“The few bad eggs should not be allowed to tarnish the image and reputation of the force” – President Muhammadu Buhari
At this point, it would have been better that the President had remained silent and hidden in his palace. The words uttered was pointless, as his actions remains concealed. The actions of the Police Force and its Units are brutal, excessive and a betrayal of their mandate.
The Police are supposed to secure the citizens and make them feel safe. Instead they are delivering new amounts of police brutality, extra judicial killings and more agony. The President could have reacted swiftly and proven his worth. However, he took the meek road, the defensive route and not going heads-on towards the problem.
The Special Anti-Robbery Unit (SARS) is just the epicentre of the problems. The Law Enforcement methods and techniques to address the issues within the Republic isn’t justified. It is hurting the civilians and doing more hurt. The Police isn’t solving crimes, but acting like thugs themselves. Therefore, the President could have addressed this.
We saw a President more willing to defend and behind the Police Officers. Then actually taking charge and promising something substantial. This was buying time speech. A sort of weak and mediocre attempt of buying some sympathy. Hoping the wind will blow out of the demonstrations and things can go back to normal.
President Buhari have sold himself short. Maybe it was better days when he was medical tourist in London and was thought to be an Android. Because at that stage … a caretaker and his deputy would do something.
The President should make an omelette of those bad eggs. So, the public gets something tasty and can fill their stomachs. At this point there is little to no relief. The promise of disbandment and investigations are not so believable. As the culprits and the system is still cracking down at civilians demonstrating. There is no deadlines and no one directly in-charge to ensure police reforms.
Buhari only mentions the end of SARS. That has been said before and promised before. However, the systemic police brutality have continued. That will continue long after SARS is closed. As long as the state doesn’t take action and make a difference. The words of the President is pointless, meaningless and only buying himself time.
There should be a Commission and sort of legal body with oversight to investigate the Police Force. In such a partisan manner, which the Federal Government and the public could trust their verdict. With such a broad mandate, that they can petition the courts and indict the ones who has been involved in brutality, extra judicial killings and so fourth. That is a dire need.
Not just closing SARS. SARS is just the start of the needed reforms. The President and everyone has to see that they got strive for higher ideals. Not just patch up the hurt and move-on. No, they need to strive for everyone equal before the law. Lastly, that the Law Enforcement isn’t a mob above the law, but the ones abiding it and giving people peace. Something they are not capable of doing at this moment.
Maybe, the President can take a lesson out the fictions character Charlie Harper:
“ Charlie Harper : [making breakfast] How do you like your eggs?
Berta : Sunny side up.
Charlie Harper : Scrambled it is.
Berta : [picks up a cookbook] “Cooking for Dummies”?
Charlie Harper : [to Jake watching TV on the couch] No offense, Jake. I’m actually cookin’ for everybody.
Berta : What brought this on?
Charlie Harper : I don’t know. I… thought I’d expand my horizons a bit.
Berta : [smiles] Uh-huh
Charlie Harper : What?
Berta : I’m just trying to figure out how scrambled eggs are gonna get you laid.
Charlie Harper : You and me both” (Two and a Half Men, Season 6 Episode 3).
The President could use all of his eggs. Instead, he wants to play a long-con. Hoping all his troubles just disappear. The eggs will still be there and he has the officers who mistreats the public. Which is the sole reason for the protests and demonstrations. These will not end. The public is tired and the movement is at its peak.
Buhari can think this will boil over, but if he plays it wrong the eggs will overcooked. The man doesn’t want that. He wants to be able to do something about it. If he doesn’t, they might go rouge. The public might address with harsher means, than just some feet on the ground.
The brutality, the excessive use of force and lack of trust. Got to get fixed. The Police Force needs a change. Not just a Press Release from the IGP and that’s it. The promise of changing has happen many times before. Doing it again will not solve it.
Buhari wasted people’s time today. He wasted his own too. Instead of using his intellect and office. The President thought a address would ease the pain. That isn’t serious, but only shows his contempt of the plight of the people. This is the lesson the grander public can take today. It would be better if he scrambled those eggs. I doubt he will do it.
He just want this kettle to boil over. Peace.