Operatives of the Nigerian Police Force and Nigerian Army have revealed how they sometimes remove their uniforms when they are off-duty for fear of being attacked by hoodlums.
Their reaction came against a backdrop of the incessant attacks on police stations in the country since the #EndSARS protest last year.
On Tuesday, a police station located at Ishinweke in Ihitte/Uboama local government area of Imo state was set ablaze by some said to be angry youths in the area.
Also, hoodlums attacked and burnt down a police station in Aboh Mbaise local government area of Imo state, engaged the officers on duty in a gun battle, injured a policewoman and stole ammunition.
Some weeks ago, two police officers lost their lives when some unknown gunmen attacked a police station in Aba, Abia State.
The gunmen then carted away arms and ammunition from the station.
Two of the gunmen were, however, gunned down by police officers who tried to repel the attack.
Speaking with SaharaReporters, a female police officer, who pleaded anonymity, said she constantly fears being harrassed or attacked by anyone hence the reason she wears mufti when leaving the workplace.
According to her, many officers desire to be on mufti during work hours but for the law of the force that states that officers on duty must be in their uniform.
She said, “Huge fear! Normally we are expected to wear our uniforms on our duty post not off duty, so we are always conscious of where we wear it to for fear of being attacked.
“For me, once I’m done with work, I remove my uniform, it’s a normal routine though, to take off our uniforms when we are not on duty but sometimes, officers can go home with the uniforms but since the #EndSARS protest, I don’t leave home in uniform neither do I come back in uniform.”
Also speaking, a soldier in Adamawa said, “There is this kind of hatred for force men that I don’t quite understand. It’s as if we should not exist anymore. Apart from the constant attacks by bandits and criminals, even average Nigerians are not appreciative of our sacrifices. I don’t understand.
“In the North here, everyone knows that you can’t be in uniform and walk around, it’s not done.”