For days now, hundreds of Nigerians have taken to the streets to demand an end to police brutality.
The development was triggered after a viral video of a man allegedly being killed by the force’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) went viral on social media.
SARS is a branch of the Nigerian police under the Criminal Investigating Department (CID) instituted to stem crime.
But the citizens say the wing, which was established to fight armed robbery, kidnapping and communal clashes, has overstepped its boundaries and is now abusing its powers.
However, the most unlikely of unsung heroes have been thrown into the mix – the Ghana Police Service.
Amid the protests and online solidarity on social media, an experience with the Ghana Police Service shared by a Nigerian seems to have resonated with many foreigners who are calling for the approach to be emulated in the Fatherland.
Adedoyin Debbie wrote on Twitter; “No jokes, the first time I saw Ghana Police and they stopped us on our way back to our Airbnb apartment around 2 am, they were so polite. I was asleep and the Police woke me up to be sure that I wasn’t kidnapped or something, after he confirmed he let us go. I felt safe in Ghana.”
I have never felt safe in Nigeria, I am always scared of the cops because they are rude, uncouth, could kill you, extort money from you.— 💙Adedoyin Debbie 💙Wurld Stan (@DoyinSoExtra) October 9, 2020
They are everything worse, the Police itself needs to be REFORMED, but for not ENDSARS
This single tweet has triggered a tirade of messages of similar experiences encountered has flooded the timelines on the social media platform with many describing the security agency as a force to reckon with.
Did my msc in Accra , GH and I can confirm that indeed gh is a lot safer than what we go through here. I used to drive from Accra with my car to koforidua leaving Accra at midnight without any fear…those who know the mountains can attest. Shameful!— Ekem (@king_Ekem) October 9, 2020
Scores of the Nigerian users have also urged SARS to put on a human face in its approach to fighting crime.
God bless you, Doyin. I can confirm that. When you meet Ghana Police, your mind is at rest. There was a time a cop assaulted a woman in a banking hall. It was a major news for weeks until everyone started bombarding her with gifts, including a house!— Tunde (@ogbenibabalola) October 10, 2020
Are Nigerian cops so cursed?
The Ghana Police Service has had its own challenges in the discharge of its duties in recent times. On the back of this, the agency in February 2018 launched a transformational programme designed to build a world-class Police Service capable of dealing with traditional and emerging crimes.
The programme revolved around five thematic areas – welfare and professional development of officers, community policing, criminal investigation, monitoring and international affairs, and information and communication technology (ICT).
Two years down the line, the results of the strategy seems to have been felt overseas through the praise showered from the country’s Nigerian compatriots.
In Ghana, you can relate with a police officer and he’ll listen with sense. You can be tired of your house at 2AM and decide to take a stroll and nobody will harass you. The safety in Ghana is everything we never had in Nigeria— Christian (@Chrisdzzy) October 10, 2020
As the struggle to end police brutality in Nigeria rages on, it is the hope of many Ghanaians and Nigerians alike that the movement stays alit to ensure that the reforms needed to streamline and birth a humane police force materialise.
I stayed in Ghana for 2 years had tattoo and never had any encounter with the police…I came back to Nigeria and the following day I was arrested by the Nigeria SARS and they took me to ALAGOLO police station those bastards took 50K from me #EndSARS— OTB_GENERAL (@Otunba_OG) October 10, 2020
God bless our Ghana Police🙌🙌. They are the best😍 #EndSARS— Ama Cromwell (@cromwell_ama) October 10, 2020
I remember during the lockdown what this Ghanaian Soldier did when people were breaching the lockdown rules….he said “they are working for God and country and for us” Ghana Police and the military are the best💯 pic.twitter.com/YELhfgQ6Dc— Kwesi💯 (@hw3nekwasia) October 10, 2020
Ghana Police … The best so far ….. pic.twitter.com/y1mvIuCP47— Ato Biney Jnr.◽ (@iambiney_) October 10, 2020
This is an Appreciation tweet for Ghana Police. I always meet them cos I go home very late and not once have they harassed me or made me feel unsafe. This is an underrated blessing ❤️— CJ BIGGERMAN (@cjbiggerman) October 10, 2020
This is a Ghana Police @GhPoliceService and The President @NAkufoAddo appreciation post!With all the on goings in Nigeria and up till now their President hasn’t said “fi”fellow Ghanaians would have addressed us like 10 times😂and indeed the Ghana Police is our friend #EndSarsNow pic.twitter.com/J6pfhHGIkj— Miss_Acklah👩🏽💻👑 (@Annette_klenam) October 10, 2020
Am in love with the comments… God bless Ghana police https://t.co/rOHgto0VBS— manoel💦 (@cloudsparker66) October 10, 2020
Ghana Police, Ghana Military, Ghana Prisons, Ghana Immigration, Customs, National Fire Service All in one joint security operation. One love .. Big ups Ghana pic.twitter.com/ETXNygpf3O— Ato Biney Jnr.◽ (@iambiney_) October 10, 2020
There might be a few isolated cases of police misbehaving in Ghana but the Ghana police service really dey try .— zσкυηєη-ѕнαgєтѕu⚡️⚡️ (@meister_kwame) October 10, 2020
Sometimes when I see Ghana police with gun, I get a strong feeling bullet nor dey inside. Ibi combination and colour blocking they wan do! Swag kakra!! We love you merhn!!!😂😂— i_am_taina🇬🇭 (@T_for_Taina) October 10, 2020
When Ghana police sees you walking with your girlfriend at 2am and salute you🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/e6p70POtiy— Micky Rossey (@Micky_Rossey) October 10, 2020
They will even tell you. " Chairman, you do all." Some will even tell you to use condom. Especially if they suspect you walking with a sex worker 😂😂😂.
However, a few of them will ask for coins to buy water. And it is usually GHC 1. If you give them GHC 10, you do all.— Daniel Gbedzeker Williams (@Esenam101) October 10, 2020