Let’s talk about the Nigeria Police this Easter Monday since they definitely will need to be resurrected. The Nigerian police came under plenty of scrutiny recently because of, frankly, very bad performance. From conditions that want policing escalating into points where full blown military intervention is needed, to plain incompetence on the parts of police officers, and cases where it’s fairly clear that the folks tend not to trust those who are meant to protect them. Where did it go wrong?
The Nigerian Authorities exists as a force to provide, ersecurity for Nigerians. It was created in 1930 by the government. Before 1930, we had the Hausa Constabulary, established in 1879, the Royal Niger Company Constabulary (1888), the Niger Coast Constabulary (1894), and the Lagos Police, which was launched in 1896.
Much like Nigeria earlier it 1914, the different police forces were merged to get err,”administrative convenience.” From this moment on, the police has been administered from Lagos. Its main purpose was to stifle dissent to colonial rule.
This particular mission statement is critical, as asides from some isolated cases, our police was never really an investigating force.
In 1960, in our”independence”, our policemen simply swapped masters. Their brief failed to change. The f g still used them to enforce their own viewpoint, even when that viewpoint was not entirely legal.
However, they had the equipment to do their jobs. A criminal record in 1964 talked about fingerprinting, forensics and lab work.
Nigeria’s first Constitution after independence gave each place that the right to possess regional police forces while the f g retained supervision with NPF. However, because of the use of the Northern Police forces in the pogroms of 1966, the Gowon regime disbanded the regional police forces. The procedure for disbandment started in October 1966 and was complete by the close of 1972.
As of 1960, Nigeria had 12,000 policemen. From 1979, being a result of post-war expansion, there have been 80,000. Most of them badly trained. The 1979 Constitution gave the F-G controlled NPF the sole-jurisdiction over the country.
But, that democratic experimentation was fraught, and also the many military governments thereafter watched the NPF as a potential threat to their power, and because of this deliberately underfunded the force.
The single serious effort ever to look at authorities behaviour was a committee set up in 1967. It reasoned that law enforcement was”hopelessly corrupt”. A previous effort in 1952 needed an associate of Nigeria’s parliament complained about”old sergeants” in the NPF who were”steeped in corruption”. Do these problem?
By the 1990s, this standing as”hopelessly corrupt” was cemented. A 1994 report said,”Many people simply combine the police to generate money”. By the 1990s also, whatever security funding the authorities might experienced was being shared. In June 1986, Babangida dissolved the National Security Organisation and created the SSS. The SSS was accountable for domestic intelligence, and initially at the least, attracted from the police’s budget. Everything I don’t understand is if , proportionately, the police’s budget went up if the SSS went beneath the security vote after which has been caused by Abacha from the 1990s.
The UN urges one officer for each 400 taxpayers of a country for powerful lobbying. With the recurrence of”democracy in 1999″, there were 140,000 police officers in the country. Inch to get each 820 Nigerians. Back in 2000, President Obasanjo arranged a recruitment drive to add 40,000 new officers annually for five years. The recruitment failed to stay at 2005, also by 2008, we had almost 400,00 policemen, a growth of almost 300% in less than 10 years!
Again, about this time, in 2003 the EFCC has been formed. In addition, it drew from the police’s budget we have no idea if, afterwards, funding has proportionally gone up.
Nigeria’s police now has around 400,000 policemen servicing a population of 170 countless, or 1 per 425 spirits. However, this continues to be a issue.
Most recruits were not competed in techniques. Sometimes, these certainly were virtually taught just to shoot and sent on their merry way. Does this remind one of the recruitment drive that happened between 1970 and 1979? It reminds me.
Then there’s the guard duty thing for VIPs. At least 150,000 of those policemen are on guard duty for”bigmen”. What this indicates is that the truth is, Nigeria has 250,000 policemen for our population. That equates to at least one Police Man per 668 souls. WAY LESS THAN 1/400. In addition, it suggests that even with the minimal person per population ratio, law enforcement is chronically under-funded. So, there is a HUGE problem.
But A-sides the amounts, what will be the opposite, probably more pertinent and structural issues of the authorities?
The police’s command arrangement gets the President in charge of the PSC, then 1-2 Zonal Commands, subsequently 3-7 State Commands, then 127 Area Commands. You can find 1129 police branches within our country, 1579 police stations, and a total of 3756 official authorities articles.
Policeman in many cases are deployed, or redeployed across state lines, often without a local understanding of their brand newest deployment. Policemen are badly paid, and are known to seek additional income everywhere.
Like from the Judiciary, a fresh policeman in a post frequently has to resume an instance contrary to the start resulting in bottlenecks.
There’s been a huge clamour for countries to have their very own police forces in a reaction to the apparent unwieldiness of the national force. People have kicked contrary to this idea as a result of a panic that governors would turn such forces into private armies. The fears are born out of this role that the police under Hassan Katsina played in May — July 1966, and also law enforcement under Sam Akintola at 1964. So they are not unfounded anxieties.
Again, and I repeat, worries of politicians colonising state authorities are not unfounded. However, those fears are absurd.
It’s absurd to expect a policeman who’ve lived most of his life in Bukuru, Plateau, to unexpectedly turn out to be effective in Ojoto, Anambra. He will not speak the language, neither will he understand the customs. So the people won’t anticipate him. Criminals frequently originate in communities that they harass. People are more inclined to provide up them to reputable policemen.
Then there’s the issue of pay. It is no gain-saying our policemen are chronically underpaid but still need to feed their families. Simple logic, if you pay a person NGN20k per month, then give him a gun, then you are giving him an arrangement to kill people. The examples have been glaring: in 2011 in Adamawa state, a policeman was detained for a long time he had been giving robbers guns at 200k a soda . Ofcourse he would give them such arms in such a rate. He was earning 84k a month and also had two sisters.
A couple of decades ago, authorities Inspector General, Tafa Balogun has been found to possess helped himself $98million from law enforcement kitty. He is liberated now. His successor, Mike Ehidero became a guest of this state Kuje Prison. His offence, helping himself to quite a lot of moolah. I make bold to state at the rate, Uncle Ehidero is likely to be considered a special guest at a party celebrating the 2015 Presidential Inauguration. Last Saturday, on Twitterwe were told that the recent IG includes a Bugatti Veyron. This is really just a vehicle that retails at $2.5 countless!
These tell us is that money meant for effective pruning is going no where. Police Internal Affairs is not doing its job.
On January 9, 2012, a policeman shot and murdered Demola Aderinde. The case has stalled in court. Cue, a culture of impunity.
Straight back into the argument in favor of smaller, independently controlled police forces: Policemen should live within the city that they police. In remote barracks that isolate them by the society, and make them alien to the most people that they protect and function.
So my solution into the authorities problem: state police under the hands of some stronger judiciary, scrapping police barracks, better remuneration.