How Civil Defence operatives maltreated Nigerian for crossing road


The term, “police brutality”, has long become part of the lexicon in Nigeria.
The Nigeria Police Force, being one of the legacies of British colonial rule, is known to have assumed that notoriety of being populated by brutes, who maltreat hapless Nigerians at the slightest opportunity.
But after several attempts by its top-brass to change the orientation of the personnel of the force, the police force is now arguably becoming more civil, like its counterparts in saner climes around the world.
It is, however, unfortunate that Nigerians may have to contend with the brutality of another monster in uniform, operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Last Wednesday, at Ketu BusStop, Lagos, some officers of the corps practically deleted the word “civil” from the security agency’s name, as they exerted the full weight of their new-found relevance in the security configuration of the country on a citizen alleged to have crossed the ever-busy Ikorodu Road.
The Civil Defence men not only apprehended the errant citizen, they also ordered him to frog-jump, supervising him as he did so.
When this eye witness noticed this public display of “raw power” by the NSCDC operatives from a distance, he stood afar to capture the development on his camera phone.
But shortly after he began to record the scene, one of the Civil Defence operatives grabbed him from behind and attempted to snatch his phone.
According to this eye witness, “I was climbing up the pedestrian bridge at Ketu bus stop to board a ‘Keke Napep’ on the other side of the bridge on my way to Magodo last Wednesday when I sighted a man who was being ordered to do frog jump by an officer of the Civil Defence Corps.
“I quickly brought out my phone in order to record what was happening on video, not knowing that one of the officers of the corps was behind me. He grabbed me from behind, shouting, “Delete that video! Delete that video!
“As he dragged me down the stairs of the bridge into the midst of his other colleagues and sensing what could happen to me if I didn’t identify myself, I quickly brought out my identity card and told them that I work with The Point Newspaper.
“They then relaxed a bit to listen to my reason for recording the scene on video.”
He said it was at this juncture that one of the Civil Defence officers, who pleaded anonymity, began to explain that they were only trying to assist the operatives of the Lagos State para-military organisation, Kick Against Indiscipline, popularly known as KAI, to stop people who preferred to cross the road, rather than use the pedestrian bridge.
The NSCDC ofcer added that they had to intervene because the residents usually engaged the KAI officials in physical fights, whenever they tried to stop them from crossing the road.
The leader of the Civil Defence men, simply identified as Mr. Micheal, told this eye witness, “The work is KAI work and at the same time people are trying to fght them; that is why we are working with them so that nobody will attack them”.
This eye witness, however, said he was glad he did not delete the video of the scene he had recorded.