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How Offa Bank Robbery Could Be Replicated Anywhere In Nigeria



When incidents like the bank robbery in Offa, Kwara state happen,
stones of blame lands ferociously on the security agencies. No one cares to say, ‘Weldon’ to the men in black who did their best, while some even paid the supreme price.

Nigeria’s Inspector General Of Police, Ibrahim-Idris

Robberies happen all over the world, just that the magnitude differ,
and the security response time aren’t the same. It beats imagination,
however that many express surprise at the length of time, boldness
with which the Offa robbery was executed. Such could still probably be replicated in many states in Nigeria. How?

For every gun seized at the Nigerian border, one might say that 100
have been smuggled in. There is a popular saying that in order to
create diversion, one cache of arms might be whistle-blown, while
several others find their way into the country. Else, how is Ak-47
riffle so popular in Nigeria nowadays, that herdsmen are being caught with it? The Nigeria police will not monitor the border to ensure that there is no gun proliferation; there is another agency mandated to handle that. However, shifting or casting blames is not the essence of this piece.

It is important that the effort of the Nigeria police beappreciated,
as they yesterday announced the arrest of 12 more suspects in
different states linked to the Offa massacre. Formed in 1930, the
Nigeria Police has the staff strength of about 371,000, with about
80,115 of them described as ‘ghost officers’ according to Premium
Times. This means that some individuals have been collecting the
salaries of the ghost officers. Up till now, no major shake-up has
been announced following the discovery. That leaves the population of about 2,000,000 to be policed by 290,000 officers.


New Zealand has a police ratio of one officer to 1,088, while Nigeria
has one officer to about 500 people. Surprisingly, crime rate in New
Zealand is one of the lowest in the world. Statistics show that when
you walk alone at night there, you are 50% guaranteed of your safety. They are no saints either, so the corruption and bribery rate there is around 22%. Meanwhile, corruption is almost in ‘extinction’ in Botswana, which is an African country. Hence, let there not be the mention of New Zealand not being an African country. Are Africans cursed to suffer? By the way, crime rate in Nigeria is about 70%.

READ ALSO: How Nigeria Is Sowing Seeds Of Hatred To Her Future

UK Police officers with speedcuffs on their waists.

The system of federal policing, county/state policing might be an issue for another day, but let’s talk about what will motivate a Nigerian police officer to confront, rather than either join or flee crime. Our police is a representation of our reality in Nigeria. The average police in the UK equipped with a duty belt, stab vest, baton, police radio, incapacitant spray, police writing materials, torch, personal digital assistants, leg/hand cuffs, Speedcuffs, a taser. Nigeria’s president has gone back to the UK, and he can see for himself, if they didn’t stop the movement of everyone, or declare public holiday for him to move around UK. What is the average Nigeria police officer equipped with?


What is the welfare package of the average police officer like? A
septuagenarian father of late Inspector Grace Makinde, a policewoman who lost her life during the Offa robbery said, “They don’t maintain their vehicles for operations, they don’t buy arms and they do not pay them well. How do the police to perform? They cannot perform.” The father of the late cop, James Oyeyemi, retired in 1998 from the police after 35 years of service. Who else can describe the police system better? He sadly added that, “It is not good to talk about the security situation in Nigeria because it is too bad.” He further complained bitterly about how the corpses of officers felled in combat are treated.


Smuggled Rifles

The policemen have returned to the Lagos-Ibadan, Ibadan-Oyo
expressways, and if you travel most especially in the evening, you see them collecting money from commercial drivers. There are no fewer than five spots on the Iseyin-Oyo road where you will meet police officers, and the drivers will have to ‘settle’ all of them. Should there be any robbery Oyo town for example, the robbers are likely have been long gone before they arrive -the reason is obvious. Increasing attacks on police stations say it all.

If the house of security is not secure, where else is secure?

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