Thursday, 12 November 2015

A Heartfelt Life And Struggles Of A Nigeria Law Enforcer- Real Story

A few days after posting the article on why the police force cannot be our friend (read it HERE), i got pulled over by one, and you can already guess what he wanted- something for the weekend. I gave him what he wanted and spoke with him about the article and he seemed very interested, even choosing to shed more light on what he goes through on a daily basis. The things he revealed painted a clearer picture of what i was trying to convey in the article....Quiet empathetic actually

He spoke about how he got shot twice in the line of duty against armed robbers and never got acknowledged by the authority or even his captain. He said at that point he was abandoned and he in fact used his own money to foot his medical bills and buy drugs. When he got back on his feet, nothing changed- same pay, same hours, same struggles.

He said hes been earning N28,000 in his 15 years as a law enforcer and has been expecting a promotion for the past 9 years (going to 10). When i asked how he and his family have been surviving with such low income coming in, he pointed at a beat up commercial motorcycle (Okada) and said he had to borrow the money from friends to purchase it in order to use it to carry passengers after the close of work and on the weekends. He said his wife passed away from an illness he could not afford to treat and the little money he makes as a law enforcer and an Okada rider helps take care of the needs of his 19 year old daughter who in her 2nd year of University and his 16 year old son who will soon graduate from high school and into university.

Now at the age of 50, he says he has since given up on the promotion and a better life for himself and the only reason he remains a law enforcer is to keep  himself busy because "thinking of my life always makes me sad". The last thing he said to me was:"i joined the force to better my community because my father thought me it was the honorable thing to do. I had a bright future ahead. Now i am ashamed of what i do and what i've become. I struggle everyday so that my children don't have this type of life of pain"

After listening to his story i couldn't help but be thankful for the life i have and empathize with what our police force endures day in, day out, all in the name of protecting civilians. Again i ask: can you blame this man if he pulls you over and ask for money?...He has clearly lost all hope and is just seeing his children don't end up like him. This is a man who joined a system with the hopes of prosperity and service to his country and all he gets in return is abandonment and suffering.

I hope this article reaches someone who is in a position to make the change the system desperately needs. Our law enforcers should be held in the highest of esteems and not trapped in a box which ultimately leaves them full of  pain and regrets and worst of all, becoming the same thing they swore to fight against- corruption.

N.B: Due to the sensitive nature of what he revealed to me, he asked me not to reveal his identity to avoid complications

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