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USING POLICE TO INSTALL DEMOCRACY

By NBF News
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Police, Security and Democratic Governance in Nigeria, by ARPON, Spectrum Books Limited, Ibadan and Safari Books (Expert) Limited, United Kingdom, 2010, pp 201

An important aspect of human life is protection of lives and property. Many Nigerians seem not to give the issue of security priority especially where the police force is poorly equipped.

Expectedly, security the focus of a book compiled by the Association of Retired Police Officers of Nigeria (ARPON), entitled police, Security and Democratic Governance in Nigeria. Edited by Prof Etannibi Alemika, an expert on Criminology and Sociology along with leading journalists, Mohammed Haruna and Bilkisu Yusuf. Each of the 12 chapters is contributed by professionals from various fields, including the academics, security and the police force.

The book is the product of a conference organized by ARPON in 2007 on the role of the police in democratic governance. About half of the chapters are drawn from presentations during the conference.

The first six chapters deal with the roles and challenges of the police in democratic governance.

These include the role of the police and other security agencies during general elections. Other challenges and major threats are identified as corruption; ethnicity, religious and political intolerance; illiteracy; poverty; unemployment; ignorance; insufficient and outdated infrastructural facilities such as health care, electricity and transportation.

While noting that the police is under-paid and under-equipped, the book urges adequate funding and equipping of the police. It also identifies bad governance as a major root of security threats but affirms free and fair democratic elections as solution. Apart from these, the second half of the book focuses on prerequisites for security and frameworks for the development of national security.

The book also examines the role of the judiciary, the citizens and the media in security and the struggle for democratic governance. The last two chapters focused on the collaboration of agencies in achieving a better democratic government along with the nature and challenges of structure of security in Nigeria.

The book is especially instructive to Government and citizens since it warns the nation on how to avert security lapses.

This is shown in the preface by former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Alfa Belgore.

As a good material for researchers, it is equally useful to security agencies, students, public officials, journalists and members of the public because it is aimed at making people understand security and the security challenges in the country. The book traces the history of police, the role of the judiciary in achieving democracy and explains what democracy is all about.

This is evident because the book is co-authored by professionals. They include renowned journalist and former Secretary to Benue State Government, Dan Agbese; media consultant and journalist, Dele Agekameh; former Inspector-General of Police, Mike Okiro; lawyer and former Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Bashir Albasu and; former Chairman of the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Innocent Chukwuma.

Other co-authors include former Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Muhammad Danmadami; retired Director of the State Security Services (SSS), Sada Ilu; Political Science Professor and Chairman of National Electoral Commission who conducted 1993 elections, Humphrey Nwosu; Professor Femi Odekunle; ex military governor of Rivers State and pioneer Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Fidelis Oyakhilome and; former Solicitor-General of Kaduna State, Aliyu Umar.