POLICE ROADBLOCK IN THE SOUTH EAST… by Humphrey Uro

Corruption in anywhere or form has attendant human consequences and therefore should be

discouraged in the society. To an average Nigerian, corruption and bribery is no longer a novel subject.

It is a scourge that has come to stay. But what should rouse the anger of the Nigerian public is the

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nature and forms of police roadblock which is now a norm in the south east of Nigeria.

All over the world, the police is instrument of enforcing law and order to diminish the brutish nature of

mankind. Governments and nations just like Nigeria operate the police with certain statutory codes to

guide against abuse of power and privilege of the police, and follow rule of law. Therefore, it can not be

berated to assume that the police is vital arm of governance which serves as agent of correction, to

maintain the social ethos and balance which builds the mutual grounds between government and the

governed.

During the colonial administration, the import of a standing police was captured in the police

establishment Act (1930) to be responsible for promoting law and order, guarantee peace and security

of persons and property. However, what later became the Nigerian police by subsisting Acts of

parliament, has become nothing but a despicable identity among the Nigerian public, and worse still, a

nightmare to the law abiding and peaceful citizens in the south eastern part of Nigeria.

As a matter of public discomfort, the south east region has been infested with police men and women

who only use their statutory machineries to extort, exploit and intimidate the unsuspecting public. A

check conducted through Enugu-Abakaliki expressway, Afikpo-Okigwe road through Orumba, Awkaetiti,

Aguata to Onitsha in Anambra state, Aba-Owerri road, Owerri-Umuahia road, among other roads in the

south east, reveals that these routes suffer police road blocks at every half a kilometer distance.

Part of the displeasure caused by this unnecessary roadblocks is that drivers have to part some naira to

each one of them as they move along these routes. Orbit news gathered that drivers and commuters

alike can be asked to pull-up and movement stopped as long as they are not ready to play ball to the

demand of the police. This bizarre experience recorded a high tendency during the just celebrated

yuletide season in the south east. This caused some commuters to sleep on the roads even when they

are few kilometers away from their homes because some drivers could not continue in the night. Others

lost their belongings to bandits who attacked them while helpless on the road by night. Some drivers

will expend up to two thousand naira or more just driving around the south east due to fifty naira,

hundred naira, two hundred naira as the case may be, they give away to numerous police road mounts.

It suffices therefore, to call the attention of the inspector-general of police to do the needful to nib this

ugly development in this part of the country in the bud. As the present administration attempts to

popularize itself amongst the citizens by a resolve to fight corruption, it should be fought in many

pronged approach, including reorientation of the police in the south east against bribe taking at road

blocks. The statutory function of guaranteeing law and order, peace and security should in all modesty

be the envisioned goal of the Nigerian police to give credence to the mantra ‘’the police is your friend’’.

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