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News Commentary: Curbing the recurring incidents of police brutality on the citizens

Written by on January 4, 2023

Written by Blessing Akawu of our News and Current Affairs Department

The recent killing of Bolanle Raheem,a seven month old pregnant lawyer by a trigger- happy police officer in Lagos state has once again brought to the fore,the unending police brutality on the citizens .

The expectant mother was said to be on her way to buy pizza with members of her family on Christmas day when she was shot dead by one ASP Drambi Vandi of Ajiwe Police Station, Ajah, Lagos.

Media reports has it that her husband was driving when the officer asked them to park well but before they could do so,the police officer fired a gun shot which hit her in the chest . The female lawyer died afterward while the remaining police officers on duty were said to have fled the scene.

This kind of heartbroken incident is condemnable in all ramifications and should not be allowed to happen in any state of the federation where policemen are found performing their duties

It is a sad reminder that the much talked about police reform in the country is yet to take place or achieve any meaningful result .

Given the continued killing of innocent citizens by the police after the ENDSARS protest despite the presumed intervention by the government is an indication that the present crop of Nigerian leaders do not understand what to do with police reforms.

To make any impact, the place to start with the reform of the police is the minds of the personnel.

In his book, Boldly Comes Justice: Sentient, Not Silent, India-born author and peace advocate, Abhijit Naskar, suggests that police is not a profession, but a promise of
protection.

Nigeria’s political leaders who use the police as instruments of oppression against the common man must understand this when they talk about reforming the institution.

This brings up many questions about what is wrong in the police system including the issue of corruption and the amount of attention being paid to the welfare of policemen from recruitment until retirement.

What is also the protocol for the issuance and usage of arms and ammunition in the Nigeria Police Force. Does anyone account? Events over the years suggest otherwise.
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The young female lawyer’s death is now the problem of her husband, her aged mother and so many others that she may have touched their lives positively

Until a genuine reform is carried out in the Nigeria police system,it is only a matter of time for another innocent person to get caught in the recklessness of the same people meant to protect them. Nigerian government should act quickly to avoid a re-occurrence of this ugly incident


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