AGONY! We Live Like Rats, Yet Nigerians Want Us To Be Their Friends – Policemen

Date: 01-08-2015 7:03 am (6 years ago) | Author: Mister Jay Wonder
- at 1-08-2015 07:03 AM (6 years ago)
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He was drenched with sweat by the time he wriggled himself through the narrow entrance of his room into the passageway. Looking very depressed and drowsy that Thursday afternoon, he dragged himself along the hole-ridden passage and collapsed into the rickety sofa beside the staircase that leads to the upper floors in one of the buildings in the barracks.

With frustration written all over his face, Emma Uden (not real names), a sergeant in the police, kept muttering to himself, but dosed off few minutes later. Apparently disturbed by the music blaring in his neighbourhood, Uden could not but open his eyes feebly and intermittently.

His pain was obvious to anyone who came across him, but the reason for his frustration was largely
unknown. However, as Uden would later tell PUNCH in a conversation he grudgingly consented to, since the apartment allotted to him in the barracks collapsed in June last year, he and his family had been living in the kitchen of one of the dilapidated buildings in Pedro police barracks, Somolu, Lagos. That was his main frustration.

One of the buildings in Ojuelegba barracks, Lagos

“It was the only alternative we had at that time,” he said, as he unbehindoned his shirt to enjoy some fresh air.

Since he and his family were constrained to live in a room (kitchen), he said life had become one of bitterness and frustration. To escape the intense heat of the day and the constant constraint of space that his family of six could never live comfortably with, Uden had been used to sitting outside anytime he was home.

Hoping that respite could eventually come his way if he opened up to Saturday PUNCH, Uden wasted no time in leading their correspondent to his room where he lives with his wife and their four children. He opened the door and lowered his head as he made to enter, to avoid being bruised on the head by the doorframe. As he opened the curtain for Punch to enter, the odour, which seemed like a mixture of wet rug and accumulated sweat, that oozed out of the stuffy room was disturbing and could make anybody puke.

The room was like a store reserved for unused household items. The only window in the room appeared dysfunctional while the base of the wall that was visible was seriously dampened, and the ceiling riddled with signs of serious dilapidation. Expectedly, Uden, whose four children had occupied the only bed in the room, appeared discomfited by the state of the place he called home as he continually scratched his head to look for the right words.

Even though he is not alone in such a tortuous situation in the premises, he said he had resorted to coming home just to sleep, unless he was off duty. This, he said, was to avail his family some space in the room and that sometimes he would rather stay in his office or volunteer to go on patrol, all in a bid to stay away from home. They don’t even live alone in the house, occasionally, the family live with big rats that find their way out of the broken septic tank located close to the kitchen into the room.

He said:
“When we were still living in the room and parlour before our building collapsed last year, we were managing because of the small space, not to talk of now that we have just one room, which used to be a kitchen. It’s like living in a cave. That is the lot of most of us.
“Can you imagine that? We live in a kitchen, and you want policemen to be your friends while you all live in your comfortable mansions. You expect us to carry rifle and risk our lives to protect people. Haba!”


His passionate expression of grief was second to none, even though he said he had concluded arrangements to leave the barracks for a room and parlour accommodation he secured somewhere in Bariga area of Lagos.

He added:
 “If nobody takes care of us, we will take care of ourselves, because apart from the space issue, we (residents of this barracks) queue to use toilet and bathroom, because the ones available are not adequate. So we queue to bathe every morning. Here, three-room and parlour flats share one toilet and bathroom. For me and my family who live in an abandoned kitchen, we pair with another flat. So, we join the queue every morning.
Don’t forget that we are all adults with families. I feel ashamed that I go through this every morning. Tell those people in government what you saw here. Let them know we are suffering. Even when we get to the office, we either sit under the tree or stand in the sun.”



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Posted: at 1-08-2015 07:03 AM (6 years ago) | Addicted Hero
- dareshola at 1-08-2015 07:22 AM (6 years ago)
(m)
pele
Posted: at 1-08-2015 07:22 AM (6 years ago) | Upcoming
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- erhubeauty at 1-08-2015 07:32 AM (6 years ago)
(f)
Nigeria we hail thee
Posted: at 1-08-2015 07:32 AM (6 years ago) | Upcoming
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- Wazubia at 1-08-2015 07:43 AM (6 years ago)
(m)
This is the most painful place to live and work,  Nigeria gov over to you. Rebuild and renovated all police station all over the nation,  is ur obligation.  No wonder police men ae angry all the time. Wait..o for all those police senior worker, u people should go and rent house, and live space for jenior once in the quater
Posted: at 1-08-2015 07:43 AM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- angesco at 1-08-2015 07:50 AM (6 years ago)
(f)
This is NO reason for the level of corruption we see in our Nigeria Police Force. It is embarassing.
Has he considered that his problems may stem from his attitude to his fellow human beings. Maybe karma is catching up with him. If you cannot handle the job of being a policeman LOOK for a job that suits you better, Many rich people around the world lived in poorer conditions than you before they made it legally. More importantly the Nigeria police officers DO NOT go after those who live in "mansions." The police go after bus drivers, hawkwers, okada drivers and other Nigerians struggling to survive!!!
Posted: at 1-08-2015 07:50 AM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- PoliticxGuru at 1-08-2015 07:59 AM (6 years ago)
(m)
government should build more barracks for the police, a soldier man doesn't stay outside his barracks, every soldier man is allocated a flat in D barracks and he doesn't have to pay for rent, y can't police too be like, some dat are opportune to stay in D barracks #10, 000 is deducted from there salaries every blessed month and u expect them to perform miracles...., dis is absurd
Posted: at 1-08-2015 07:59 AM (6 years ago) | Hero
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- dis4real at 1-08-2015 08:05 AM (6 years ago)
(f)
Sorry man. But why have so many children without setting aside little things for their up keep. People work hard to earn a living including some living in mansions u know, so don't expect them to just give away their sweat. If the police work is not good for u then resign. Some people are just looking for that chance to have a Job. Police men also have dirty habits. Sorry though work harder
Posted: at 1-08-2015 08:05 AM (6 years ago) | Upcoming
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- winace at 1-08-2015 08:32 AM (6 years ago)
(f)
Wat are d senior officers living lager doinwit d money of their junior officers?? I believe all civil servants are paid well and d same money. Infact I think d uniform pple are paid more cus of risk. Why are military barracks renovated quickly and easily? Be cus their ogas are not as greedy and selfish like dat of d paramilitary. U will always hear of prob into police fund or somethg but can never hear or read abt d military.
Posted: at 1-08-2015 08:32 AM (6 years ago) | Addicted Hero
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- 24magic at 1-08-2015 08:39 AM (6 years ago)
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ITS A FREE ACCOMODATION. BLAME UR BOSES COS THEY GET ENOUGH ALLOCATION FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. IF YOU DONT LIKE UR JOB PLS QUIT AND GET ANOTHER. END OF STORY. THIS IS NOT ENOUGH ESUSE TO TK BRIBE AND KILL INNOCENT CITIZENS THAT REFUSE TO GIVE BRIBE.
Posted: at 1-08-2015 08:39 AM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- portable2 at 1-08-2015 08:44 AM (6 years ago)
(f)
I don't see d reason why somebody will just write a comment without using his/her brain at all. What has Law of Karma got to do with an organisation deducting my lodging allowance & then making me stay in a worst than dilapidated building. Let's all face d truth. Corruption has eaten deeply into all Nigeria system even some people brains
Posted: at 1-08-2015 08:44 AM (6 years ago) | Newbie
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- christianity at 1-08-2015 01:07 PM (6 years ago)
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what a dwelling place.
Posted: at 1-08-2015 01:07 PM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
Reply
- echeeche at 1-08-2015 02:56 PM (6 years ago)
(m)
nice,,
Posted: at 1-08-2015 02:56 PM (6 years ago) | Hero
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- italianjob at 1-08-2015 03:17 PM (6 years ago)
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Is a punishment from those innocent souls they have been killing, is just their beginning.
Posted: at 1-08-2015 03:17 PM (6 years ago) | Upcoming
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- dareper at 1-08-2015 05:53 PM (6 years ago)
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My friend if u can't cope with the job u better quit it and look for another work to do, must u be a policeman? Don't blame the poor masses for ur misfortune instead channel ur anger to ur oga on top. Rubbish!!!
Posted: at 1-08-2015 05:53 PM (6 years ago) | Hero
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- ignis99 at 1-08-2015 08:05 PM (6 years ago)
Online (m)
This is so bad
Posted: at 1-08-2015 08:05 PM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- Aniagain at 1-08-2015 08:57 PM (6 years ago)
(m)
Me pity police? I dey craze?

Posted: at 1-08-2015 08:57 PM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- Aniagain at 1-08-2015 09:01 PM (6 years ago)
(m)
If I av my way I wud come and remove d roof of that kitchen u r managing so u won't av anywhere to lay ur head, u people r very heartless and hopeless people

Posted: at 1-08-2015 09:01 PM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- SOGaiya at 1-08-2015 09:16 PM (6 years ago)
(m)
Hve 4gotten hw u people ar dealin wit d poor n salutin d rich witout reason
Posted: at 1-08-2015 09:16 PM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- x-avier at 3-08-2015 02:02 PM (6 years ago)
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Quote from: angesco on  1-08-2015 07:50 AM
This is NO reason for the level of corruption we see in our Nigeria Police Force. It is embarassing.
Has he considered that his problems may stem from his attitude to his fellow human beings. Maybe karma is catching up with him. If you cannot handle the job of being a policeman LOOK for a job that suits you better, Many rich people around the world lived in poorer conditions than you before they made it legally. More importantly the Nigeria police officers DO NOT go after those who live in "mansions." The police go after bus drivers, hawkwers, okada drivers and other Nigerians struggling to survive!!!
This is the best comment I've seen today. You summed it up nicely.
It also goes to show that the thousands they collect in bail, bribe, false accusations etc. all amount to nothing.
"He that gatheret much and has naught"
Posted: at 3-08-2015 02:02 PM (6 years ago) | Upcoming
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