Attacks on Police facilities, misplaced anger – Ex-Police Chief

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Simon Okeke, a former Chairman, Police Service Commission, has described incessant attacks on policemen and their facilities in the South East as misplaced anger by the citizenry.

Addressing newsmen in Nnewi South Local Area of Anambra, Okeke decried increasing security challenges in the country, particularly in the South East, describing it as worrisome.

He lamented the killing of policemen, destruction of police stations, patrol vehicles, security gadgets and loss of arms.

“These incessant attacks on the police facilities can be linked bottled anger or accumulated aggression or what we can call misplaced anger on the part of the citizenry.

“Though, there may be ‘bad eggs’ in the Police Force, but it does not justify the series of attacks on them or their facilities.

“The prevailing situation is very worrisome. South East has been among the safest states across the country, especially Anambra, but for some now, that peace and serenity has been disturbed and uprooted, “he said.

Okeke said that 90 per cent of the police stations were built by private individuals and community efforts before they were handed over to the Police Force.

“Nothing happens without a cause. The EndSARS protest broke down the peace we had. All sets of people, known and unknown hijacked the demonstration to loot and destroy government property.

“These attackers do not realise that they are just destroying their own property.

“The police force cannot rebuild these facilities because they do not have the money. It is the same community that will rebuild them, which is currently happening.

“I agree that citizens-police relationship today is not the same as it was in my own time. Even the police you are accusing have their own complaints against the government and society,” he said

Okeke, who advocated the establishment of state police, said it was the only panacea to the country’ current security challenges.

“That’s why people like me have been advocating for state police since 2003, without which things will continue to deteriorate.

“This is because the needs of the Police Force have exceeded the budget approved by . Police prestige is no longer there as they are no longer being taken care of.

“It is a vicious circle. People are angry because the police are not doing what they are supposed to be doing,’ he said.