Towards Effective Policing In Nigeria

By Tony Ogunlowo
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The Nigerian Police Force is an outdated, inefficient and

corruption-ridden institution that lacks the ability to fight crime in

the 21st century.
The lawlessness of the Fulani herdsmen has yet again brought into

focus the heightened insecurity of living in Nigeria. This has led to

a number of Southern states to consider expelling them from their

lands. This is a very tricky situation: the constitution of Nigeria

stipulates that anyone has the right to live and work where ever they

want to. A breach of this might lead to ugly tit-for-tat situations:

you expel them from the South and they respond by expelling your

people from the North and before long we’ll be witnessing bloody

inter-tribal clashes as last seen in 1966 that lead to the Nigerian-

Biafran civil war.
The problem here is not just the Fulani herdsmen, who have been

allowed to get up to all sorts over a long period of time, unchecked,

but the lack of security operatives to deal with the problem before it

got out of hand. Where are the police and the army, ask the people?( -

probably busy shooting innocent protesters or guarding VIPs!)

The mischief makers are not just the Fulani herdsmen but also

cultists, Boko Haram, kidnappers and armed robbers killing innocent

people on a daily basis with the security services powerless to stop

them because they lack the Strategic intelligence to know who’s doing

what; lack the ability, will and equipment to mobilize quickly to deal

with situations and are further hampered by a slow bureaucratic chain

of command that takes its orders from the Head of Police in Abuja.

The Federal Government needs to understand it’s time to dissolve the

Nigerian Police Force, as we know it, and let each and every state set

up their own police forces to deal with insecurity and crime: an

Inspector-General of Police, sitting on his backside, in Abuja can’t

know the crime situation in Lagos or Kogi intimately as the indigene

police officers and can’t deploy his men effectively. State policing

is proven to work well as we see in countries like America. We can see

a good example of how effective state policing can be with Amotekun,

a security outfit recently set-up by the Western states, ability to

mobilize their forces and deal with situations, faster, even before

the IG can pick up his phone in Abuja. In Kano they have the Hisbah, a

religious police force that keeps trouble makers at bay by enforcing

their Sharia law. ( I may not agree with Sharia law but it works for

them)A state governor and his advisors know their state inside out and

with their own police force, at their command, can deal with incidents

faster and more effectively instead of waiting for the slow chain of

command of the IG to act. And if and when they get their own state

police forces, they should instil in them discipline and make them

aware of the fact they are crime fighters and not bribe collectors (

no more ‘egunje’ or ‘kola’) and cannot act as if they are above the

law like the now defunct SARS. And if there are situations whereby the

state police can’t cope the Federal Government can then draft in the

army to assist just like the National Guard gets drafted in to help

state police in America if things get out of hand.
With anarchy rife and the security forces powerless to bring the

situation under control we are witnessing the impending implosion of

the country into a cesspit of frequent bloody tribal( - and religious)

clashes: Fulani herdsmen killing Southerners will soon lead to

Southerners killing any Fulani man they come across and we still have

ritual cultists, Boko Haram and others killing everybody. And soon it

will be a free-for-all with everybody fighting everybody. It won’t be

a civil war because there will be too many different factions fighting

each other.
And when recruiting police officers the NPF needs to up its standards:

current recruitment practices doesn’t screen potential candidates well

enough; there are no IQ tests and you have barely literate people

signing up; they are not psychologically assessed so it’s not uncommon

for a psychopath to be given a gun and a uniform. And when it comes

to giving out guns not all offices should be allowed one. It takes

years to train a firearms officer so they know how and when to shoot:

in Nigeria they probably receive training for a few weeks(- or a few

days!) and before you know it they’re out in public shooting anything

that moves(bus drivers, yahoo-yahoo boys, market women and innocent

bystanders) like they are Rambo! And when the Nigerian police kill

anybody indiscriminately( - or extra judicially!) they are not

properly disciplined, no compensation is paid to the victims and the

matter is quietly swept under the carpet. The whole world was appalled

when white cops were killing black people in America leading to the

formation of the BLM Movement and reforms within the police force: in

Nigeria Lai Mohammed will go on T.V and say the ‘well-trained’

Nigerian police officers only shoot ‘armed’ criminals( - if they are

not armed PR videos and pictures will show ‘planted’ guns – and its

always the same gun – or guns – in all the pictures!)

So there you have it: to adequately police a 200-million-plus –

multi-religious-multi-tribal country like Nigeria a new direction

needs to be sought to uphold law and order: the old ways and the NPF

in its current inception can’t fight itself out of a paper bag let

alone fight crime.
I’m on Twitter: @Archangel641 or visit

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