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Still on police brutality and impunity

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This is an obviously well beaten path that any further comments on it would appear trite. But, as the saying goes, whatever is worth doing is worth doing not only well, but repeatedly too.  This is especially true in respect of campaigns to reform the society. 
On Thursday last week, a mobile police man on guard duty in front of a bank along Zoo Road in Kano ruthlessly beat a 31-year old woman for no reason other than the lady's attempt to board a commercial tricycle at the parking area of the bank. In the presence of eye witnesses, including one Wasiu Sanusi, the driver of the tricycle, the uncultured police man, not only physically assaulted the lady, Madina Shehu, but also pointed his corked gun at her and threatened to kill her, telling her that her mother could give birth to another child. It took the intervention of his colleague to mollify the rogue officer. But not before he and the colleague vandalized the "offending" tricycle. The incident was captured by a quick thinking eye witness on the camera of his mobile telephone, and the picture and story were published by some newspapers the following day. Sadly, eight days after the mindless and brutal assault on the lady, the police authorities have yet to take action about it and the culprit is still free to continue his rogue ways with innocent Nigerians; a trait that has long become a pastime for many in uniform, often with fatal consequences.
But in far away Israel, a senior army officer, who smashed a pro-Palestinian protester in the face with his gun, was instantly suspended and subsequently dismissed after footage of the horrific incident appeared online. The officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Shalom Eisner, was seen ramming his M-16 into the face of Danish national, Andreas Las, as activists took part in a bicycle rally in the occupied West Bank.
In his prompt condemnation of the military officer's action, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "'This behaviour is not characteristic of IDF (Israel Defence Forces) soldiers and commanders and it has no place in the IDF or in the state of Israel." Clearly, this is as it should be; leaders having the courage and presence of mind to promptly condemn the untoward actions of their subordinates, especially where the image of the nation or service is threatened.
It is our belief at Peoples Daily that the reason for the spate of abuses on innocent civilians on these shores is because the culprits almost always go scot-free with not so much as a pat on the wrist. If anything, their superiors always rush to their defence by explaining away the not infrequent abuses, often fatal, on innocent civilians, as acts of self-defence even when the victim is unarmed. Too, not a few of these criminally-minded people in uniform somehow found themselves in a service whose raison d'être is to rid the society of their ilk. Many of them, we sadly observe, seem only in their element when brutalizing unarmed innocent citizens, even when some of them shamelessly shed their uniform to walk the streets for fear of Boko Haram members.
We are also saddened by the silence of the police leadership over this incident, because it does not rhyme with Acting Inspector General M.D. Abubakar's initial tough talk about not tolerating bad eggs in the force. It is not enough to claim that the authorities have acted; they must be seen to have acted appropriately. With its silence over this heinous crime against an innocent citizen, the message the police hierarchy is sending is that; in the service, it is still business as usual, despite the IG's tough talk on assumption of office.

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