In the colonial period, the Police, understandably, were used to further the cause of colonial powers by enforcing their whimsical and capricious decisions.
In this republic, the Nigeria Police Force has already attracted odium to its name with the ethically questionable role it has played so far in Rivers State political and judicial crisis.
If a person defects from a party on the platform of which he/she won election, the question of whether or not the person can continue to hold a public office he later gained as a result of that election is surely a legal question which only the court of law can interpret.
However, it will be hypocritical to cite the rule against matter subjudice as a ground for deliberate, selective action. It is egregiously wrong for the IGP to arrogate to himself the right to interpret the law and take executive action on the basis of his interpretation. In other words, Mr. Abba has no right to make a unilateral pronouncement on whether or not to recognise the Speaker.
Be that as it may, let the court make its pronouncement on the recurring vexed issue of rights/privileges/ liabilities that attend defection from one’s political party. The pronouncements will enrich our jurisprudence on this subject.
Meanwhile, instead of wading obtrusively and invidiously into the political terrain, let the Nigeria Police concentrate its efforts on how to improve on its operations efficiency and methodology. Let it be concerned on how to launder its image that seems unsavoury both locally and internationally.
The illicit practices by our police were succinctly echoed by no less an institution than a globally respected human rights organisation, Human Rights Watch, when it stated inter-alia in one of its reports thus. “Impunity is one of the biggest single obstacles to the reduction or eradication of torture and other serious abuses by police in Nigeria.”
More recently, another global non-governmental organisation, Amnesty International, (AI) released a report entitled “Welcome to hell fire: Torture and other ill-treatment in Nigeria” which roundly castigates the Nigerian security forces especially, the police. The authorities promptly rose in defence of the police and other security forces and denounced the report, but most Nigerians know where the truth lies.
The orientation of our people must change for Nigeria to move forward, and the primary milieux for social reformation should be public institutions.
One of the problems ravaging third world countries like Nigeria is lack of strong institutions that upholds the tenets of democracy, unfortunately, it appears that it would take a great deal of time for strong institutions that would be neutral and uncompromising in pursuance of patriotic service to the country, to emerge.
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