Security Agencies and 50 Naira Extortion from Motorists

Nigeria security agencies the Police, Armed Forces and Para Military agencies were created by the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria for the purposes of providing security of lives and property of Nigerians from both internal and external aggression. The same constitution in realization of the primary, importance of the duties and responsibilities of these agencies placed them on first line charge in terms of payment of salary, allowances and other performance enhancing emoluments. Primarily the major reason for this prioritization is to ensure that personnel of these agencies are totally and absolutely committed to the service of fatherland. And although there are lapses in the the implementation of this constitutional provisions on the side of governments these agencies seem to have deviated completely from the key responsibilities assigned to them by the law of the country.
All of them now indulge in acts that run counter to their functions prominent of which is corruption and related offences.  While we note that such unwholesome tendencies keep increasing by the day,  Nigerians are deeply worried about the problem of extortion from motorists on our roads by these agencies, but particularly the Nigerian Police.
All over the country but notably in the South East Zone this evil has grown in leaps and bounds to the extent that police personnel these days   abandon the security they are supposed to provide and devote all their energy to extortion of drivers. Worse still is the level of brazenness and impunity that goes with this ugly and shameful act. This crass display has no doubt led citizens to allege that the police high command can’t deny knowledge of what is happening. To worsen matters, police checkpoints are now littered every inch of our roads. For instance between, Aba Road Roundabout and Federal Polytechnic Junction along Aba Owerri expressway in Imo State alone you can count at least three check points most times and each time police men there are only busy collecting money from drivers!
Of late too, men of Nigeria Airforce at Awaka, Owerri North LGA and those of Roads Safety Commission FRSC and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps have also found this act a lucrative business. At Awaka drivers are forced to disembark to go and pay to the ” ticketing officer” of the airforce personnel. But, whereas those at Awaka are neck deep in that practice, their colleagues at Sam Mbakwe Airport junction along Aba Owerri road have always displayed professionalism by shunning extortion. To underline their do or die disposition to this obnoxious culture these law enforcement personnel have killed and continue to kill motorists and passengers because of fifty naira!
It must be stated without equivocation that extortion of motorists is a serious national embarrassment and ugly cancer that should not be allowed to continue.  The Nigeria Police is perceived as the most corrupt security agency in the country today and we dare say this perception is fuelled mostly by the “partikola” culture synonymous with the force. This newspaper strongly believes that this act is corruption which should tackled by a government which touts anti corruption as its mantra.
Against this backdrop therefore, we are calling on the president Muhammadu Buhari, and the Inspector General of Police Mr Idris start treating this cankerworm with every seriousness it deserves. They should openly ban it and take practical steps toward ensuring its total eradication. Similarly,  other security agencies should also take similar action.
With a badly battered and bruised image at home and abroad ridding our security agencies of this and related corrupt practices deserves to be taken seriously so as bring back the country’s lost glory.

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