The decisive response of the State Government of Osun and the avuncular disposition of the state Governor Adegboyega Oyetola averted what could have turned out to be a bloody cataclysm in the state capital Osogbo a few days ago.
The governor’s call on the Nigeria Police Force to immediately launch an investigation into the events that led to the reported death of a citizen, following an alleged chase of a vehicle by some security operatives in Osogbo must be demonstrably open and in the spirit of identifying the root causes and obtaining long term solutions to avert a recurrence and if necessary institute restitution.
The public perception of the security institutions, particularly the police, is that of a colonial authority or an occupation force, it has clearly not transformed into an institution to be respected. Its modus operandi is increasingly seen as incompatible with the ethos of a democracy and the spirit of the laws.
An opinion enquiry should be the starting point of overcoming the trust deficit and repositioning the battered image of the squad.
The state commissioner of police has made all the expected statements “I have set up a strong team to commence investigation on the matter. As I speak to you, that team is already out and we shall get to the root of this. I want to assure the people of the state that whoever that is identified with the incident will be brought to book.”
We expect him to walk the talk by allowing the sort of enquiry which will lead to closure, especially for the family of the bereaved.
The crisis sensibly tamed by Oyetola must be turned into an opportunity for a revamp of the operations of the Joint Task Force and special security unit of the police. Our heartfelt condolences go to the family of the bereaved and we pray for the repose of his soul. This is one too many of the dysfunctional misuse of power, it must be the last.