Nigerian Police College in Lagos a hazard—not fit for living

It’s hard to find a Nigerian who has something positive to say about Nigerian police officers. And you can’t blame them. You would be short of flattering adjectives too if you have ever been assaulted or harassed by a Nigerian police officer—or if you have ever had to pay ridiculous bribe every time you came in contact with one.

But I don’t think half of the nation is aware of the plight the officers face—myself included. When it comes to the issue of government vs. the people, I’ve mostly seen things from the perspective of the citizens, those who are supposed to be served and protected but who actually get the short end of the stick.

Nigerian police officers are citizens too. They suffer in the hands of self-indulgent leaders. A recent documentary by Sahara Reporters, reveals this ugly truth. The documentary exposes the Nigerian Police College in Lagos, where food is so scarce that officers get two small scoops of rice and a pinch of fish for a meal. If that isn’t bad enough, imagine 240 officers sharing 3 disgusting toilets and less than a handful of showers that are so gross that your fingers might fall off if you touched anything in that space. The college, where police officers live and train, is so inhumane, non-hygienic that you would be scared to stand in that environment for more than a few minutes for fear of catching something.

How can we expect high performance—or even honest performance—from police officers when all the government does is treat them like dirt, killing moral, respect and dignity. These are the people who put their lives at stake. If the government is not ethical in the way it conducts itself, how can the same be expected of the people it employs?

Some food for thought the next time you are a victim or witness of police bribery in Nigeria. That doesn’t make it right, but it’s the harsh reality—a vicious cycle.

Watch the documentary by SaharaReporters:

The bathroom issue

The food dilemma

Full report of the documentary

~ by omonaij on February 3, 2013.

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