Extortion of journalists: Nigerians say policemen worse than armed robbers

Nigerians have attacked the Nigerian Police after it emerged that members of the Force threatened to frame four journalists for offences they did not commit.

The PUNCH had, on Tuesday, reported how members of the Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria had attended the association’s convention held at the Trade and Investment Centre, Owerri between March 30 and 31, and were accosted by policemen who demanded and forcefully got N10,000 after threatening them.

Reacting to the report on various online platforms, Nigerians lambasted the policemen and called for their dismissal.

One Olatunji Samuel, in his comment on the initial story published on Punch Online, compared the Nigerian Police to armed robbers.

He said, “Most of these policemen on the road are not different to armed robbers. They collect bribes from all sorts of people including vehicles conveying foodstuff to market. Policemen have made food items to become very expensive because of the bribes they collect on the way. A big shame.”

Another commenter, who simply identified himself as Adebayo, asked The PUNCH to launch a campaign against the policemen, saying “If we could reward the policemen that faced armed robbers and was killed on the line of duty when Punch launched a campaign, the same way Punch should lunch a campaign against these Policemen”.

One Tunde, in his reaction, described the Police as heartless, adding that the Nigerian Police are feared more than bandits.

He said, “This is the norm with Nigeria Police. They threaten the people they ought to protect. I fear Nigeria police more than armed robbers. Police corruptly collecting money from innocent people. Money they did not work for. No conscience, this is happening in a country of heavy religious background. Heartless policemen.”

On social media, a Twitter user, who goes by the moniker @straightblad, prefer the policemen be transferred to fight insurgents in the northeast.

In a tweet, he said,

On his part, an Instagram user, @iammr.tea, explained that only a joint action by Nigerians will stop the menace of rogue policemen.

He said, “The point is that we have to jointly fight for this….going from the innocent youths on the street to the few middle-class professionals who are constantly victims of the unprofessional approach which has become a norm.

Emphasising Journalist in this context we know will not make anyone resign, neither will it reverse the done. We have to collectively stand up and fight for this.”

 

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