The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, as expected, wasted no time in sanctioning the dismissal of the police sergeant, Chris Omeleze, caught on video negotiating for bribe with a motorist arrested for traffic offence. The IG, while confronting newsmen in Abuja, was bold to defend his action that the policeman, having been tried and found culpable, be dismissed to serve as a lesson to others who take liberty in abusing the privileges of wearing the uniform.
Well, one down many more to go should be the summary of the scene that had been concluded with the dismissal of the greedy cop who threw caution into the winds while negotiating for N25,000 from a hapless motorist who was even prepared to pay something.
The story of corruption in the police is not new just as their method of extortion is legendary. Just like the disgraced cop, there are many whose motive of joining the force is not for the opportunity to serve but looking for ways to exploit the system without caring for the integrity of the force. Subsequent regimes have tried to fight the monster in all ramifications but it appears the rot is too entrenched to bring about the desired change.
Even in spite of the fate of Omeleze in this instance, there are numerous cases that are yet to see the light of the day.
But for the courage of the motorist in question that succeeded in capturing the development which was posted on the net, the same cop would have denied involvement and no one could have believed the story except that ‘pictures don’t lie.’
While commending the IGP for responding promptly in eliminating the cancerous cop from service, he must also be reminded that the deal has not been perfected until the co-conspirators of the cop are also identified and given appropriate treatment and sanctions. From the conversation of Omeleze in the video, he said it clearly that he was not acting alone.
Before calling one Wasiu to relate the message to the boss, the cop said repeatedly. Under no circumstances would the greedy cop operate alone without the backings of his own Oga at the top as usual to who he reports to after each operation. The battle against corruption must be fought with determination if the monster must be subdued in the police.
To think that the confrontation would be easy is an admission of failure even before confronting the brutal fact. Until the IG is ready to restrain himself from handling the issue with kid gloves, it may not achieve the desired results.
Therefore, the need to employ the highest form of sanction to ensure compliance with the established norms of a civilised society needs not be overemphasized. It is time for the force to acknowledge that the war against corruption among its rank and file cannot be successfully waged within the service alone but more effectively by collaborating with other civil groups in beaming the searchlight into the activities of its men particularly when on operation.
But for the initiatives of a courageous citizen using the advantages of social media by posting the video on Youtube from where it went viral on the web, it could have been difficult to convince the police sergeant himself that he actually demanded for N25, 000. There is no doubt that the motivation for the likes of Omeleze to go on patrol was not to ease the congestion on the roads but to corruptly enrich themselves.
Apart from the few ones lacking in integrity, there are many upright Nigerians in the police whose gallantry in the service of fatherland must be rewarded often in order to serve as encouragement to others.
In addition, the remuneration and allowances must be enhanced to inspire them to go on patrol in national interest knowing full well that their needs are secured and guaranteed.
What happened is also an eye opener that the time is ripe to monitor activities of men on patrol and other assignments with hidden cameras and other gadgets in other to reveal certain unpatriotic behaviours particularly of non- conformists who are out to tarnish the reputation of the police.
Certainly there are bad eggs among the cops but the earlier they are flushed out, the better for the overall wellbeing of this country.
Source: National Mirror Newspaper
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