We shall endeavour in taking this analysis – the possibility of Nigeria collapsing, far, and the best way of doing it, in my candid opinion, is to present various forces that could accelerate the collapse, segmentally. Today, we are starting with the Nigerian Police’s Structure and the Power of Nigerian Youth – a Power Block that jolted and shattered Nigeria governments; not just this Buhari administration, but all governments from 1914.
It is important for us to admit that flaws of today’s Nigeria began when divergent people and culture of unconnected groups were negotiated into becoming one nation – through the amalgamation of both the Southern and Northern Protectorates together, without impute, consideration and consent of the diversified Aborigines.
Nigeria Police Force verses Nigerian Youths Protest – the Year 2020.
The most challenging thing about today’s presentation is how to confront the critically contending and controversial issue of the moment without jettisoning of status quo ante. I shall do my very best in honouring the authenticity of the issue without doing any damage to the holistic nature of facts that build such thick webs of diversification around the sequence of happening.
Let us capture the narration once again before moving into evaluation of the route through which contending dynamics of events were unleashed.
Special Anti-robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force was created in 1984, when Etim Okon Inyang was the Inspector General of Police and Major General Muhammadu Buhari was Military Head of State.
The former directed the latter to do something urgently about the sequence of how hard crime was gaining momentum at that time, and the outcome of that brief encounter resulted into the formation of Anti-robbery Squad (the coinage Special was not there in the beginning).
The IGP summoned one of his best Officers; a diligently meticulous, but ruthless investigator – Fulani Kwajafa, for the job. He did become the first Commissioner of Police in charge of this Special Unit; a Unit he formed, with Eleven Senior Police Officers (SPO) and some junior men. The newly created Unit took off from Adeniji Adele Police Station. This is the origin of the SARS, which Nigerian Youths rose astutely against, in the most civilised and peaceful protests ever witnessed in the annals of Nigeria’s history, on October 8, 2020.
In the other hand the Nigeria Police Force; known in the beginning as Consular Constabulary, was formed in 1861, in a most questionable manner, by those British Traders; who had captured “this area” of the British West African Territories. The formation of the Consular Constabulary was fallout of a letter requesting for “authority to establish a Police Force to be trained in soldiers’ format in anticipation of subduing the people“.
The letter was signed by Stanhope Freeman; then Governor of the British West African Territories. Details of those transactions revealed that the Police Force the Colonial Masters demanded for, and established for the People of this Region, was a Killer-Squad Police Force. It was established with Thirty Men – well trained in the format of a raging battalion of Soldiers; and to accomplish the purpose of establishing it – subduing the people.
The established Consular Constabulary; having perfectly trained the recruits to expectation of the Colonial Master, was deployed into operation – albeit operation of subduing the people, in Epe Division, within present day Lagos State. How did the Consular Constabulary perform in their first assignment? One Hundred and Fifty Nine years on, after those operations [they carried out the operation two times] facts of ruinous calamity remained evidential [in Epe] till this day, even as this story is being written.
I hope we are not losing the trajectory of narration yet, because we are on a voyage of discovery, albeit into our past, in order to connect it [the past] to the present. It is only by doing so, and successfully too, that we may be able to prevent this House – Nigeria, from collapsing.
The first nexus to be established in this chronicles is that the Police Force given to Nigeria was not provided by the people of this Area – now called Nigeria. It was instead; decided, designed and provided by foreigners – and the only identifiable interwoven interests between the Care-Providers and the Aborigines is maximization of trade/tax benefits in exclusive favour of the former and to the total detriment of the latter.
Two, the Care-Provider represented, and even identified with an institutional Establishment – an institution that has no moral obligational responsibility to the Aborigines, as captured in above paragraph. As such, there was no further obligation from the Care-Provider to the Aborigines beyond the former milking the latter’s honey of economic benefits, continually and continuously, dry.
Three, the Care-Provider remained the only Party that represented interests of itself and the Aborigine he supposed to be providing for at the negotiating table of liberty. This was further strengthened when the amalgamation of the two Protectorates of Nigeria was to be consummated in 1914. Permit me to take us through a very short but cogent history of those 28 persons that gathered for the signing of 1914 Amalgamation, and to submit that not one of the 6 Nigerians present signed the document – they were all there merely as spectators.
There were only 28 individuals involved in the forceful Amalgamation of the South and the North Protectorate. Out of the 28, only 6 were Nigerians. The rest were all British citizens. Lord Frederick John Dealtry Lugard; the first Governor General, led and presided over the Amalgamation ceremony – he proposed it in the first instance and the final signature was his.
The six Nigerians that sat around the ceremony without signing anything were:
- HRH Maiturare Sarkin Mussulumi and Sultan of Sokoto
- Usuman Dan Maje – who later became Emir of Kano
- Sir Kitoyi Ajasa – a very prominent and popular Lagos lawyer
- HRH Oladugbolu – the Alaafin of Oyo
- HRH R Henshaw – Obong of Calabar
- Abubakar Garbai – Shehu of Borno
Don’t forget that in 1914, the Nigerian Nationalists we have grown to admired were almost within the age of young children – Nnamdi Azikiwe was only 10 years old, Awolowo was 5 years old while Ahmadu Bello was 4 years old.
Four, the Care-Provider stood then and still stands, to defend the interest of the National Institution, albeit the British State, as it were then, and stands today; to defend the interest of the Nigeria Statehood, but not the People. It was not created to defend the interest of the people of Nigeria – hence it is called Nigeria Police Force and not Nigerian Police Force.
Let us come to evaluate some critical points while the Police was being established for Nigeria. The Consular Constabulary was established in 1861, with 30-men, but this was increased to 100-men in 1863, with sharp deviation from concept of Origin. The 70 men added were all recruited from the far North [I wouldn’t know how the North was called then because there was no Nigeria then], brought to Lagos Area for training. This became the first deviation from the concept of Origin.
Yet, there was another most deviated turn-around, with unexplainable malfeasance intents. The very moment the additional 70 men were brought from the far North to Lagos for commencement of training, the name of the Force changed from Consular Constabulary to Hausa Constabulary. What happened and how did it come about that Hausa took over from Consular?
I shall leave the answers to these questions for another day’s discussion. But suffice to note that this was the beginning of cracks on the House called Nigeria.
Back to the point where we deliberately deviated for the establishment of historical facts of this House’s deformed structure – to wit: the Police Force created in 1861, for the brutalization of the Nigerian People.
The Police Force given to Nigeria at origin in 1861 was a Killer-Squad – the fact of this has been exhaustively established above. And the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, created out of the subsisting Police-Killer-Squad in 1984 is another Killer-Squad as well – nothing but continuation of the trajectory. Nigerian Youths protested against SARS, ditto the Nigeria Police Force; a protest that commenced on October 8, 2020, and shall remain the most peacefully and maturely well organized protests in the annals of Nigerian history.
Another thing we must understand is that, along the line of time; from the establishment of the Nigeria Police, till the metaphor of SARS Squad’s formation, and even until 2020, when the revolt against the Police became a clarion call on citizenry, the Police have been indicted for extra-judicial killings, at most times, along the line of performing its duties.
If the truth is to be told, the Killing-Squad of thee Police we have today, is the Police the Nigerian Society [represented by those British traders] established. And if it is the People that make up the Society, then it is safe to say that the Nigerian People; by default anyway, produced its Police Force. It is the Police you and I created [again, by default], and empowered to act as Gateway to the Nigerian Judicial System.
The good news however is that we can reform this disoriented Killer-Squad Police Force into conformity of the Nigerian People-oriented and friendly Police Force. This desirous goal of reformation shall not come without a price, albeit very heavy and costly price for that matter. It is like we cannot run away from breaking eggs if we are actually desirous of eating omelette. The choice is ours and our Youths have shown us the way. They showed us, through the hard way [some of them paid with their lives], the path to follow.
I shall return tomorrow with a typical Press interview, granted by one strong Nigerian, who remains standing while others go to sleep at a time of national tyranny, about the rottenness of the Nigeria Police Force. His name is Okechukwu Nwanguma and he is the Executive Director of Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre.
Thereafter, l shall continue with identifying those cracks on the wall of the Nigerian House – all in an effort of keeping the House from collapsing.
I sincerely hope, even in prayers, that President Muhammadu Buhari shall be willing to help those of us that are doing our very bests in pulling this House from collapsing. See you tomorrow on this page again.
Godwin Etakibuebu; a veteran Journalist, wrote from Lagos.
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