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Special Report: The Need To Psychoanalyse Security Operatives

Lukmon Akintola
 
 Image result for Nigerian police in parade
 
According to Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis via therapy helps to release repressed emotions and experiences, making the unconscious conscious.
For many, there is a serious need to evaluate the state of mind of security operatives in Nigeria.
In the past couple of years, there have been several unnecessary and unmotivated killings by security operatives such as men and women of the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Air Force and even the army. While some of these cases have been accidents which occurred in the pursuit of justice, others have been as a result of negligence on the part of security operatives who took an oath to protect citizens of their country.
Psychologists have argued that some of these incidents occurred due to the state of minds of the security operatives involved.
Confidential counselors, behavioral health care providers and primary care providers generally agree with the position that the condition of a person’s mind influences his action especially during confrontations.
With this position, it is believed that some of the unnecessary killings which have been witnessed in our society might not have happened had those involved in the killings being of proper mindset. 
This point is buttressed by Tim Dees, a retired cop and criminal justice professor. According to him, “the best agencies require at least one individual interview with a psychologist experienced in police selection procedures. The interview can reveal red flags that might not show up in testing. Also, because even a candidate who is evaluated as being close to ideal will have some personality traits that are sub-par, the psychologist can counsel the candidate to be aware of these issues and even how to compensate for them.”
 
This is why it is important to know the state of mind of the average security operative before giving him a gun to wield in the name of providing security.
This position is supported by happenings to Timothy Loehmann, the Cleveland police officer who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice to death sometimes ago. Leohman was previously deemed “unfit” by a deputy chief to be a cop in late 2012, after having served only six months as a police officer with the Independence Police Department in Ohio before resigning under pressure. In March 2014, he landed a policing job in Cleveland, where he would then go on to shoot Rice within two seconds of arriving to investigate a complaint regarding the boy carrying what turned out to be a fake pellet gun.
 
In the past couple of years, some of the unexplainable killings and maiming which have occurred in Nigeria includes the 2013 alleged killing of Momodu Ibrahim, a 22 year-old 500 level student of the Faculty of Laboratory Science of the University of Benin. According to allegations, Ibrahim was allegedly murdered by Corporal Amadin Idahosa.
Another case in point is the alleged killing of a DPO, DCO and eight police officers by men of the Nigerian Army in Badagry, Lagos in 2011. Sources allegedly claimed that the killing was carried out by heavily armed soldiers from the 242 Recce Battalion, Iberepo,  Badagry who took over strategic locations in the ancient town maiming and killing any police man on sight in an apparent reprisal of the murder of one of their colleagues.
 
Other more recent incidents includes the death of a barber identified as Nelson Akporido Sini who allegedly died in the hands of the operatives of B-Division of the Nigeria Police, Warri Area Command, having been shot in the leg and allowed to bleed to death by the DPO and his men, while his remains was later deposited at the Warri Central Hospital morgue by another police officer simply identified as Akhigbe.
 
The alleged killing of three persons in Ejegbo, Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State by the Police, and the alleged murder of Chinedu Peters, a resident of Aba, Abia State in the hand of a policeman identified as Ibe Uchenna are some of the unfathomable killings that have raised eyebrows as to the soundness of mind and rational of the perpetrator of the deed.
 
The truth of the matter remains that cases of unnecessary killings and maiming in Nigeria are countless and in most cases could have been averted.
 
It is now common to hear security operatives threatening to shoot an individual under the slightest provocation. Worse is the case that sometimes, senior officers who are supposed to know better are the one who even give the order to shoot.
Asides the typical killing of individuals by security operatives, the death of the Fleet Commander of Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Daniel Ikoli allegedly from his own hand has raised questions concerning the state of mind of officers saddled with topmost responsibilities. While these are direct murders, assault of individuals by both police and military men are countless.
A case of how a lady was reportedly brutalised by soldiers from 174 Battalion, Ikorodu because she allegedly challenged a soldier that slapped her brother is puzzling, as the extent of punishment meted on her would have been too much for even a thief.
 
According to Sheriff Alabi Mosalu, who shared the pictures of the lady on Facebook, the need to call the army to order has become very important.
 
While the tasks which men of the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Lt Gen Tukur Yussuf Buratai are saddled is not an easy one, especially as soldiers continue to fall in the battle field at the hands of terrorist group Boko Haram, recent incidents from the camp of the military and Nigerian Air Force have also raised concern.
 
Weeks back, the tale of how Air Provost Sholape Oladipupo was allegedly shot dead by her boyfriend, B.A. Kalu equally a member of the Air Force was everywhere. The issue which led to the death of Oladipupo is something which would never have happened if the perpetrator was of sound mind. This point becomes a serious talking point when the fact that Kalu also attempted to kill himself after murdering his girlfriend is considered.
 
More recently, a Nigerian soldier combating Boko Haram in Maiduguri simply identified on Facebook as De Myt Trill, left his friends shocked when he made a shocking declaration about himself. He wrote: “I no longer have feelings for humanity I am now a weapon, a killing machine.”
 
Clearly, a man of such mind is unfit to return to the society after the war with Boko Haram ends, as an eventful altercation in which he is involved will only lead to the death of innocent individuals around him.
 
Reactions that have trailed De Myt Trill’s post include that of Saphire Muna who reacted thus “In that case, he should remain in Sambisa forever.”
 
Tosin George had this to say “This type of thing is expected from a soldier who has been at the war front killing enemies. I hope the authority is close to him and others who may have this type of thinking. He needs the help of a psychologist. Soldiers in other part of the world who are in his situation are treated and reintegrated into the community.”
 
On his part, Toyin Jegede said “He needs to see a therapist as soon as possible. The things he has posted might just be his way of crying out for help. What do you expect? These guys are supposed to serve in war zone for six months and after that return to their unit. But it has not been like that, most of them have serve for more than three years and are still there. Nigeria military needs to change their men in war zone at least every six month, so that they think like normal human being.”
 
Interestingly, no comment has been made by the Nigerian Army in relation to De Myt Trill’s post since it was posted. However, there is the probability probability that he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder that follows experiencing a traumatic event. It is the most common mental health problem faced by troops. This could just be the problem that De Myt Trills is presently facing having gone through several combats.
 
The picture created has not only emphasised the need for the mental evaluation of individuals tagged security operative, but also shows that they might just be ticking bombs waiting to explode.
 
However, one question which needs an answer is the probability that an institution to occasionally check the state of minds of individuals such as De Myt Trill, Kalu, Uchenna and Idahosa exist. If indeed there is such a platform, how effective is it?
 
Reacting to this question for the Nigerian Police, Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, said “the Nigerian Police have a medical board that meets from time-to-time, periodically at short intervals. They meet and look at the capability of officers that are not suitable to carry on with police duty again. If somebody is sick or somebody is involved in an accident or the sickness can be some certain incapacitation probably because of disease or ill health even to mental issue they are boarded and their entitlement paid to them. We can’t allow somebody with psychiatric problem or mental illness to continue to be a police officer. So, this medical board is setup frequently by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), and it contains high ranking senior officers, the IGP in charge of medical with other doctors and including other expert that are stakeholders in the board. So, they bring people like that to the board and they would access them. They are boarded to return them back to their families, pay their entitlement. You know police is an organisation that is established by law and there are procedures for which anybody that can no longer carry out his duty are treated. So, anybody with mental illness cannot be a police officer. And if you have been in the police job before developing such an illness they are sent to the medical board who now board them to get their entitlement paid and retire them,” Moshood said.
 
Apparently, an institution which should be able to check the state of mind of our law enforcers remain lacking, as what the police has in its medical board is a process of weeding out unfit police officers, pay them their entitlements having been referred to the board.
 
Meanwhile, this will only happen when the damages would have been done, when a man, woman or children would have been shot dead on the street simply because a bus driver refused to stop or give a tip or when a De Myt Trill has returned from war.
 
The need for this platform to be created right away cannot be over emphasised. If for nothing, innocent individuals will be assured that the police and indeed other forces are really out to protect them.
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