Jemibewon says corruption in Police Force is exaggerated
David Madayese Jemibewon who would clock 80 years on Tuesday, is a retired Nigerian Army Major General. He was the governor of the defunct Western State and Oyo State.
The Jagunmolu of Ibadan was appointed Police Affairs Minister under President Olusegun Obasanjo. He schooled in both England and United States. In this interview with Gbenga Aderanti, he talks about life as a military officer, corruption in the police force and the Amotekun security outfit.
He says; “I feel good healthwise and thankful to the Almighty for His care and protection in spite of all the dangers and crisis one has traversed over the years”
“It is indeed God’s doing. I am not sure there is any special feeling associated with 80 years, if there is, maybe I may start to experience it as the days roll on”.
He joined the Nigerian Army, known then as the Queen’s Own Nigerian Regiment in 1961 as a cadet officer and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in April 1962 at Aldershot, England.
He furthermore says talks about enrolment in the army, “I did not inform my parents about my enrolment into the Army. I had gone to Britain, got commissioned and back before my parents became aware of my enrolment into the Army”.
Incompetence, inefficiency, stealing, corruption in every sector has assumed alarming dimension. Some of the behaviour we thought can’t be associated with Nigeria are now a daily occurrence, he says.
“See what we read from the enquiries going on in Niger Delta Development Commission. It is a shame”.
“Whatever I will be saying here are contained in one of my books titled: THE NIGERIA POLICE IN TRANSITION (ISSUES, PROBLEM AND PROSPECTS”.
“As I said earlier the policeman in Nigeria is a human being and a Nigerian, so he is bound to be influenced to some degree by same factors being a citizen of the country.”
“However, I must say that corruption in the police is over-exaggerated. When corruption is reported, the police conduct investigations, offender is charged to court, it takes years to conduct trial and at the end, either the offender is freed and gets fined a ridiculous fraction of what he stole”.
He made few suggestions like the decentralization of the Police into (a) federal/national police, to take charge of the Federal territory and Federal laws.
(b) Zonal Police Command to be under the Deputy Inspector General of Police and which shall control the geo-political zones of the nation (Southwest, Northwest, South-South, Southeast, North-Central and Northeast Zonal Police Commands respectively).
This will make it almost impossible for state governors to have overbearing influence on the institution as a zonal command will be made up of many states as are in the zone.
“Hence the need for every community to organize themselves and provide some level of protection, safety for the wellbeing of its people.
Hence the formation of JTF, vigilante groups, Amotekun etc. These groups work in tandem with the Federal Government and security in protecting her citizens”.
I, therefore, don’t see anything wrong in the formation of Amotekun under a federal setting. It has my full support.