22 officers killed: Police lives matter, By Fredrick Nwabufo

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Humanity is all inclusive. There are no higher or lesser humans. We all breathe the same air. Whether doctor, lawyer, journalist, police or soldier; we are all humans first, and as such we are entitled the natural right exist, live.


When this right is breached – even if it concerns our ‘’enemy’’ – we must all stand up against the violator and condemn the abomination. We cease being human when we selectively outrage against transgressions. Every breach of the human code must be condemned. The right live is eternal; hence any innocent soul lost violence of any kind must not be discounted. All lives matter.


As a matter of fact, in the heat of the violence that assailed the peaceful #EndSARS protests, the indignities executed some members of the security agencies were consigned as footnotes. must say, the violence was not the craft of the #EndSARS protesters; it was the sleight of hand of state agents and commanders of state terror who introduced hoodlums into the mix. The protests were largely peaceful until state-sponsored thugs, like bloodhounds, got unleashed citizens exercising their . The centre could no longer hold and mere anarchy was loosed upon the nation.


Yes, we simply cannot obviate the government’s role in the machination of the violence that nearly devoured the country. We must recognise that, and in fact emphasise it, those retailers of violence across the country were never #EndSARS protesters. We must not confute this fact. While the government’s backed hooligans were plaguing peaceful protesters, their brothers in arms took over the place, killing and maiming citizens, including law enforcement agents.


must concede, the savage killing of police officers in the recent violence has not received proportional outrage. understand why this is so. But it is inexcusable. These are humans like the rest of us – with families. Some of them were the breadwinners of their homes; they were fathers their kids; they were husbands their wives; they were brothers their siblings and sons to their . Let us take a minute to imagine the agony of those they left behind. Really, beyond their uniforms, they are just humans — with one life and cognate human challenges.


watched the videos of some of these killings. Too gruesome, too bestial, too ghastly. One of the recordings show a policeman with a knife stuck in his forehead, bleeding from all orifices while a mob a vicious turn him. Another shows the beheading of an officer. Oh! God!


Really, the past incidents are some of the darkest episodes in our recent history. Stranger than fiction. I used to think ‘’beheading’’ is a barbarity left in the gutters of our bloody past. Alas! We are unevolving.


In some places, police officers were ‘’carbonised’’ and about 205 police stations razed. I believe, this is saddening for all genuine #EndSARS protesters. Let me restate it, the violence was never the design of the majority of who demanded the disbandment of the special anti-robbery squad unit. only seek a police that protect them, and not extort, frame, harm or kill them.


I condemn the killing of all police officers in the recent orgy of bloodletting. I am outraged by the killings. And I ask that all those who have a hand in the carnage be made to account for their crime.


Expectedly, police officers are refusing to return to their duty post. They are asking, ‘’why we protect those that have humiliated us so?’’


A divisional police officer was quoted by PRNigeria to have said: “In these ember months, and up to period and the New Year, I doubt if any of the security services can guarantee maximum security as usual. There is no way we can our statutory responsibilities and function when we have become soft targets of miscreants and violent persons. Our destroyed facilities are yet to be reconstructed and rehabilitated; our looted armouries are yet to be restocked and when our men and women are yet to get over the humiliation of the atrocities committed them by the same people we are charged to protect, how can we return to our duty post?”


There is no defence for truancy. As long as they are still being paid by -payers they have to do their bounden duty. It is understandable that they could be experiencing ebbing in morale, but this is the time they have to rise up and show it is a new era in the .


Let the #EndSARS protest be the change that the police themselves need to reform and survive, and to address its own internal contradictions and challenges. We cannot minimise the important issue of police welfare if we really desire the best from the security agency. Let this be the herald of improved welfare and work condition as well as training for members of the . By declining to do their constitutional duty, the police officers are leaving more room for citizens’ distrust and revulsion.


The police cannot police well without the cooperation of citizens. So, leaving to their own fate because they campaigned for reforms in the only worsen police – citizen relationship.


This is the time we have to reach out to each other – the police and the civil population – to build a strong bond. We must rise from this stronger and better. Let #EndSARS be the spark that bring about a new epoch of law enforcement and citizen camaraderie.


Again, police lives matter.


Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist


Twitter @FredrickNwabufo