#JusticeForSeyiAkinade is a reminder that we are paying with our lives for a ‘corrupt police force’

#EndSARS has been a trend for close to a decade. Police brutality has been a ‘normal’ event in Nigeria but was brought to the fore with the advent of social media, and users finding out what good can be done with the various social media platforms.

Every other week, we read stories of one or two persons ‘kidnapped’ by men of the Police force and forced to empty their pockets. Sometimes, we do not see these people anymore, at other times, these victims come out with bad stories to tell of the Nigeria Police Force. We cannot even determine how many who do not use social media, but are picked up for no reason and made to pay for ‘bail’ through their throats.

You read and see all these things and wonder what kind of training these men take. ‘What do they tell these men when they are given guns?’ To kill or to protect. If you picked the former, stories won’t judge.

We cannot look over the efforts of a few men of the Police force who do their jobs like they should be doing. Yet, we cannot pretend not to see that the Police force needs urgent reforms. I mean…Nigerians fear the Police more than criminals and respect for ‘men in Black’ has literally faded.

What’s up today?

A story is told of a young promising Nigerian who was kidnapped in school by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). He got out of it but the scars remained and this affected him greatly. He had reached out on social media, asking for justice but got nothing and it broke him. He committed suicide.

And then…

It’s been too long since Nigerians have cried out that the Police is killing more innocent citizens than criminal. These cries are loud because social media spreads information as far as possible, but we do not know how many have ‘disappeared’ from the streets courtesy of Police brutality.

We had thought that when the Vice President(then Acting President), Yemi Osinbajo ordered the reform of the Nigerian Police Force, we will be free of avoidable killings but what do we have? A police force that hardly differentiates criminal from tax-paying innocent Nigerian – a group of men who become hyperactive when they spot a young man trying to eke out a living for himself.

How long shall we continue to endure in this unconscionable evil of the bad eggs in our police service? Are we hopeless in this situation? Is this now a case of “who is next?”

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