police

The fight against bribery and corruption is by no means an easy one. It is societal aberration which cuts across all strata of society and undermines public institutions. It has never occupied a worrying position on the public domain as in recent times.

We have observed the poor ranking accorded the country regarding the incidence of the phenomenon by international raters. It is a favourable subject for opposition parties which find in government an important impetus for the spread of the cankerworm.

Government appointees have had their lifestyles come under the public radar in the past few years and the glaring changes they manifest upon assuming their new political appointments have become subjects of public discourse.

The judiciary, media, customs and the police ? indeed all strata of public service ? are tainted by the cankerworm of bribery and corruption.

Unfortunately, much has not been done to stem it. It is regarded as a conundrum of sorts and therefore beyond the abilities of officialdom to control the many assurances by government to deal with it when top government officials, including the President, address public functions.

The police, because of the nature of their work, receive the bulk of the accusation of bribery as though only personnel of the law enforcement agency are susceptible to taking bribe. Policemen, as law enforcement officers, must deal with people, drivers, pedestrians, criminal suspects and others on daily basis as they enforce the law.

While those who breach the law, especially on the roads and highways, sometimes make the bribe offer in some cases, in others, the bad nuts in uniform make the demand as a condition for not proceeding with court processing.

Some attempts were made in the past to stem the tide of bribery among police personnel all to no avail. One such effort was so outrageous that it became a source of derision: denying police personnel pockets in their uniforms.

It would seem that for a long time those at the helm of the police administration have somewhat given up on initiating any attempts at fighting bribery and corruption among personnel. They too have found it a herculean task to deal with.

Early this week the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, opened a new chapter in the fight against bribe-taking among personnel of the law enforcement agency.

It was a bold move which attracted various reviews. Why some think it would not prevent bad nuts from perpetrating it, others are of the opinion that starting from somewhere is not a bad idea at all.

Not starting anything at all as the IGP has done is defeatist and a suggestion that we have all given up on finding a solution to the aberration.

We found, in the attempt, the advantage of putting the issue on the public domain for all to discuss and above all, to implant in law enforcement agents that bribe-taking is still anathema.

Those who do not see anything good in the new initiative are not helping society, especially because they have not come out with alternative means of fighting the aberration.

When members of the public support the Police Administration, the incidence of bribe-taking can be brought to a minimum.

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