Nigeria Police Force – A legacy of Brutality

Towards the Police Force of our dreams

Opinions are bound to be diverse on the modus operandi of transforming our current liability called Nigeria Police Force. What is not in question is that fact that the force needs urgent restructuring to become a healthy force and not the current farce it is. Possible suggestions include:
•    Removal/Limitation of overt and covert political control. This is to free the force from political tinkering, interferences and abuse. The aim is to form a truly independent force capable of challenging the excesses of government, if necessary. The United Kingdom is an example of a country with a fairly independent police force. Not too long ago, the Metropolitan Police had the daunting task of probing political donations to the ruling Labour party. The then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, faced rounds of questioning by the police. Presently, this is an impossible scenario in Nigeria.
•    Massive and deliberate policy of recruiting educated Nigerians to the force. It is perhaps relevant at this point to state that level of education amongst members of the force has improved admirably over the years. However, the increased education has not translated the force to a courteous and humane one.
•    Need for Continued Professional Development in the form of compulsory and regular in-service trainings, conferences, workshops and so on. Herein perhaps is the crux of the solution to our moribund police force. It is just not enough to give initial training and abandon policemen to the field. If further trainings have been part of the system, then these should be reviewed because it is apparent they are not working. Keeping individual log books or folders of further trainings may be made mandatory for promotional purposes.
•    Requirement for Feedbacks. This could be another essential for progress and promotion within the force. Feedbacks would be not only from superiors, but also junior colleagues, contemporaries and even civilian members of the force. The goal should be a form of 360 degree feedbacks.
•    Provision of modern and sophisticated equipment to create a truly mobile and ready force. Not one that crumbles at the superior fire power of armed robbers.
•    Enhanced remuneration for members. This, perhaps, may minimise the legendary avarice of members of the force.
Time and resources spent on transforming the police are justified and appropriate, as the society is better off for it. Socio-political restructuring and transformation of Nigeria will not happen overnight. It is a gradual process requiring painstaking efforts and covering virtually all facets of our existence. The Nigeria Police Force can truly be a genuine, reliable, mobile and indeed the people’s force. All it takes is will, sincerity and commitment on the part of our political leaders. Is anyone listening?
CSN: 55902-2008-22-35

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