Tips for successful police reforms in Nigeria
Tips for successful police reforms in Nigeria
By Emmanuel Udom
Nigerian president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan has promised to reform the police in the country. To match word with action, he has ordered the police service commission to call for inputs from all sectors as well as the general public on the best way to go about the serious business of reforming the already battered image of the police.
While I agree with the president on the urgent need to reform and reposition the police for optimum performance, let me say here and now that corruption is endemic in our country. Therefore, the police as the most visible security agency operating in the country cannot be isolated for reforms in a country where corruption exist in all its sectors
Now, let me list some tips that could assist the commission on police reforms in Nigeria to do a good job, as far as this serious business of cleaning up the already battered image of police is concerned.
When we talk about bad eggs in the police, it begins from the entry points. That is, the recruitment stages. I know on paper that police authorities in Nigeria have the minimum academic and other requirements for intending police officers. In fairness to the force, they have over the years tried to adhere to these requirements.
But, I also know as a crime correspondent that in some cases, sentiments were brought and the usual man knows man rule, as opposed to merit used in the recruitment process. Do your independent checks dear readers to either confirm or refute this.
Until sentiment, man knows man, connection is dumped for standard, professionalism and merit, we will continue to have some bad eggs in the police.
A times I do wonder why some police officers posted on foreign missions or peace keeping missions perform wonders. It is simply because these officers have been empowered and motivated financially and otherwise to perform. The foreign environment is enabling and so these officers from Nigeria have no excuse under the sun not to perform.
A poorly paid police officer is a disaster and corruption prone, even if the person is the so called born again Christian. Police officers in Nigeria are poorly paid, harassed both by politicians, very important personalities and criminals daily. Their meager salaries do not come as at when due and yet you expect them to perform wonders. Welfare also implies descent accommodations, allowances, motivational incentives etc.
A poorly paid police officer will be forced to mount roadblocks, checkpoints in order to collect money from commercial and private motorists. While we call for their heads, let us also pause for a moment and ask ourselves where the officers will get money to fuel their patrol vehicles
I do not support extortions, but a helpless officer pushed to the wall could commit, even as some persons will argue that the police do get allocations from their bosses. The question is how much and does it actually go down the line.
The present police chief, Muhammed Abubakar is really trying to do something in this direction. He needs the corporation of all the stakeholders in our country to perform.
Accidental discharge is linked to either a drunken or frustrated police officer. Yes, officers are trained to be polite and yet firm while carrying out their self imposed duties. But, in some cases, people themselves, by their utterances, actions and inactions could provoke the police to pull the trigger against his or her will. I suggest here that a more friendly and cordial relationship should exist between the police and the citizens.
Police human rights desks should do their jobs more efficiently, even as police authorities should create public awareness continuously in order to bring about a friendlier police force in Nigeria.
These involve guns, operational vehicles, ammunitions, walkie talkie, bullet proofs and other gadgets that will assist the police in their deadly and dangerous business of checkmating the ever galloping crime waves in the country. Babatunde Fashola, governor of Lagos state has done a fantastic job here. So, some other state governors should emulate the Fashola magic.
Some officers do drink beer and other alcoholic drinks, even while on duty. This is unprofessional and therefore unacceptable, as a drunken police officer is a disaster waiting to happen. The X squad has the duty of policing the police. Therefore, it should be empowered and motivated to do their jobs
Tags: How To Reform The Nigeria , Police
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