The erudite Inspector General of Police,Ogbonnaya Onovo,has moved his office to the East to address, dead centre,the kidnapping of the journalists.
The Nigerian Television Authority, NTA reported on the meeting he had with top brass of the police in the East.
I hope some of you saw the news clip. I hope, I heard what was reported correctly:he was reported to have threatened to dismantle police road blocks because people had lost confidence in the police. In addition, he said he was keeping in abeyance (my word), the promotion of officers who were in the states where kidnapping had not abated.
To a casual listener, these sound like laudable steps,meant to provoke action. A careful examination, would reveal the flaws in the thinking behind his move.
Is the erudite IG saying, indirectly, that checkpoints, are a reward for policemen when they are efficient.Or is it that he has received an epiphany, and has seen,what all of us have been seeing for the past, twenty plus years: that checkpoints, as they have them in the East,one for every three hundred metres,
Has the IG, in a fit of anger, let slip ,what all of us have always suspected, that checkpoints, are toll gates for policemen to augment their income.
The incalculable harm done to poor,defenseless Nigerians by these toll gates, are incalculable. I travel all the time, and I have never seen a checkpoint that did not collect money from a commercial driver.Never!
So if the IG wants to dismantle checkpoints, he should go ahead, some of us would even give God thanks in church. I am yet to find out how cars stolen in Lagos,end up in Maiduguri! I used to ask myself, did these cars fly,or were they smuggled in briefcases or something?
If the IG wants to know, checkpoints are not useful to us, the police need them more.
The second interesting talking point, is the threat to withhold promotions! I thought the Police Service Commission, and other statutory organs,and procedures empowered,were responsible for promotions? Arbitrariness in matters of promotion,was what gave birth to the Nuhu Ribadu debacle! Some said he was due,others said he was not.Who were we to believe?
Mr IG if a man is due to be promoted, please do not hold up his promotion because he is not helping you look good, or because your job is in jeopardy.
Not promoting them could be counterproductive. An already demotivated,and disncentivized corps of long suffering men,would suffer loss of seniority ,and income. Please promote them sir, they may take it out on us, the unarmed, helpless public.
As I sign off, let us offer a prayer for the release of our journalists now in captivity. May God deliver them safely, and may He give their families the strength to bear up under the trauma.
And as they are released,
May our IG still dismantle the road blocks, and promote his officers and men, whose promotions are due.
I do love this great country of ours, so much,
it hurts to see her like this.
MAY GOD BLESS NIGERIA,MY BELOVED NIGERIA,FOREVER, ALWAYS!