Opinion: Who will stop and search the Nigerian police?

by Ewa Edmund Okpo

I learned that the State Government has endorsed a Mass Stop And Search Operation by the Nigeria Police Force in Akwa Ibom State following the attempted assassination of Mr. Cletus Ekpo, the transition chairman of Etinan Local Government Area, two days ago. The assassination attempt lead to the death of his orderly, casualty of his driver and himself whom I learnt collected two and a half bullets – one in the hand, one in the leg and one that narrowly brushed his head – Jesus – the bonuses of being the leader!

See how a young man who left his home in the morning to serve his nation as a police orderly now returns as a corpse. Another family loses a bread winner.

As I reflect on this loss and the narrow escape of the other two and the Stop And Search Order it suddenly hits me and I’m like wow! The police have never had it this good. A license to fill their Xmas Jar by mischief? Is it not a known fact that some men of the Nigeria Police Force always use this “Mber” months period for their “Xmas Hustle”? A time some of them take delight in extorting members of the masses by harassment. It’s the time our vehicle papers can never be complete nor our vehicles perfect, a time when it’s an indictable misfeasance to be a pedestrian at whatever hour and area. A time they must make good returns to their “Oga at the top” and have enough to take home if they must survive the Yuletide Tides especially in this season of “Changi” nay recession. And now with the state government’s support courtesy of the “Etinan Assailants” everybody in Akwa Ibom State is officially a “suspect”.

But come to think of it, I thought they said that Godswill Akpabio was the one assassinating and attempting to assassinate people in this state? Could it be that the man is still sneaking in from the senate to continue his “evil”? I think the time has come for us to always tell ourselves the truth instead of looking for someone to put the blames on and crucify. Time has come for us to be the Akwa Ibom Abasi people that we are destined to be.

Methinks without vacillation that the “Stop And Search” is more of a call on us than an order to the Nigeria Police. It’s high time we stopped and searched our ambitions, it’s high time we stopped and searched our minds for evil and mischief, it’s high time we stopped and searched our homes and cars for weapons and contrabands, it’s high time we stopped and searched our souls for damnation, it’s high time we stopped and searched our brains for ignorance and stupidity, it’s high time we stopped and searched the companies that we keep, it’s high time we stopped and searched our conversations and very importantly for the boys – it’s high time we stopped and searched our pockets for “Igbo”, “Ikong Ekpo”, marijuana or something else before we will say it was the police man that put them there.

And by the way “Qui Custodiet Ipso Custodiet?”- who watches the watch dog? Who will search the police for us first? And while it is illegal for male police officers to conduct search on women, is there any man in this state that will resist a female police officer searching him thoroughly especially the pretty ones.


Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Ewa Okpo is a lawyer based in Akwa Ibom State.

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