Popular radio host of Nigeria Info, Port Harcourt, Mr Kofi Bartels shared his sad experience with men of the Nigerian Police force in Port Harcourt and some of his listeners dragged him for it. According to the comments on the Facebook page of Nigeria Info, Mr Bartels was usually quick at throwing out complaints when they called to relay same experience he narrated. The angry listeners who commented said that they wish he would experience more in the hands of the officers so he may be more empathetic when dealing with their calls on his programme.
Below are the words of Mr Bartels as shared on the Nigeria Info’s Facebook page.
“Another example of policemen making merchandise of the profession. In Rivers State, police frame you up just to extort money from you. These guys didn’t know they had ‘bought market’.
I’ve heard several times about how they lurk around the traffic lights at GRA junction to catch traffic offenders whom they extort money from to let off the hook.
Today, they accused me of jumping the lights, an accusation I vehemently denied. After passing GRA junction and driving towards Waterlines junction, you need to see the way they used their van to cross mine while I was speeding. It’s a miracle I didn’t jam my car into the concrete demarcation on the road.
As if that was not enough they charged at us (one of them) with an AK-47, shouting on us to get down. Why on earth would policemen at a traffic light looking for offenders be brandishing AK-47 riffles?
I didn’t even understand what was going on. Myself and my passengers were both surprised and frightened. Without any courtesy or explanation, they opened the front passenger door and asked Maryann Okon, my colleague, to get down so one of them could seat there and I promptly told her not to move an inch. All this while, we were in the middle of the road as if we had an accident. The policeman refused to heed my calls to them to allow us clear off the road or park on one side.
I refused to allow Maryann to step out of the car and told the policemen to go to the back seat instead. All this happened so fast in a matter of minutes. I was shocked to see an AK-47-wielding policeman take a seat at the back of my car. Shocked and scared, I insisted he get the gun out of my car before I drive with them to the Olu Obasanjo Police Station.
These guys were hoping their threat to take us to Olu Obasanjo Police Station would make us part with money, little did they know I was ready for the long haul.
We ended up at the police station, they seized Maryann’s iPhone so we wouldn’t run away. Imagine that. At the of the day, we were let go by a senior police officer after some shouting and talking.
Policing in Rivers State has become a business manned by gangster-like individuals. President Buhari, the national assembly and the IGP need to rein them in.”
In responding to the experience, some of the listeners wrote their opinions.
Igwe Godwin wrote:
Kofi please can you do that thing you have always advised callers to do whenever they get this same treatment you just got today. – Call those phone numbers you give us on your radio – Or are you just framing up the the police force. Remember , in your program you will cut the caller off and say it was an unsubstantiated claim. Hahahaha I laugh. One of these days it will be,” a trigger happy police officer just shot and killed the presenter of ……” I think we are getting closer to the revolution I dreamt about. Watch and see.
“Kofi, police is your friend. Also the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable. Bail is also free. IPOB is still a terrorist organization. Elections must still hold in Anambra State. You see yourself?”