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Nigerian Policemen Need Anger Management In Curbing Extrajudicial Killings

Updated on April 28, 2020
Awolesi Abiodun Adedola profile image

Abiodun has witnessed police brutality in the past. He has also worked in clinics and schools and understands the need for anger management

Nigerian Policemen Need Anger Management In Curbing Their Extrajudicial Killings

The recent brutal killing of a Policewoman/traffic warden, Lavender Elekwachi by a fellow policeman in Rivers State of Nigeria reminds one of similar multiple scenerio in the past that otherwise involved trigger happy policemen and civilians who have either lost their lives or got gunshot wounds in the hands of upset uniformed men.

Although it is rare for a police officer to shoot another, it has happened before in this country. Many cases of fights breaking out between men of the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Army or Civil Defence Corps have been reported in times past. Lives were lost in some of those encounters. One cannot help but wonder if the extrajudicial killings by our security operatives will end with that horrible incident that recently played out in Rivers State.

The Police officer who killed the lady policeman have reportedly been dismissed from the Police Force.

All these events only mean there is need for anger management on the part of our security operatives in the course of their field operations and interactions.

Here Are Some Tips In Helping Security Operatives With Anger Management

1. Regular orientation towards the need to always exercise maximum restraints especially when handling guns.

2. Security operatives should regularly be put through mental and emotional tests to ascertain their state of mind especially before going out on field operations.

3. These force men need the services of chancellors who they can share their sincere feelings with, thereby helping stabilize their mental and emotional well-being.

4. There should be regular survey on these uniformed men by an independent body to fetch out any dissatisfaction they may be facing on the job. Such information would be priceless in ensuring justice for junior officers who have abusive or corrupt superiors.

5. Robust remuneration is key for a security operative to be focused on the job. Good payment is necessary for good performance.

Several factors could be responsible for the violent acts of erring police officers. Matters on the home front as well as intimidation from certain quarters are often related with many extrajudicial killings hence, the need for an all-round care of security operatives.

All the above steps, if carefully followed will help curb the unpleasant incidents of extrajudicial killings by our policemen.

Cases of Improper Recruitment Procedure And Wrong Motives Bring In Bad Eggs Into The Police Force

Why should a police officer who ought to have gone through adequate standard training coupled with mental, emotional and physical fitness assessment and all the standard procedures involved in recruitment, suddenly lost his head and pull his trigger on whoever he thinks is provoking him?

The answer to the above question partially lies in the corrupt ways by which some individuals find their ways into gainful employments through secret backdoor openings in Nigeria.

Favouritism, tribalism and the likes still ensure people with questionable characters or who are not qualified for particular jobs end up in positions to do the same job for which they are not suitable.

There are others who for want of any pensionable job struggle to get into the police force. They are not really passionate about upholding order in society or securing lives and properties. They are just there to get paid and make any other monetary gains available to a uniformed man.

Such categories of officers cannot be the model officers we all used to look up to for our security. So it is a reality that quite a number questionable characters and mentally/emotionally unstable individuals are bearing arms for the country in full capacity as police officers.

Another Example Of Extrajudicial Killing In Nigeria

At this point I recall the case of a drunkard policeman who got into a heated argument with a naval officer and his companions in Lagos. The naval officer, his twin brother and a friend all lost their lives on the spot.

Realizing his horrible act, the erring police officer committed suicide on the spot as well. When the news went round, many in Nigeria wondered why such a man who often gets drunk was still given arms to protect society. This is one of those cases of misfits in the Nigerian Police Force.

In the course of the covid-19 lockdown alone, several lives have been lost in the hands of security operatives sent out to enforce the government stay-at-home order.

Does Our Type Of Police Personnels Reflect Who We Are As A People?

Although it has been echoed time and again that the type of policemen a society parades is a reflection of the general populace in that society the reoccurring extrajudicial killings by a few bad eggs within the Nigerian Police Force cannot be used as a yardstick to judge who Nigerians really are. After all, we still have many upright policemen who follow the ethics of the Force.

On the other hand, when a relatively few numbers of questionable characters who are lawfully permitted to bear arms continue to cut lives short and hide under the guise of "accidental discharge", opinions about who Nigerians really are may be altered and begin to defer.

The Way Forward Is To Do The Right Thing In And With The Nigerian Police Force

I believe that with adequate and continuous efforts to restructure and overhaul the Nigerian Police Force and more importantly ensuring only qualified individuals are recruited into the Force, the cases of extrajudicial killings and accidental bullet discharge will reduce drastically.

However, our wish as a people is that both cases of extrajudicial killings and accidental bullet discharge are permanently ended.

What takes Years To Be Built Can Be Destroyed By Anger In Seconds

When those moments of uncontrollable anger comes, please remember you are living in a society with laws. The long arm of the of the law knows no bounds. Try your best to walk away rather than regret actions you take when enraged. Peaceful living is preferable to violence.

The Nigerian Inspector General Of Police, Mohammed Adamu

Picture Of The Slain Police Traffic Warden, Lavender Elekwachi


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