An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has advised Nigerians to desist from attacking or criticizing the country’s security agents.
MURIC argued that Nigeria’s security agents are doing well at present. It further contended that almost all Nigerians are guilty of one crime or another. It said the security agents are fellow Nigerians and a people will get the type of security agents it deserves.
MURIC’s advice was given on Monday, 16th January 2023.
The statement which was signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, reads :
“Recent extra-judicial killings have elicited anger and bitter criticism around the country, particularly those of Gafaru Buraimo and Barrister Bolanle Raheem who were killed on 7th and 25th December 2022 respectively.
“While we can understand the cassu belli for criticisms of the police and other security agents, Nigerians have no raison d’etre for throwing caution to the winds while doing so. But particularly petrifying is the killing of security agents by insurrectionists and separatists.
“While we do not condone extra-judicial killings by security agents, we condemn attacks on the latter and their offices, vehicles, and other infrastructure by unscrupulous elements. Such attacks constitute waste of tax payers money and expose innocent citizens to the whims and caprices of criminals who descend on them and their properties after ensuring that they had gotten rid of the police.
“The bitter criticisms, incitements, and vitriolic vituperations on the police are like an ill wind that will do us no good. Nigerian policemen are not from Ghana. They are not from China. Neither are they from Mars. They are from within us. They are not to blame if they lack discipline and integrity. They are a reflection of who Nigerians are. It is simply because we, Nigerians in general, lack discipline and integrity except for very few. You cannot give what you don’t have.
“How many saints are in Nigeria today? The only ones that I know are taking ‘wrong way’ in traffic, our saints are throwing empty cans on the roads after drinking the contents, our angels are paying mercenaries to impersonate their children and wards in examination halls. We are demonising honest teachers among us and idolising corrupt politicians who sold our common patrimony for peanuts.
“We encourage materialistic propensities by endorsing programmes like ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire? By the way, who doesn’t want to be a millionaire? But must we make it a national anthem? That is why our teenagers are into ritual killing to become millionaires at 16. We reward indecency, vulgarity and lasciviousness by dashing out whole mansions and millions of naira to winners and participants in open sex programmes on television like Big Brother Naija.
“What then do you expect of your police? Did they descend straight from al-Jannah? They are overworked, underpaid and poorly armed. As far back as 1975, every policeman in Cairo had a pistol and a walkie-talkie. But in Nigeria only the DPO has a walkie-talkie. There is no encouragement. There is no welfare package. There is no insurance.
“How can we blame the police for collecting bribe? They buy their uniforms by themselves. They buy their shoes. They are responsible for buying fuel into their official vehicles. Do we still expect them to use their meager salaries to do all these? These are the things which frustrate our policemen and make them misbehave sometimes. Things will not change until we address the plight of the police. Let us be realistic for once.
“Yet we claim that only the police is corrupt. We must put a stop to this sanctimony, this deceit, this hypocrisy. We are all involved. We are all guilty and we must come clean. Teachers collect bribe before admitting new students. Lecturers demand gratification of various kinds from their students. Market women raise the prices of goods if the buyer comes in a big car.
“We are all corrupt except for an infinitesimal few. We can change the narrative by admitting our guilt and by pledging to turn a new leaf, not by blaming the police alone. These attacks on and criticisms of the police are unwarranted. Our attitude is even worse particularly now that the security agencies are achieving victory after victory. They are rescuing hundreds of kidnap victims and giving terrorists the blue nose but we hypocritically turn the blind eye. No words of encouragement, nothing. We are a nation of ingrates.”