Disbandment of SARS won’t guarantee end to systematic corruption in Police – Wakanma

Lorine Emenike

A Social Affairs Analyst and Port Harcourt-based legal practitioner, Ken Allen Wakanma says the government must give serious attention to the welfare of police officers.

He said the redeployment of officers of the disbanded SARS to other units of the Nigeria Police Force by the inspector general of the police will not solve the issues bedeviling the force.

Ken Allen Wakanma in an interview with journalists in Port Harcourt noted that appropriate attention should be given to some of the despicable activity perpetrated by police officers.

“The problem is not just to the disband SARS, people are of the view that all the officers in that unit should be dismissed.

“We should look at it from the point of view of the law, policemen in their employment enjoy statutory favor. These are not people you just wake up and kick them out without due process.

“But again the government should also consider the welfare of these men. Policemen are not well paid, they are not well housed, the van they use to patrol, they fuel themselves, even to the extent that the uniform they wear they buy themselves.

“I am not trying to excuse their bad manners but if you look at the theory of crime, these are some of the things that can naturally induce some of them to do certain things they are not to do.

Ken Allen Wakanma noted that the disbandment of FSARS will not guarantee an end to the systematic corruption in the Nigeria police force.

He, therefore, called for the overhauling of the Nigerian police, saying it is the only solution to restore sanity to the system.

“These policemen, some of them are escorts to politicians and they see the way these politicians who do not serve any useful purpose to the society, and I say it with all sense of responsibility, getting jumbo allowances, buying big cars for their girlfriends, wasting money and you see people who do the real service to the nation, they don’t get anything. If they get anything they just get a peanut. It’s a problem.

“I am calling for the entire reformation of the police system because the problem does not end with SARS, it’s a systematic thing because the police as an institution are very corrupt. For an officer who wants a transfer, the policeman who is in charge of administration will ask for a bribe, so the entire police system has yo be reformed”