THE RETURN OF POLICE CHECK-POINTS, FOR GOOD OR FOR BAD
You must have noticed them in your neighbourhood or along the way as you transit from place to place within Lagos and some other cities. Officers of the Nigerian Police are coming out of the woodwork to take their ‘rightful place’ on the roads as the notorious road blocks dismantled by the recently retired Inspector General are being gradually reintroduced.
Many Nigerians including recently retired IGP Abubakar believe that apart from the notoriety of serving as bases of extortion, accidental and willful killings, cause of major accidents and unnecessary traffic gridlock and largely fail to serve any useful purpose as the officers manning such road blocks are too engrossed in ‘commercial activities’.
According to the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA group), the new acting Inspector-General (IG) of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, should jettison the idea of introducing police checkpoints through a subterfuge which he has renamed ‘tactical operation points’.
The group has rather urged the hierarchies of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the Nigerian Army to jointly set up formidably-equipped anti-weapons’ smuggling offices in various entry points into Nigeria from Chad, Niger and Cameroun.
In a statement jointly endorsed by the National Co-ordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said any attempt to reintroduce through the backdoor the ‘criminally-minded’ and ‘bribe-seeking’ police checkpoints should be vigorously opposed by Nigerians who bear the severe brunt of gross human rights violations, harassment, extortion and extra-judicial killings by trigger-happy police operatives who are usually deployed to such checkpoints.
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