#Protect Me Project: Protest to Demand Redeployment of 80% of Nigeria Police to Protect Ordinary Citizens’ Lives & Properties
Dr. Perry Brimah comes across as an eternal optimist for the Nigerian cause. From this political activist’s perspective, Nigeria is portrayed as a country with myriads of problems which are, of course, not beyond the capacity of the citizenry to rectify. It is from this angle that one begins to make sense of the tasking undertakings to which this young man has lent his energies. For one, he has dropped his gauntlet into the contest for Nigerian presidency during the scheduled 2019 general elections cycle. He is the founder of the Cabal Must Go movement and the lead organizer of the soon-to-commence #Protect Us Project which is the object of this video.
Re-echoing the sentiments being expressed daily in the Nigeria Senate, Dr. Brimah is alarmed that many people are dying daily at hands of determined bloodthirsty murderers who have, thus far, eluded capture by the Nigeria Police or any of the security agencies tasked with protecting the lives and properties of the citizenry. When citizens die at the rate at with which the Fulani herdsmen gunmen are mowing down rural dwellers in Benue state and elsewhere in the Middle Belt, the call for mass action is very easy to understand. Other notable Nigerians, such as General Theophilus Danjuma of Taraba state and Christian elders, have enjoined their fellow compatriots to rise and defend themselves against the murderous rampages of the Fulani herdsmen militia. It is hard to ascertain whether potential victims of premeditated murder in the Middle Belt have internalized the provocative advice emanating from a former general in the Nigerian Army to organize themselves for self-defense.
General Danjuma refused to adopt Dr. Brimah’s approach because the former is of the view that the Nigeria Police, Army, and all the security agencies are working in cahoots with the terrorist Fulani herdsmen militia and therefore, cannot be trusted perform their duty in protecting the citizenry. The optimistic Brimah, somehow, still believes that mere public pressure emanating from the Nigerian masses may be all it would take to bring the required change of heart in the security agencies’ top-command echelon. It is public knowledge that President Buhari made sure that top leadership of all the key security agencies in his administration are ethnic Fulani and of course, practicing Muslims. It should, therefore, be presumed that failure of the Police, DSS, and the judicial system to rein in the rampaging murderous Fulani herdsmen militia is due to the fact that the president intentionally assigned the foxes to guard the chicken coup for a reason. Is the optimistic Dr. Brimah oblivious to this fact or does he think that street protests have the power to upend the well-planned scheme masterminded by the Fulani cattle aristocracy?
It is possible that President Buhari may not have been cognizant of the extent to which his top security personnel appointments can negate the effectiveness of the Nigeria Police to perform its basic function of protecting citizens’ lives and properties. If so, intense vocal mass protests nationwide might compel the commander-in-chief to change his mind. Incidentally, the #Protect Us project is designed to continue until the Nigerian security setup is revamped to meet the demands of protesters. Based on antecedents, this expectation is akin to anticipating the sun to rise from the west. It cannot be ruled out that Dr. Brimah, as a presidential aspirant, might use the #Protect Us project to heighten awareness for his candidacy among the electorate in run-up to the political campaign season which is only months down the road.
As Dr. Brimah astutely noted, as much as 80% of the Nigeria Police manpower is deployed in protecting the cabal and their hangers-on with only 20% left to attend to normal police duties on behalf of the people. The Nigeria Police find it more rewarding to guard and protect minders of the status quo than to engage in the risk and drudgery of chasing or confronting AK47-wielding Fulani herdsmen militia. Besides, the understanding in Nigeria is that it pays in many ways for bureaucrats to comply with the wishes of their bosses, whether expressly stated or implied. Policing in Nigeria, therefore, requires that one should, at all times, endeavor to do all they can to fulfill the wishes of the boss, particularly the one at the very top.
The clarion call to partake in the #Protect Us project should be hearkened to. Even if the goal of making the incumbent commander-in-chief to revamp the security priorities of his administration may be far-fetched, the planned mass protests shall, hopefully, contribute in advancement of the political economy. On this count, the Nigerian polity needs more of the likes of Dr. Brimah today than ever before.