Police killings: Time to disarm the killers in our uniform

Two people were again killed by some gun-triggered policemen within the last three days. One shot at a newlyweds convoy and killed someone, while the other killed a taxi driver when escorting another vehicle.  Despite desperate cries from all section of the society against the indiscriminate and incessant killings by policemen, the menace doesn’t seem to be ending soon. To them, when denied their request for bribes, road control and undue search, the next action is to shoot or fatally injure.

At this point, we need more than condemnations and apologies to end this mockery of our security forces. As far back as 2004, South Africa has deployed rubber bullets for policemen in civil roles. To deal with a 2004 Swazi protest, and the anti-immigration protest last year, South African police could disperse protesters and control excesses with rubber bullets, avoiding the incessant bloodshed caused by our own police officers.

The federal government should realise the need to restrict real bullets to policemen prosecuting crimes, and not required to work fully around ordinary citizens. Rubber bullets are powerful enough to enforce arrest and other lawful needs of a civil police officer. What use do metal bullets have at a protest, mediation or intra-city checkpoints? It’s time we delist most of our policemen from using metal bullets, if we are serious about ending this evil and saving Nigerians lives.

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