- Amid the #EndSARS protest, retired police commissioner Fatai Owoseni has spoken up on the plight of police officers
- Owoseni said police officers in Nigeria are also victims of the Nigerian governing system
- The retired police chief made some recommendations on how the problems in the police can be addressed
Fatai Owoseni, a retired commissioner of police in Lagos and Benue states, has said that officers of the Nigeria Police Force are not oppressors but also victims of the Nigerian governing system.
Owoseni made the statement in an interview with The Nation where he aired his views on the #EndSARS protest, a nationwide campaign against the operations of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The retired senior police chief highlighted the challenges of funding, corruption and other issues facing the Nigeria police.
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According to Owoseni, the Nigeria police has a poor welfare system, citing the example of the dilapidated police college in Lagos.
He added that the police system is also so oppressive that officers cannot speak their mind.
"The police are suffering in silence. We have a situation where we have gagged the police. We must give police a voice. Some officers can’t stand in front of their commissioners to say this is what is happening to me."
Owoseni added that rather than helping the police system, the Ministry of Police Affairs destroyed it.
He hinted that the ministry over the years may have been headed by corrupt elements diverting funds meant to improve the police' welfare.
To address the problems in the Nigeria Police, Owoseni said a truth commission must be set up for the police officers and retired officers to share what they go through without fear of being reprimanded.
The retired CP reiterated that the police officers must be given a voice and allowed to let out the anger that could also be affecting their mental health.
"The police is there to bear the brunt of the failure of everyone. The police is a victim not the oppressor."
Regarding the disbanded, SARS unit, Owosen traced the history of the squad and how it derailed due to some administrative errors.
According to him, SARS is not as bad as it is portrayed but some minor elements in the unit were responsible for the atrocities attributed to it.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that a former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Sunday Ehindero, made his position known regarding SARS.
The former police boss also said the dissolved police unit was not a bad outfit, blaming the atrocities committed by men of the squad on a few bad eggs.
Ehindero said this on Wednesday, October 14, in Lagos at the presentation of a memoir of Sunday Akintan, a retired judge of the Supreme Court.
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