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The Nigeria Police Vs Democracy -Abdulwahab Oba

Abdulwahaab Oba
Chief Press Secretary
to the Kwara State Governor

One of the regular procedures an expectant mother undergoes in every ante natal visit to the clinic is to check the state of the foetus in her womb. Even if they do not say it out, doctors on such occasions are out to know if the baby in the womb is still alive and kicking.

Several things could make a pregnant mother run to the clinic, even when it is not yet her date of delivery, and every loving husband knows how troubling such occasions could be at home... 2019 is our baby in the womb of Nigeria and it is only apt, seeing certain troubling sings, to ask if this baby is still there in the womb, and whether live is still in it to give us hope of a celebration on delivery day.

The signs I’m seeing about our democracy is ominous. Those who witnessed the second republic under President Shehu Shagari and the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, will understand the basis for a genuine apprehension over the role the Nigeria police are now playing in the race towards 2019 and the survival of our democracy. Perhaps, it was not even this bad in 1983.

Subtly, the Nigeria police force is being moulded into a super system that is now "transmitting" above the law; that is above everybody's transmission; that is answerable only to the Presidency's transmission; that is loyal only to the cause of a particular person and not the burden of Nigerians who pay the taxes that "transmit" salaries into their accounts. We're seeing the evolution of a policing system reminiscent  of the ‘Kill and Go’ super cops of the Shagari era. And we all must be worried because truth be told, even in the last administration the police was not this desperate to protect "his" friends and destroy "his" enemies.

Senator Dino Melaye is still in the hospital; due to a faceoff with the police. Senator Shehu Sani is also beeing threatened with possible arrest because of his seeming disagreement with the "authority" while the Inspector General of Police has defied the National Assembly, refusing to honour a legitimate invitations. The men of the force were on standby while some thugs accompanied a senator who had issues with his colleagues walked majestically into the senate chamber and took the mace, the symbol of legislative authority, away. They went and dumped it under a bridge where the police later celebrated its ‘recovery’.

One after the other senators last week recalled several harrowing encounters they had with the police under this dispensation.  We saw last year how the DSS invaded the homes of judges and subjected them to all manners of humiliation. Have you heard such complaints from, or experience by members of the executive arm? No. Wherever those ones go, they are well secured. Because they do no evil. Hmm!

The Kwara case is actually embarrassing, to say the least, in a federal system. Police in the state command arrested some hoodlums over cultism. Before the arrest, there must have been information about their activities that prompted the investigation that led to the arrest. When they were nabbed, they were interrogated again, to confirm the information about their activities. Based on their responses, they were deemed to have committed the offence. Based on that premise, legitimate authority  was invited to charge them to court.

Briefing the press on the arrest on the 10th of May, Commissioner of Police, Kwara State Command has said, inter alia, that "the above suspect   [Abolaji Safti Ojulari 'm' of Kankatu area, Ilorin] was arrested on the 5th of May, 2018, after a manhunt for the above named suspect, a notorious cultist, who have been in the Command’s wanted list for over two years, at Kankatu area, where he was hiding. He confessed to be an active member of the Aiye confraternity. He named his accomplices to include: 

1. Olaitan Oganija ‘m’2. Olamide Nurudeen ‘m’3. Eleyele Jamiu ‘m’4. Adeyi ‘m’5. Muritala Sandine ‘m’6. Tiro ‘m’7. Ijoba ‘m’8. Azeez ‘m’9. Lawal ‘m’10. Abiodun Ye anke11. Ayo a.k.a Ay12. Tobi ‘m’13. Deji ‘m’ all of Ilorin.

He further confessed to have led the team that killed the following people.

1. Bukola Ajikobi ‘m’ killed on 18/1/2016 at Ajikobi area, Ilorin2. Azeez Lawal aka Efo ‘m’ killed in February, 2018 at Oja-Oba area3. Lateef ‘m’ killed in February, 2018 at Ode Alfa-Nda area4. Jamiu ‘m’ killed on February, 2018 at Idi-Ape area5. Segun ‘m’ killed in September 2017 at Kankatu area6. Wasiu ‘m’ killed in 29/9/2016 at Shao Garage area7. Musiliu ‘m’ killed in February, 2018 at Shao Garage area8. Bayo Ajia ‘m’ killed in 18/1/2016 at Stadium Taiwo road9. Lateer ‘m’ killed in January, 2016 at Baboko area10. Abbey student ‘m’ killed in April, 2017 at niger area11. Lanre ‘m’ killed in 23/8/2016 at Isale Aluko area 

2. LANRE MOHAMMED SOLIU aka Askari ‘m; of No.13 Ile-nda Compound Emir’s palace Ilorin was arrested after a long manhunt for him, over the killing of late Yemi Bayero ‘m’ of Ago market Ilorin, he was however arrested on 8/5/2018 and confessed to be a member of Aiye confraternity, he confessed to have carried out the killing with Abolaji Safti Ojulari (2) Adeyi ‘m’ and Tiro ‘m’.3. AZEEZ MOYAKI ‘m’ 26 yrs of Gambari area Ilorin was arrested after a discreet investigation linked him to the killing of one Owlobai ‘m’ at Amilengbe area of Ilorin on July 2017. He confessed he carried out the killing with his accomplice by name Olaitan Oganija.4. SULAIMAN BABATUNDE ‘m’26 years of Gambari area Ilorin was arrested after a discreet investigation linked him to the killing of one Owolabi ‘m’ at Amilengbe area of Ilorin on July 2017. He confessed to have carried out the killing with his accomplice by the name, Olaitan Oganija". 

No political killing or any other killing was mentioned. Then what happened? The police asked for them to be brought to Abuja all because someone is interested in using them to do what the y could not achieve through the CCT trial.
I have no problem with the police doing its job, but I’m worried that it did the job so badly that the military sacked the democracy of the second republic. And no Nigerian should wish for that experience again, ever!

In the course of last week, Nigerians woke up to the news about alleged plot to implicate the Senate President in a murder case. His enemies have been hollering about why he came out so sharply but no one should take away from him the fact that given his position in the political hegemony of Nigeria, the Senate President has access to quantum of information not at the disposal of hundreds of social media activists who mostly only react to surface level materials.

Let me share with my readers one of the materials I got last week from a friend that made the issue of calling the police into order more imperative, now than ever before: “What is happening is sinister. It would soon get to journalists and critics. Just last week, a friend who is a member of the House of Reps called me to intimate me about how his state governor is conniving with the police to get him arrested and charged to a magistrate court in his state, where he would be remanded and dent his political career because of political differences, though they belong to the same party.

“He said a group of persons placed an advert asking the Governor to run for the presidency but that the governor believed he was the one behind the advert, to set him against the president who had already declared to run. 
“Now, the governor had reported this honourable to the police and the AIG of that zone had invited him for a chat, which may be a prelude to arrest and arraignment. So, we need to be careful when we narrow these abuse of police to individuals we don't like. That was how Sunday Adewusi became highhanded just because he was desperate to get Shagari re-elected. We are playing with dangerous dictatorship with the abuse of police. The IG would eventually be the Achilles heels of this government.”

May this prediction not become a reality. But that would need the collective response of all well meaning Nigerians to come out and speak against the emerging evil, to take steps to halt the downward slide of our democracy, so that 2019 will come out of the womb of our nation a bouncing baby to give us joy and rejoicing.

May I use this occasion to wish my Muslim brothers and sisters Ramadan Kareem. I had wanted to speak on the Ramadan until this ugly incident. I shall do that next week, barring any other currency. 
The Nigeria Police Vs Democracy -Abdulwahab Oba Reviewed by Unknown on May 21, 2018 Rating: 5

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