Challenges of policing Nigeria — Nigerian Pilot News
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Challenges of policing Nigeria

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Building sufficient manpower for economic development

The Police are established to perform functions such as prevention and detention of crimes, protection of lives and properties, preservation and enforcement of law and order among others.

In Nigeria, the Nigerian Police formerly the Nigeria Police Force is the principal law enforcement agency with a staff strength of about 371,800. The Force consisting of 35 state commands grouped into 12 Zones and 7 administrative organs.

That Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa with population of about 174.2 million people, is having just 371,800 police officers is worrisome. The United Nations sets approximately the world’s median of 300 police officers per 100,000 civilians. While countries such as China, India and the United States of America has about 1.6 million, 1.59 million and 0.91 million police officers respectively.

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris in May, 2017, while delivering a paper at a two-day National Security Summit in Abuja, disclosed that the Nigeria Police requires additional 155,000 personnel to adequately provide security for the country with her huge population.

Aside the obvious discrepancies in personnel, other problems such as inappropriate policing, poor orientation and lack of proactive/preventive measures, brutality against citizens that include extra- judicial killings and corruption have made the Nigeria Police to perform generally below the expected deliverables.

In cities like Lagos, armed hoodlums frequently strike at will, robbing, maiming and killing their victims. Sometimes houses on an entire street are raided for several hours without police coming on time to offer any assistance.

Although all over the world, crime has been a subject of concern, in Nigeria the situation is peculiar because the police that are saddled with the responsibility of protecting the citizens, are often times found wanting.

It is only in Nigeria that police when going on operation continually blow siren to alert criminals. Only in Nigeria that whenever citizens call police on phone to report riot, incident of armed robbery, the officer in-charge would confidently inform the caller that no operational vehicle is available or that no petrol to fuel the vehicle.

For the Nigeria Police to effectively police Nigerian society, it must purge itself of all the bad eggs and sanitise the system so that Nigerian people would have confidence in the police.

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