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Insecurity: Between state police and leadership

By Remi Adeleke
16 August 2022   |   3:57 am
Leadership can therefore be simply defined as inspiring and motivating others to accomplish desired goals. Some of the basic attributes of a good leader are integrity, compassionate, selfless, visionary and intelligent.

Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

A leader is the one who knows the way, shows the way and goes the way-John C. Maxwell. One of the objectives of good leadership is to help those who perform poorly to perform well, and those doing well to do better-Jonh Rohn.

Leadership can therefore be simply defined as inspiring and motivating others to accomplish desired goals. Some of the basic attributes of a good leader are integrity, compassionate, selfless, visionary and intelligent. A good leader knows when to sacrifice or subordinate his personal interest to national interest. A good political leader or statesman knows when to subordinate partisanship to national interest.

Leadership character and society development are intertwined. That is the development in a society is to a larger extent the reflection of the leadership. But unfortunately, some have out of sheer ignorance or zealotry argued that what we need in Nigeria is not leaders, but strong institutions. Do institutions operate themselves? Who determines modus operandi of institution. Who ensures adherence to the procedures and rules of the institutions. An institution is made up of procedures, methods and rules that are to be adhered to.

Have we taken time to ponder over the consequence of bending or out rightly breaking the established procedures, rules and methods of an institution to satisfy narrow interest? “Promotion of Osinbajo, Aisha Buhari’s ADC raises dust”: That was the headlines of one of the dailies last month. Some police officers were duly favored in promotion exercise over their contemporaries. What could be more demoralizing and demotivating than when your mate or junior for no special or any exceptional performance suddenly become your senior? The present seemingly invincible insecurity is not unconnected with Moles in the police and Military birthed by nepotism and favoritism in promotion and recruitment. Also worthy of note is that Nepotism and favoritism could cause ill feelings, bitterness and indiscipline amongst security personnel which could in turn birth moles in the force.

Another case of leadership deficiency that could cause institutional inefficiency was when in 2019 a highly placed political officer in less than a month of his resumption sent a list of unemployed graduates to a government Agency for employment. Over 70% of the list was from a particular part of the country. This is against a proper procedure of advertisement in three national dallies for equal opportunities participation. The consequence of this kind of faux pa is grave and as such we should not cry over self-inflicted injuries when flies start paying us visits.

An IG once superintended over a police recruitment exercise in this country where about 70% was from a particular state.

When men in authority who ought to ensure adherence to established procedures and rules deliberately and flagrantly compressed it to satisfy selfish and parochial interest, who should be blamed for malfunctioned institution like the police? Would state police solve the above highlighted challenges? Is leadership or badly structured police responsible for the below average performance of the Nigerian Police Force? If the recruitment process was tight and neat enough, the Inspector Richard Gele that was caught taking bribe along Ayungba would not have in the first instance enlisted into the Nigerian Police force. Unfortunately there are many Richards in today’s Police.

Why the discourse on state police in the first instance? Aside civil war, in the political history of Nigeria, it has never been this bad. The blood of innocent souls being shed in cold blood. The Nigeria security Tracker of foreign relations revealed that 3,478 people were killed between December, 2021 and June 15 2022. In one fell swoop hundreds of Nigerians including military men were killed by bandits.

Considering the intense agitation for state police, one wonders if the reason for the then Native Authority Police System no longer exists. Is the tolerance level and the political culture/maturity of Nigerian politicians good enough to allow for State Police. Amongst other compositing demand, can a state government that cannot pay teachers and provide basic amenities for their community fund state police? It is preposterous and laughable to hear some of our elites in their characteristics shallow manner argued that since state police is practiced in Canada, Australia and America same should be practiced here in Nigeria.

Considering the Nigerian socio-cultural and political indiocyncracies, is the tolerance and political maturity of Canadian, Australian and American politicians same with that of Nigeria?

For a functional police force of our desire, the need for moral re-armament amongst our leaders cannot be overemphasized. Nigeria must display reasonable level of integrity, propriety, fairness, justice and national interest over parochial interest in their actions and inactions. Promotion and recruitment in the Nigerian Police force should be devoid of Nepotism and favoritism.

Pragmatic and sincere efforts be made to strengthen the present police force in order to make them more effective and efficient by way of better funding and equipment. Recruitment into the Nigeria Police force should be reviewed and sanitized. Politicians should not use their positions to influence recruitment into the force. Someone to be saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and properties should possess significant level of moral decency. Policing should not be a make- shift job for the drop outs or the never do well in schools. The fellow should have passion for it. The Head master, Principal, Director of students affairs in case of graduates of University and community head of where the fellow must have resided for minimum of five years attest to the moral decency of anybody that desire to be enlisted to the Nigerian police force.

Aside good remuneration, the general welfare of individuals charged with the responsibility of protecting lives and property should not be toyed with. Nigerian Police men need to be trained and retrained locally and internationally and allowances attached to such training be paid in pretty good time. If I may ask, while Federal Government is toying with the welfare of the Military, the consequence is better imagined.

Adeleke wrote from PDP Quarters, Suleja- Niger State.