face or apprehend an unarmed thief, let alone of the ones with sophisticated weapons. Perhaps they got the job through a family member or friend. Some even had to sacrifice their first twelve months salary to get the police job. No wonder our security is so fragile. These people are the loopholes in the security sector.

This issue of bribing police has been imbibed into every citizen mentality. It’s growing like a tumour. Everyone sees bribing as the easiest way to get what they want.

I could remember during my undergraduate days, we had some lecturers who will ask for money to pass a student. You can’t blame them because they have been robbed by the laws too – the police.

Even getting a job at the national level, you have to pay a huge amount of money.

Who do we blame for this problem? – Those in forces. They have soiled their reputations. Everyone sees bribing as a norm since the police, soldiers, customs, FRSC are all doing it. So there’s nothing bad about it. After all, we will bribe them if we get caught. And this mentality is being passed around.

Even at an institution of learning, we have candidates seeking admission paying admin officers to get shortlisted. We have those who were issued fake certificates. These have become rampant in Nigeria.

If those in the force have frowned on this act, perhaps, if they are not dragging themselves too low to accept bribes from the common citizens, then everyone will comply. No one will want to go against the rules because they know that there’s no police to give bribe or soldier to settle. Meaning, no one will seek the shortcuts.

Until we have those meant to guide the citizens standing upright, corruption will never end in Nigeria.

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