‘The Police is your Friend’
I had just finished watching ‘ Bloody Night’, a Nollywood flick mirroring the Nigerian police’s brutality. Minutes after the last cast had been displayed, I still stared at the computer, unable to decide the next line of action.
It was a perfect script , almost a reality and I imagined myself confronted with such a life threatening situation. I put myself in the shoes of the victims, particularly the men and women (actors ) that died as a result of lies, deception and corruption in a bid to cover up the officers’ inefficiency and greed.
My annoyance was extended to the guilty criminals who got away with their crime simply because they knew someone in a position of authority or had the financial prowess to entice the gullible officers
In my mind’s eyes, I went down memory lane to the numerous tragic encounters of Nigerians in the hands of their supposed protectors.
I had heard and even seen those victims myself. Each had a sad story to tell about their experiences.
The fact that the officers collect twenty Naira from motorists at check-points is no longer news; it is seen as a normal thing and the activity takes place in the full glare of the public.
Avoidable road accidents and loss of lives occur as a result of ineptitude and carefree attitude of the personnel. They excuse their unprofessional and inhuman acts with pitiable stories of low remuneration and compensation by the government and justify the blatant and shameless extortion, with the overly corrupt politicians and other public office holders as their yardstick.
The movie is a fictional reality of the state of affairs of a state where the innocent common man is implicated or even gunned down as a cover-up of systemic failure while the hardened criminals walk away free as a result of their social standing and influence.
Is it not ironical that those saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and properties of the citizenry now collaborate with armed robbers to constitute a nuisance to the society?
There are instances where the police wait for the robbers to conclude a robbery operation and escape before arrival at the scene despite distress calls been made much earlier, only to arrive and arrest innocent passers-by or eye witnesses. They are charged with the crime not withstanding obvious contradicting evidence. And must bail themselves with huge sums of money which end up in some private purse or choose to languish in the cell.
The ‘Bloody Night’ is an exposition of the level of corruption and man’s inhumanity to man in my dear country. Well scripted with a clear interpretation of roles; it was not written in a vacuum even though some scenes might have been exaggerated.
Until there is a sincere and concerted efforts by the powers that be, innocent citizens will continue to be victimized and the people may have no choice than to seek other means to protect themselves.