Nigerians have flayed the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Superintendent of Police (SP) Benjamin Hundeyin, over his social experiment to gauge how police personnel in the state react to Nigerians.
Many of them, who took to their Twitter handle to tackle Hundeyin, told him that his experiment was shabbily done and was not elaborate or convincing enough to elicit the necessary reactions most citizens had been experiencing in the hands of policemen.
Hundeyin who shared the social experiment on his Twitter handle SP Benjamin Hundeyin@BenHundeyin on September 22, 2022, said: “I finally carried out my social experiment. I drove around Ikeja at about 11:50 pm, in mufti, in a private car. I passed through two police points. I spent five seconds at the first without a word from the police officer. He simply waved me on. I spent 30 seconds on the second. Officer: You be Uber? Me: No. it’s my personal car. Officer: Find me something na. Me: I no get anything. Officer: See as you fine. Find me something na. Me: (silence). Officer: Oya, dey go. On both occasions, immediately after I was flagged down, I switched on the cabin light and wound down the glass on my side. I greeted first. In addition, in the second scenario, I smiled and deliberately appeared friendly. Note: They did not recognise me; neither did I identify myself. It never got to that. Papers weren’t even asked for. I am positive there are many people with similar experiences out there. Different strokes for different folks, I know. One thing is sure, however, respect is reciprocal. Appreciate those who stand out there all day and night for lesser pay. Don’t be condescending. Don’t be unnecessarily aggressive. Don’t be docile too. Always be firm with your rights. And don’t resort to taking the laws into your hands. There isn’t Utopia anywhere. Report the few bad eggs and we will continue to do internal cleansing. Thought to share my social experiment. Will tinker with the variables next time.”
Hundeyin added: “This isn’t to invalidate or trivialize the bad experiences some motorists and commuters have had. Absolutely not.”
Since his post, Twitter has been buzzing with many telling what he should have done to truly elicit genuine responses from policemen at checkpoints.
Daniel Regha@DanielRegha, replying Hundeyin, said: “SP how about you carried out another social experiment but this time, drive around in a classy Benz or Lexus and go with at least two young good looking guys; you can also go alone while on dreadlocks, holding an iPhone and looking rich. I bet you will be treated like a potential criminal.”
Caliente Papichulo@Chief_Papichulo opines thus: “It’s no secret that there’s a way Cyber criminals dress in this society of ours. There’s a way they appear. You don’t look that way and expect the police to just let you go without some sort of questioning. Tell me one reputable organisation that’d allow their staffs to have dreads.”
Folukemi Adebola@IAmFolukemi said: “Profiling based on hairstyles like dreadlocks and using iPhone? Maybe follow conversations before displaying your ‘exposure’ and ‘intelligence’”
Rinu Oduala@SavvyRinu noted: “You are not a young person struggling to make a living in Nigeria. You are a police PRO who never experienced brutality in his life but needs to show that police harassment doesn’t exist. This planned PR is failing, Oga Hundeyin. Go and re-strategize.”
Oluwashola@Sholexx_ also has something to say about the social experiment; “I’ve driven in Lagos for several years and I’ve not had any bad experience with the Police aside from “ma’am you’re very beautiful, anything for the boys?” At times, I give, other times, I don’t. On those occasions I don’t give, they let me go. Thanks for your effort, Ben!”
OluwaTunmise@i_am_Tunmise, countering the Police image maker said: “That’s great, however, why not try to carry to guys of about 23-25 years old in the backseat, and when you’re asked if you’re Uber, you say yes and watch how they descend on those boys asking them to come down and start doing what they do best, you should try this sir.”
Oyindamola@dammiedammie35, described the experiment as incomplete. His words: “Your experiment isn’t complete brother. Next time, carry a Benz and two good-looking well-dressed young guys maybe one with a tattoo and the other with dread. Make sure a laptop is at the back of your car, then flaunt your iPhone 12ProMax. Come back to tell us what happens.”
Eyen Idarauwem@AethernaDex on his part narrated: “Most of my life I’ve been on cut one and occasionally cut two. Even when driving, I’m hardly if not ever accosted by the NPF. On the few occasions, I have been, my meek demeanour and unassuming appearance – just like Hundeyin insinuates – means I’m hardly harried. Cut to a couple…of months ago, grew cut three (having embarked on a fast that saw it grow out). Same demeanour, the same person. Not even driving. I had the attached experience with the NPF, one of the worst in my life. Imagine if I spotted a Benz and some bling as well…I did all you said two months ago. I was still harassed. Because I let my hair grow they thought I was a fraudster. They jacked me out of the bus and seized my phone. Went thru it (I didn’t password) and started bringing spurious allegations against me. The young girls in…my phone became “my girls”. Adult media is apparently illegal. So is having the Binance app (never used – I’ve never traded crypto). My stay at a prestigious hotel was illegal too. Foreign currency my mom sent me the same thing. In fact, my own mom became my “overseas clearer.” It took the grace of God for me to stay calm through all that. The idiot palmed the back of my neck, twice. When it dawned on them that I would not be baited and the other occupants of the bus refused to leave (for fear of what might happen to me in that bush), they reduced their request from 100k to 20k (after all, no be you be this for XYZ hotel? Drop na). Told them I’d rather give that money to a lawyer than them. Not after the hot slap. Last last the driver gave them 1k. I refunded him when we got back in the bus. Everyone commended me for my calmness (na so them take dey waste person for road ooo). But the fact that it was I, not the “well trained” law enforcement agents that had to be calm is the problem we have in Nigeria today. That woman’s statement “this time next year” proves to you that the resentment the public has with them is coming to a head. Cup go soon overflow and what nobody prays for might happen. Not after 20-10-20. We should all go back and rethink this thing we are playing with. Which now begs the question – why the profiling? Are Nigerians no longer allowed to be rich, colourful, young and/or male? Why is it we, untrained citizens, who have to be respectful in encounters with force men, who should otherwise be professionals? What do y’all want?”
An investigative journalist, ‘Fisayo Soyombo@fisayosoyombo, replied Hundeyin thus: “Your social experiment was doomed to fail because: You didn’t tint you hair to gold. You weren’t spotting dreads. You weren’t carrying a laptop bag. You weren’t holding the latest iPhone. Do try a combination of any two above, and let’s hear the experience.”
Taiwo Orisabuyi@orisabuyi, suggested: “At Pedro Police Station, Somolu where you were arrested (deliberately) the last time, the officers there collect ₦100 from every Korope that pass – by, if you can go and sit as a passenger and see for himself if the driver would not be stopped/detained should he refused.”
Heimerdinger@regularguy894 said: “Oga come Festac, Mile 2, Ikorodu road, Gbagada and Bariga side. Dem dey fear Ikeja area cuz its the capital of Lagos, government officials full that side. Enter trenches area first.”
The Ìjẹ̀bú boy@Ori_Yommie said: “You no lie, I work in Ikeja, and I’m not always concerned about the policemen, even at nights self. But if I reach my side for Bariga, na that time I dey dey cautious, because dem believe say Ikeja na the capital and dem no fit catch any how person for there.”
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