About two cases of civilian assault on police officers on duty have been recorded within the past two days, barely 72 hours after the Minister of Territorial Administration threatened to sanction such “excesses”.
The warning given by Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji against civilian assault on police officers on duty last Friday September 10 seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
Barely 72 hours after, about two of such cases have been recorded, the latest being this Tuesday September 14. In a video that has gone viral, a man is seen fighting a police officer as both trade insults in the middle of a crowd of onlookers.
“This irresponsible behaviour towards the police is unacceptable," Minister Atanga Nji said last Friday during a press conference. "It should be understood that the police are at the service of each and every one under the esteem guidance of the head of state, Paul Biya. No person, regardless of their social status, for whatsoever reason has a right to assault a police officer on duty.”
“If any individual is caught assaulting a police officer…, there is no point trying to escape after such an act because a hungry snake shall come for you in your hideout.” He added.
This warning against civilians according to many Cameroonians has given more rights and powers to police officers to go ahead with their “excesses, brutality and corruption”.
According to Minister Paul Atanga Nji, if any civilian is victim of an abuse by a security officer, he or she should send complaints of alleged misdeeds to their hierarchy and disciplinary actions will be taken instead of resorting to violence because it will only lead to further violence.
A point many have described as time and money wastage because police officials seldom and to a greater extend never investigate such cases.
Speaking last Friday, the Territorial Administration boss revealed that at least 15 videos of civilians refusing police orders and attacking officers were shared on social media platforms within the past two weeks.
He added that in all of these cases, the police force confirmed its officers were the victims. Whatever be the case, many are those who have advanced that “police brutality and excesses” on civilians have lasted too long and the time for a change is now.