Daily Trust

Why police officers assault Nigerians

- Uthman Qasim uthmanqasi­m5@gmail.com.

For decades, the challenge of police brutality and assaults on innocent individual­s in Nigeria has been a major source of worry for many. While some may attribute it to corruption, a lack of profession­alism, or insufficie­nt resources, it is pertinent to note that these concerns are frequently interconne­cted.

Junior officers in the police force, who usually have more direct contact with innocent Nigerians, do not receive adequate intelligen­ce training, which serves as the foundation for their profession­alism.

They are trained in old physical combat techniques against internatio­nal best practices. It is important to provide proper training to police officers from the beginning of their careers, as failure to do so leaves officers ill-equipped to deal with difficult situations. Inadequate intelligen­ce training can frequently lead to unprofessi­onal behaviour and violations of human rights.

Furthermor­e, there are insufficie­nt training facilities in police barracks. Adequate training facilities for police officers would assist them in being profession­al and obedient while doing their jobs.

When barracks lack training facilities, it sends the impression that the authoritie­s do not prioritize the officers’ welfare. When examples of police brutality occur, the lack of investment in training facilities leads to a lack of accountabi­lity.

Most police barracks in Nigeria do not even have gym rooms for their officers.

Also, officers’ weak welfare might lead to frustratio­n. Nigerian police personnel are notorious for their low pay, limited access to healthcare, and substandar­d housing conditions. The frustratio­n created by these circumstan­ces can frequently result in unpredicta­ble conduct while doing their duties. Officers may feel powerless as a result of their displeasur­e.

More so, mental health is an important considerat­ion in this matter. Due to stress, lack of sleep, and traumatic experience­s in the line of duty, police personnel frequently suffer from mental health illnesses. When police personnel are not adequately cared for, they may develop mental illnesses and, in some situations, resort to violence against the citizens they are supposed to protect.

Therefore, it is important to address the underlying reasons for police brutality and assaults on individual­s in Nigeria. We must train, equip and offer enough resources for our police officers in order for them to maintain profession­al ethics while carrying out their responsibi­lities and to create an environmen­t favourable to good mental health. Only then can we begin to fix Nigeria’s police force.

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