Brace up! It is survival mode out there. Here’s how to avoid police harassment in Lagos.
Sadly, it has come to this. But if you’re living in Nigeria, especially Lagos State, the south-western part of the country, you will understand that Nigerian police are immune to the laws of the nation. Therefore, they go unpunished irrespective of the outrageous crimes they continue to commit, including murder.
It is no longer news that while the country is currently battling the global COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed over 342 lives in the country, the Nigerian police seem to be a bigger and more dangerous pandemic, killing the very citizens it set out to protect without a cure in view.
In light of the murderous rampage embarked on by the Nigerian police, it has become important that citizens look out for themselves, as the government has left them high and dry. Cries and pleas of these citizens fall on deaf ears of our financially fattened lawmakers.
However difficult, Nigerians, especially Lagosians, must take caution as they plan their daily activities, especially those which involve leaving their homes and plying the bustling city filled with police officers at every nook and cranny.
Here are three ways you can avoid police brutality in Lagos:
1. Cooperate with them
If you drive in Lagos, you might have encountered police officers at any of their numerous checkpoints. When they pull you over, be calm and if they ask for papers, hand them over and do not try to engage in word fight with them because they will only end up wasting your time. If you notice that they are deliberately trying to waste your time, give them a stipend. It may go against your belief but it is better than having a wasted day filled with police harassment.
2. Always have your video camera on
We cannot turn a blind eye to the current situation which has necessitated a new mode of living. Get a car mobile stand, which can hold your phone, before crossing a police checkpoint. Turn on your video recorder in case of any hassle. It is important to get the officers’ face to report to the necessary authorities. The Nigerian police officer and former Spokesperson for the Lagos Police Command, Dolapo Opeyemi Badmus, is always willing to help out with cases involving police brutality. If you are also in a means of public transport, endeavour to take pictures and videos of the police officer(s) in question.
3. Have an inside man
Connection and networking have been important since time immemorial. Therefore, it has become needful to have contacts of higher scrupulous officers who can always be called upon in any case of harassment. Take it upon yourself to find and connect with these officers.
Truthfully, survival has become important in Nigeria, as the cases of police brutality continue to increase. If you find yourself in public, and police officers are displaying an unnecessary show of power, look for a safe place. Most trigger-happy police officers are usually drunk. It doesn’t matter the time of the day, it is never too early for them. So, be safe out there.