Nigeria not ripe for state police, say Idris, others
The Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and other eminent Nigerians said on Friday the country was not ripe for state police.
They insisted state police would compound the country’s security challenges.
They all spoke at a public lecture organised by the IGP in Lagos.
The theme of the lecture was: “Providing Strategic Solutions to Emergent Security Challenges: The Essentials of Synergy Amongst Security Agencies and Civil Populace.”
Speakers at the event attended by Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, Minister of Interior, Abdulraman Dambazau, Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu, Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, former IGPs, Musiliu Smith and Sunday Ehindero, and heads of military and para-military establishments among others, insisted that the country should concern itself more with ensuring adequate funding for the police.
They recalled that the police had attempted the strategy in the 1980s and 90s, when it deployed officers from the rank of Deputy Superintendent (DSP) and below to their respective local government areas which failed abysmally.
According to them, one of the reasons it never succeeded was because those officers were caught between performing their constitutional roles and aiding their kinsmen, who found themselves in one criminal situation or the other.
Commending the IGP for the lecture, Ambode who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, said it was quite reflective of the nation’s desire.
Admitting that the issue of state police has not gained desired consensus, the governor insisted that it was the solution to the country’s security challenges.
He said: “I am sure that the guest speaker who is widely acclaimed in the field of security administration and management, Prof. Etannibi Alemika, would provide a window that should lead to the development of strategies that are appropriate for a knowledge and technology driven 21st century policing.
“The nature and sophistication of crime and criminal activities changes in direct proportion to human advancement. Developing effective solution to emerging security challenges must therefore take into consideration, the deployment of appropriate technology and strengthening the bond with the people through community policing.
“Although the issue of state police has not gained the desired consensus, I believe strongly that it is the panacea for effective policing that is community based. Given the complexity of security challenges, the imperative for a safe and secured environment for investment, we established the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC).
“This initiative is driven by our firm conviction that credible intelligence is the bedrock of an effective security strategy. This organisation, with membership recruited from the local community, will interface between the security agencies and the public by providing intelligence for crime prevention.
“It is a common knowledge that the numerical strength of the Nigeria Police as at today falls short of the minimum requirements relative to our population. For instance, Lagos State, with a population of over 22 million, has less than 30,000 officers and men.
“While this shortfall can be bridged, to some extent, with the deployment of appropriate technology, the need for a close relationship between the people and the police hinged on mutual respect and trust cannot be over emphasised.
“The unfortunate tragedies and trauma caused by the ‘Badoo’ crime incidents in Ikorodu area is a challenge that government has responded to with the community playing a major role in support of security agencies. The same can also be said about the menace of kidnapping, which is becoming a malignant security issue.
“We have recorded appreciable progress in dealing with these social vices and we would not relent until these criminal phenomena and the likes are uprooted wherever they exist within the nooks and crannies of the state.
“We should utilise the opportunities afforded by this platform to thoroughly examine the peculiarities of security challenges in Nigeria and proffer suggestions that would lead to the development of strategies that would help in curbing crime and other social vices especially in the metropolitan areas with high population convergence.”
Earlier, the IGP noted that proliferation of security agencies was cresting unhealthy rivalry in the system, urging that government should adequately fund exiting ones to do their constitutional duties.
He said that the police crime prevention and detection strategies have worked since his assumption of office, citing the arrests and/or death of suspected kidnappers and armed robbers.
“Most heinous crimes especially kidnapping and armed robberies are being detected with great success. More than 1,000 kidnap and armed robbery suspects have been arrested and over 270 of them in July alone. Many of them are being prosecuted in various courts across the country. Efforts are daily made to arrest other suspected kidnappers and bandits in various parts of the country,” Idris said.
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