IGP’s Confession On Insecurity

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Few days ago, the Acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, while speaking with the Press after a closed-door meeting with the Senate over insecurity in the country declared that the Nigerian Police cannot effectively fight insecurity in Nigeria.
The IGP said that the number of Police officers in the country was not enough to deal with the increasing insecurity in Nigeria.
“Policing is dynamic and you cannot give ultimatum to deal with a crime. The number of personnel we have can never be enough, and the government is doing its best and every year, we are recruiting more policemen”, he said.
Indeed, the country has been held hostage by insecurity and an apparent helpless Nigerian Police for some time now has been overwhelmed and assailed on all fronts. There is, almost on a daily basis, reports of armed banditry, robbery, kidnapping, killings and terrorist activities along the length and breadth of Nigeria, with little or no action being taken to end the development.
In fact, crime and criminality have become the order of the day in most parts of the country, particularly in Zamfara, Kaduna, Borno, Plateau, Benue States and some Southern States.
That is why we think that the IGP’s statement that the Police Force cannot fight insecurity in Nigeria is an indictment on the Police. That declaration is tantamount to raising both hands up and surrendering to crime and criminality in the country.
That the Police Command attaches priority to protecting wealthy and privileged Nigerians more than working to secure the lives and property of ordinary people is easily deducible. In Nigeria today, over 150,000 policemen and women are attached to providing security to wealthy companies and individuals, therefore, the excuse that the force lacks enough men to effectively police the country cannot be tenable. This practice must be stopped forthwith.
We believe that the Police have not done enough and are not doing much for now other than lip-service, to end insecurity in the country. While we agree that it is difficult, if not impossible to totally eliminate crime and criminality in the society, we think that the police and indeed all security agencies should review their strategies and confront the menace head long.
No doubt, the Nigerian Police faces humongous challenge in dealing with insecurity in the country. That is why we expected the IGP to have used the opportunity of his meeting with the Senate to outline the challenges facing the Police rather than declaring the Force’s helplessness.
We think that it is time for the Federal Government to take the issue of empowering the Police to make it more efficient and effective seriously. We expect the government to not only provide an enabling environment for the Police to function, they must be provided with the necessary funding, human and material resources, particularly modern gadgets and equipment to face the challenges of insecurity.
With the poor morale, outdated guns and lack of manpower, the Nigerian Police in its current state would not be able to match the sophistry of modern day criminal elements, who are equipped with advanced arms and ammunition. We expect the Police to be boosted with the requisite manpower, and technological wherewithal to be able to live up to expectation.
Furthermore, the Police should not only commit more effort and resources to intelligence gathering, we expect them to liaise and synergise with other security outfits in the country for a collective attack on insecurity. Pragmatic tactical and pro-active approaches are needed to be adopted in areas where insecurity has festered for so long.
The Federal Government should not be seen to be treating the situation with kid gloves if the menace must be stamped out. The needed political will and action required to restore peace and tranquility to the nation must be mustered without delay.
It is time, we believe, to consider introducing State and Community Police. Grassroot policing where everybody knows one another should be a viable option, which will attempt to nip criminal tendencies in the bud and provide reliable intelligence to tackle insecurity at all levels.
Insecurity is an ill-wind that blows nobody any good. It is a big indictment not only on the Police but the Federal Government, particularly our leaders who swore to uphold the constitution and protect lives and property of Nigerians.
It is therefore time to rise up against insecurity, which may consume the country if the authorities fail to act now.