Tsav, now a human right crusader, who spoke in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH in Makurdi, Benue State, said the lack of adequate supervision by the police authorities was largely responsible for the misuse of firearms by cops resulting in the death of innocent citizens.
He said, “I think what is responsible for insecurity in this country is corruption and injustice. When somebody is looking for justice and you deny him justice, he can try to help himself with whatever means. That is how Boko Haram started.
“And there is too much corruption. The President is at the national level fighting corruption but not all the people are with him. In the states, the governors are using the corruption fight for themselves. You can see what happened in the last general elections. I thought that INEC was going to include it (in Electoral Act) that anybody, who is involved in corruption, should not be elected.”
Tsav urged the government to address the twin-issue of injustice and corruption holistically in order to stem the tide of insecurity.
“I can see that the conscience of Nigerians is corruption and injustice. Once these things are addressed, things would go on well,” he said.
The former Lagos State police commissioner also expressed worry about the frequent misuse of guns by some police operatives on patrol or other duties, leading to the killing of innocent people.
According to him, the police authorities have abdicated their supervisory role and hardly make cops account for arms and ammunition they have collected, a situation that has emboldened them to use guns given to them anyhow.
He stated, “During our time in the police, before they gave you arms to go out, they must count the ammunition, record it and when you came back, you would return your ammunition and if you expended one, you must give a written statement why you expended it; who authorised you to do so. And if there is no justification for doing so, it would lead to dismissal.
“But now, there is no supervision. People do exactly what they want and now they don’t even give account of the ammunition. They do what they like; there is no supervision. Once you supervise the police very well, everybody would sit up.”
Tsav also urged the government to do more to improve the status of the police in order to boost their morale and win more respect for them.
“The government is not doing enough to help the police. There are lots of school leavers who are roaming the streets who should be recruited into the police. And there are many police training institutions in the country that are lying idle that require government’s attention,” he added.