Law also for our cops

THOMAS Sankara, the assassinated Burkina Faso president, is said to have urged his soldiers to acquire political knowledge because a "gun in the hand of a politically unschooled soldier is as bad as one in the hands of a common bandit".

THOMAS Sankara, the assassinated Burkina Faso president, is said to have urged his soldiers to acquire political knowledge because a "gun in the hand of a politically unschooled soldier is as bad as one in the hands of a common bandit".

We are reminded of Sankara's counsel as we once again write stories about how our police officers have forgotten that their duty is to maintain law and order, to provide public safety and security, and not to break it at will.

The stories we carried in the last few editions - of police officers in court on allegations of selling seized drugs back to criminals, their former boss, the national commissioner, being alleged to have been in the pocket of gangsters and some shooting to kill - suggests that we have as much to fear from those who are supposed to protect us from lawbreakers as from the thugs.

We would hate to sound alarmist but this is a national crisis that needs to be treated as a national emergency.

All cannot be said to be well when we have a scenario in which citizens in distress are completely uncertain about whether to flee to or away from police officers.

By now the powers that be should know that merely mouthing slogans is not enough.

If anything, it has contributed to bringing us to this unfortunate state of affairs.

We demand nothing less than that the government starting to act in a manner that shows it regards this strain of criminality as a real threat to our republic and democracy.

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