President Muhammadu Buhari’s media aide Femi Adesina says he and other Nigerians see and treat police officers in the country as an article of no commercial value.
“The sun beats them (Nigerian cops) till their eyes almost pop out of the sockets. But we accord them no respect. We esteem them as men of sorrow, acquainted with grief,” said Mr Adesina. “They are policemen and must be treated like something the cat dragged in, article of no commercial value.”
Mr Adesina further stated that he and his compatriots loved to “disrespect,” and treat police officers as “scum.”
Speaking on the recent increment of police salary, Mr Adesina, in an article published on his Facebook on Thursday night, argued that with Mr Buhari’s gesture, the police would “no longer be regarded as scum, and would earn respect from a society that loves to look down on them.”
Speaking on the October 2020 #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extortion, championed by young Nigerians, Mr Adesina concluded that the cops were the victims and not the villains.
“During the EndSARS protests of October 2020, see what happened to our cops: 39 were killed, with one roasted and eaten, 210 injured, their stations and barracks worth N11.6 billion were burnt, along with 198 police vehicles, nine armoured personnel cars,” explained Mr Buhari’s media aide. “Also razed were Police Communication Equipment worth N5.8 billion, and 422 exhibit vehicles valued at N5.5 billion.”
“Extortion, embezzlement, and other corrupt practices by Nigeria’s police undermine the fundamental human rights of Nigerians,” said a Human Rights Watch report regarding the police that Mr Adesina tried to beatify.
The HRW added that “countless ordinary Nigerians” attempting to make precarious ends meet as taxi drivers, market traders, and shopkeepers “are accosted” daily by “armed police officers who demand bribes and commit human rights abuses against them as a means of extorting money.”
It added, “Those who fail to pay are frequently threatened with arrest and physical harm. Far too often these threats are carried out.”