If you LOVE NIGERIA, then LOVE THE POLICE!
Obviously, a LOT of things are wrong in our nation BUT we must REJECT the temptation to look away from our meaning, our honour and our dignity simply because we want to underscore our struggles. While some claim to hate the nation, they still will not allow you steal their personal belongings to justify our economic struggles. This is a pointer to a consciousness within us that SEARCHES FOR MEANING AND FULFILLMENT even right IN THE MIDST OF PAIN AND STRUGGLE.
This is IMPORTANT- society MUST find its rhythm and balance in the INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTION of every stakeholder in the system. INDIVIDUAL RELEVANCE IS THE STRENGTH OF COLLECTIVE PEACE. And this brings us to an issue of collective concern – THE POLICE FORCE. Yes! The police force.
If Nigerians have built their ability to worry, complain and criticize the system, then the police force is that one system that provides a veritable source of issues to harp on. It is obvious that the police force is the EASIEST TO CRITICIZE, considering its INFAMOUS REPUTATION for INSTITUTIONAL CORRUPTION and lack of pride and professionalism.
On a second thought, let us examine OUR PARADIGM. Have we seen the Police as an institution that puts her LIFE ON THE LINE for you and me? Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his fellow citizens. If we shift our paradigm, then we will recognize the INTRINSIC WORTH of that institution regardless of our justifiable perceptions about them.
These men whom we expect to trust for the protection of our lives and properties are the same people the system has REFUSED TO CATER FOR appreciably. We pay peanut SALARIES that are DELAYED and refuse to provide the INFRASTRUCTURE and SYSTEM that will engender pride in the force. Imagine a police office that looks like your business office with STATE OF THE ART EQUIPMENT, efficient human resources functions and DECENT SALARIES. Wouldn’t you think of joining the police too?
POLICE MEN HAVE DREAMS LIKE YOU AND I. Man is not entirely altruistic. So by the system we have today, can we ask WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM? What’s in it for them is hunger, unfulfilled dreams, inability to cater for their families and meet basic needs. If he is shot on the street defending you against armed robbery, he DIES FOR NOTHING. WOULD YOU subject yourself to this kind of fate?
THIS MIGHT SOUND CONTROVERSIAL- when a police man asks you for BRIBE, it’s an act of kindness. You give a man who is hungry and hasn’t paid his child’s school fees a gun, and expect him to protect you? What if his DESPERATION COMPROMISES his JUDGEMENT and makes him steal from you or kill to satisfy his immediate needs. PLEASE RECONSIDER!
Henceforth, see it as a PERSONAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, having understood the pains and struggles of the average policeman to hand out a BOTTLE OF COKE or CHILLED WATER when you meet them in the hot sun AT THE CHECKPOINT. GIVE to officers even BEFORE THEY ASK. Go to their offices to donate bags of rice, so they can FEED THEIR FAMILIES. Being a PROACTIVE CITIZEN means that we can’t wait for the government to do this. Police must be well taken care of, so much so that the gun they carry means nothing to them but a tool for PROTECTION of innocent citizens.
Our POLICE FORCE is an ENDANGERED SPECIES! We cannot correct the evil of the police force with an equal evil of continued negligence. OUR POLICE OFFICERS NEED LOVE. They need to be treated with DIGNITY AND RESPECT. When the police officer and his countrymen meet on the altar of love and empathy, a new flame of unity and purpose will begin to burn.
If you love Nigeria, then LOVE THE POLICE! This is THE LIFE.