Home » Articles, Columnists, Nigerian Police, NNP Columnists, Tochukwu Ezukanma » The Buhari Presidency and the Increasing Police Brutality – By Tochukwu Ezukanma

The Buhari Presidency and the Increasing Police Brutality – By Tochukwu Ezukanma

By Tochukwu Ezukanma | Lagos, Nigeria | February 13, 2023 – There is an Igbo saying, “Eze mua amu, ndi odibo ya e tiwa si ba isi”. This loosely translates to, “if the king laughs, his servants will become delirious with laughter.” In other words, servants are out to impress their master, and prove their loyalty to him, and consequently, will carry to the extreme the master’s desires and actions. The Nigeria Police Force, in this context, is the servants, and President Buhari is the king. If the government respects, develops, protects, and secures Nigerians, the Nigerian police, invariably, will revere and protect Nigerians. But, as the Buhari administration obviously despises Nigerians lives, what is expected of its police force – its servants – committed to furthering the master’s desires and preferences. It will inevitably despise Nigerian lives, and consequently, be   brutal and trigger-happy.

The Buhari administration stokes violence across the country and trivializes human life. It allows bandits and terrorists alarming amplitude to murderously rampage across the country. With a thorough bred Islamic fundamentalist and a bigoted, nepotistic Fulani irredentist, as president, Fulani expansionism found sympathy and support in the presidency. Thus, what used to be periodic clashes between sedentary farmers and itinerant herdsmen, and, was usually slugged out with knives and bludgeons, took a gruesome twist. It degenerated to routine, meticulously orchestrated, and extremely deadly, attacks on farming communities by heavily armed Fulani herdsmen.

Armed with machine guns and high-powered assault rifles, emboldened by the presidency, and exhibiting strategies and dexterity beyond the capabilities of mere cattle-herders, Fulani herdsmen are terrorizing farming communities: maiming and slaughtering defenseless men, women and children, raping women, torching homes and destroying entire villages across central and southern Nigeria. To the Buhari administration, these Fulani terrorists are the lords of Nigeria, with an uncontestable right to every inch of the country, and can therefore traverse it, and triumphantly and defiantly flaunt their A47s, rape women, murder the innocent, and sack and seize villages. As the horrific consequences of their terrorism increases, and the number of the dead, raped, maimed, bereaved and displaced mounts, the Buhari administration prevaricates and equivocates.

Banditry is a progeny of Fulani chauvinism, expansionism, and warped sense of exclusive right to power. There are frightful stories tracing the provenance of the bandits to Mohammadu Buhari and his coterie of fanatical Fulani expansionists. The bandits are having a field-day. In addition to been pampered by the federal government and paid staggering amounts of money for their robbery, killing and kidnapping by their victims, fundamentalist Islamic northern politicians and clerics ingratiate them and extol their blood-soaked criminality. Did Sheik Abubakar Gumi not recently laud them as “our warriors?”

His acclamation of these marauding kidnappers and mass-murderers as “our warriors” is repulsively coldhearted. It is nauseating; it dramatizes incomparable callousness to the pains, sorrow and death of their victims: thousands of them. However, he can continue to spout his hateful nonsense, and express scary disdain for human lives because they are all in conformity with the prevailing sentiments within the Buhari administration.

The police force is merely an instrument of the ruling elite; and its handling of Nigerians is a direct reflection of the attitude of the Buhari presidency towards Nigerians. What can be expected from a police force, whose behaviors reflect acclaim for banditry and terrorism; approval of the mass-murder of the innocent by Fulani herdsmen; and dramatized contempt for human lives? It must be palpably contemptuous of Nigerian lives, and thus, kill and degrade the people. Not surprisingly, since 2015, painful, tear-jerking stories of police brutality and extra-judicial killings have been on the increase in Nigeria.

At Ijora, Lagos State, a sixteen year old boy, Emmanuel Chukwu, was killed when the police opened fire on a group of youths that gathered at the police station, in protest, against possible police connivance with a child kidnapper. According to the boy’s mother, “On getting to the police station, I pleaded that they allow me to see his body but they refused, and threatened to shoot me, if I didn’t leave immediately”. And the Baale went to the station to plead that the mother be allowed access to the son’s corpse. He was arrested and detained till the next day. Why threaten to shoot a mother for wanting to see her son’s corpse? Why arrest and detain a Baale for pleading that a mother be allowed to see the remains of her dead son? It is Apartheid-styled systematic degradation of Nigerians by the police, which unavoidably mirrors the contempt of their masters – President Buhari and the All Progressive Congress (APC) ruling elite – for the Nigerian masses.

On Christmas day, 2022, a police man, Drambi Vani, shot and killed a 41 year old pregnant woman. She was riding with her husband and daughter and other family members, on their way home from church, when the policeman shot at them, and killed the lady. A husband, wife and daughter and family members – what an innocuous, benign group? Still, they were shot at, not by a psychopath on the prowl to steal and kill, but by a policeman, a sentinel of law and order, and supposedly, professionally trained, disciplined and self-restrained, and deployed to protect the people. Secondly, the errant policeman is not a police rookie, still susceptible to twitchiness, rashness, and other strains of unprofessionalism, but a veteran police officer of 33 years of service.

A litany of the wanton killings by the Nigerian police is beyond the scope of this article. The point however is that a police force in the service of a government that places more value on bovine (cow) life than human life, will inescapably be derisive of human life. Until there is an attitudinal change within the police force, nothing, not retraining and/or reorientation will considerably reduce these unjustifiable killings by the police. It is only a new found reverence for the sanctity of human life within the ranks of the governing, which will inevitably filter down to the ranks of the police force, that will drastically reduce the meaningless killings of Nigerians by the Nigerian police.

Tochukwu Ezukanma writes from Lagos, Nigeria | [email protected] | 0803 529 2908wp_posts

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Posted by on Feb 13 2023. Filed under Articles, Columnists, Nigerian Police, NNP Columnists, Tochukwu Ezukanma. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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