A former chairman of the Police Service Commission, Simon Okeke, has described the incessant attacks on police officers and their facilities in the South-east as misplaced anger by the citizens.
Mr Okeke, who was addressing reporters in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, decried the increasing security challenges in the country, particularly in the South-east.
The situation is worrisome, he said.
“These incessant attacks on the police facilities can be linked to bottled anger or accumulated aggression or what we can call misplaced anger on the part of the citizenry.
“Though, there may be bad eggs in the police, but it does not justify the series of attacks on them or their facilities,” he said.
“The prevailing situation is very worrisome. South-east had been among the safest states across the country, especially Anambra, but for some time now, that peace and serenity has been disturbed and uprooted,” he said.
Mr Okeke said 90 per cent of the police facilities were built by private individuals and through community efforts before they were handed over to the police authorities.
“Nothing happens without a cause. The #EndSARS protest broke down the peace we had. All sets of people, known and unknown hijacked the demonstration to loot and destroy government property.
“These attackers do not realise that they are just destroying their own property.
“The police force cannot rebuild these facilities because they do not have the money. It is the same community that will rebuild them, which is currently happening.
“I agree that the citizens-police relationship today is not the same as it was in my own time. Even the police you are accusing have their own complaints against the government and society,” he said.
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Mr Okeke said the establishment of state police would help solve the country’s security challenges.
“That’s why people like me have been advocating for (sic) state police since 2003, without which things will continue to deteriorate.
“This is because the needs of the Police Force have exceeded the budget approved by the Federal Government. Police prestige is no longer there as they are no longer being taken care of.
“It is a vicious circle. People are angry because the police are not doing what they are supposed to be doing,” he said.