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An Article in Response to the Arrest of A Trader In Sango
BUHARI THE DOG AND THE HYPOCRISY OF NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE
It is part of our culture to pay attention to those things that do not really matter in Nigeria. We most times do what Yoruba tags Igba taa ni ko ma ja lo b’oso. Literally, we fight when we should not. Reading about a trader in Sango Ota who was arrested for naming his dog Buhari brought up the question of whether The Nigerian Police Force is an objective department. Joe Fortemose Chinakwe was arrested last weekend according to Vanguard for naming his dog Buhari.
In the words of the spokesperson of Ogun State Police Command, Ambibola Opeyemi, “we are charging him to court for conduct likely to cause a breach of peace”. The last time I checked, Buhari is a noun, a naming word just like Bingo, Pete, Bob and every other name one could name a dog. Why on earth someone would be arrested because he named his dog Buhari! An important personality in Nigeria bears the name obviously but that still does not call for an arrest. Even if the dog’s name is an excuse for Chinakwe’s arrest, Buhari has other names for crying out loud! If the dog’s name was the full name of the president, I may not have strong reasons to write this article. A man can be arrested and charged to court for crimes like robbery, fraud, rape and the list continues, but for naming his dog Buhari, it is inhuman, unlawful and just doesn’t make sense.
Talking of peace being threatened, there are prominent Nigerians that have threatened the country’s peace before now but nothing was done to them. Oba of Lagos during the last election process threatened Igbos that they will be thrown into the Lagoon if they voted for Jimi Agbaje and not Ambode. The highest the monarch got was insults on social media and a few propaganda inflected messages. Nobody arrested him! Perhaps, the case is that if peace is threatened by the high and mighty, we can all condemn them then later laugh about it but no grand actions like an arrest and court trial will be taken. Such hypocrisy speaks a lot about us as Nigerians.
Still on the issue of peace being threatened, Governor Fayose of Ekiti State is another example of the powers that threaten the peace of Nigeria. Well, the excuse of immunity of office holders shields him especially after threatening to poison the water supply of Fulani herdsmen. Now think of many Nigerians who do not have immunity as an excuse to shield them from the hypocrisy of our law enforcement system. I hope I don’t get arrested for this too.
Buhari the dog is just like Bob the dog as far as I am concerened. I therefore see no reason why the Ogun State Command of Nigerian Police would waste so much time and manpower on a civil issue which does not have in it, any criminal tendencies. As if his detainment was not enough, Chinakwe was transferred to Eleweran from Sango Ota. An action that says no other thing than waste of tax payers’ money especially now that a litre of petrol is 145 naira per litre. A call for backup from Eleweran to Sango might not have been responded should such call be made but the fuel, time and manpower could be wasted on a civil misunderstanding.
We have many security problems to deal with in this country and a case like Buhari the dog does not even fit any of the profiles of our security problems. The Nigerian police Force should not force the impression that it is working effectively to make Nigeria a crime free country by arresting civilians on minor issues and transferring them to state police headquarters as if such civilians have been caught with human head. The arrest of Buhari the dog is a case that should not go beyond the intervention of a C.D.A Chairman or a Baale even if we need it to generate criticism. I believe in the Nigerian Police Force but its method of law enforcement needs review if its image to many Nigerians will be viewed in the positive perspective.
Teacher Education, University of Ibadan
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