Sunday Erhabor, an assistant superintendent of police (ASP), who was harassed by a motorist in Lagos says he has never shot any person since he joined the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) in 1992.
A video of how a man who was stopped for driving against traffic by officers of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) assaulted two armed policemen had surfaced on social media.
The driver, identified as one Victor Ebhomenyen, was seen pushing Erhabor, who was armed with an AK-47 rifle, by his chest while attempting to shove him to the ground.
In an interview with The Punch, Erhabor said he has faced confrontations from citizens, but he has never thought of using his rifle at such moments.
“I joined the Force on June 1, 1992; I have about five years to retirement. God has been keeping me on the job,” he said.
“One happened while I was in FESTAC. We were on a skeletal stop-and-search duty along Okota road. I stopped a car, with a woman and her husband sitting in the front seats. Then the woman came down and yelled, ‘Why are you stopping us?’ Then the next thing was that she slapped me on the face. I kept quiet and walked to the man and asked him, ‘Are you the husband to this woman?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I then said, ‘The way this woman slapped me, I will want her to also slap you that same way if actually you are a man.’ That was just one of those encounters.
“I have been faced with a lot of humiliating situations, but I have always kept my calm and didn’t unleash my might against such people. As a public servant, one is bound to encounter different situations particularly when you are on the field.
“I told my boys to video the man. I also told them that nobody should touch the man because something was wrong with him and he shouldn’t allow him die in our hands.
“God forbid, I have never shot anyone before. Yes, I have never. Whatever you do to somebody, somebody must do to you. In fact, I hate those sessions that require shooting. Shooting people is not a good omen. Every day, before any operation, I do pray to God that He won’t allow me to encounter a situation that would warrant me to shoot.”
The motorist was arrested, while Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of the state, honoured Erhabor for his professionalism in the face of provocation.