The Nigeria Police has been “removing” roadblocks since forever, will they actually do it?

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has ordered the dismantling of all roadblocks nationwide with immediate effect.

He stated that Special X-Squad teams of the Force have been deployed throughout the country to “destroy roadblocks in the country.”

Idris added that “no police department, section, squad or unit should mount road block.”

While this may be commendable considering the number of atrocities committed by policemen at these roadblocks, this has, however, been the narrative over the years.

In April this year, Idris had given the same directive which obviously was not acted upon.

The IGP had announced the creation of a Special X-Squad team which he said will destroy all illegal roadblocks in the country.

Five months after, the Police Chief is still singing the same tune, at a time when the directive should have been fully effected.

Former IGP Solomon Arase in 2015 also ordered the removal of police checkpoints from the highways.

Arase, some months after the order argued that it was still being enforced and has reduced corruption in the Police Force.

A year before, Suleiman Abba, Arase’s predecessor also ordered the destruction of roadblocks in the country.

More worrisome is the fact that Mohammed Abubakar had in 2012 banned roadblocks on highways and boasted that the action had helped save N6.43 trillion. But years later, Nigeria is still being plagued by the same problem of illegal roadblocks.

Is it that the hierarchy of the Police cannot enforce simple laws or the rank and file decided to disobey the order because they believe there are no consequences for their inactions? The latter is totally justifiable considering the many misbehaviours of police officers which have been left unattended to.

Police officers have continued to confidently harass and brutalise innocent citizens over the years.

Hopefully, the directive will be fully enforced this time and Nigeria will finally be rid of illegal structures on the highways.

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