FEATURE ARTICLE

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
balooy2k@gmail.com
Arizona, USA
THE URGENCY TO RE-ORGANIZE THE NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE WITH ROBUST REMUNERATION

he Nigeria Police Force - NPF under the present administration of Buhari should be renamed as the Nigeria Police Department - NPD. The current name (Force) is a superannuated (outdated) entity in this day and age of the modern world. The signification of 'Force' is antithetical to the meaning of the 'Department.' The truism of the name has always been evident in the Police Force and its exigency of policing Nigerians. We all know that the current axiom of "Police is your friend" is a complete antithesis of what we all know about the Nigerian Police Force.

The Police Department in a modern world should have a human face in the discharge of its duties. The present arrangement of the Nigeria Police Force is a shadow of itself if we dare to compare its policing and professionalism with its counterparts in the western world. The Nigeria Police Force is grossly not meeting the 21st-century challenges in policing and human capital development. With adequate funding and accountability, the Nigeria Police will be competing favorably with its counterparts in the western hemisphere in terms of policing.

Imperatively, it is pertinent to note that every state of the federation is made autonomous to manage its own Police Department. As a member of one of the law enforcement agencies in the United States, I have always loved and admired anything in a uniform. Police Department is a glorious profession that enjoys public respect and reasonable remunerations in the civilized world. Here, in the United States, it is extremely nonexistent to read in the news about any policeman or policewoman extorting money from the public. Any officer who engages in that will unnecessarily be sentencing himself to prison times. The Police Department in the US might have its ugly sides in the discharge of its duties to the public, but, generally, it is a prestigious profession that protects the public; cares for its manpower resources, and provides adequate retirement benefits for its men and women.

There were recent pictures on social media showing the women in the Nigeria Police Force in one of the States in Nigeria (picture below). There was another one showing a picture of a man, a Nigerian-American officer in his esteemed uniform in one of the States in the United States. In these two parallel circumstances, and in the parallel universe, when the men and women in the Law Enforcement Agencies are well remunerated, equipped, kitted and glorified, it will be extremely difficult to 'give and take' bribe from the public, and in the system.

The picture below is the immaculate appearance we want for our men and women in uniforms, and all law enforcement agencies in Nigeria. The department's badge should be a badge of honor, not for harassment, extortion and intimidation of the people they're meant to protect. When this is done, every one with his or her uniform appearance will have a sense of esteem and belonging to be in the department. I always carry my badge with honor and pride to protect society. If all police personnel are well remunerated, all players in the agency will be so proud to carry out their professional duties with maximum respect, courage, and professionalism. The egregious activities in the current Nigeria Police force will be consigned to the dustbin of the country's history. Believe me! It's doable!

Professionally, Police Department must train its workforce, and if its men and women are well trained, to borrow our insignia at my workplace: to pay a "PRICE" i.e. (Professionalism, Responsibility, Integrity, Courage, and Efficiency), the Law enforcement agency will adequately discharge its constitutional mandate and responsibilities with utmost professionalism and respect for itself and the public in general.

Meanwhile, Nigerian government should be cognizant of the protracted problems in the Police Force; be proactive and open-minded to suggestions from concerned citizens of Nigeria. The Nigerian Police Force is being poorly remunerated and grossly managed, The department is currently in the shadow of itself. It has grossly been under-funded, and it has been neglected for too long. Here in the United State, in some states of the union, an officer in the Police Department take-home pays per annum are not less than approximately $50,000.00 that is, =N=20,950,000.00 per annum in Nigerian local currency. Nigeria Police supposed to be one of the highest-paid professionals in Nigeria. There is no justification for the current miasma in the Force. Policing is not convenient. A police force is an entity that ensures compliance with the public, and with the rule of law. The NPF is one of the decayed parts of the Nigerian system.

When you see a Policemen and women in their expected professional, impeccable, and kitted appearances, it will engender effectiveness, sense of professionalism, and patriotism. Nigerians usually perform brilliantly well when they go out to train with their professional counterparts abroad. But when they come back home, they usually revert to extortions from the hapless Nigerian citizens. They become a weaponized tool of the rich and the powerful to oppress the deprived and vulnerable members of society. Some of them are bad eggs with the harbinger of criminals among the populace. Sadly, it is not even uncommon today to see the Nigerian Policemen and women serving as orderly, or as security apparatus to religious men and women, and to the affluent members of the Nigerian society. This is a ridiculous activity that must stop.

Security is not convenient anywhere. The consistency and enforcement of expectations provide the basis for effective security. Policing is a task that requires special attention to provide adequate security for the teeming population in the country. Nigeria should not be an exception to the rule of providing security for sustainable development. The welfare of men and women in uniforms with adequate training must be an urgent assignment for Buhari's administration. The Ministry that sees to the welfare of the Police Force must establish a caretaker committee to look into the welfare packages and training for its men and women in uniforms. This must be done with every sense of urgency it deserves to provide a sense of esteem, patriotism, and to protect the lives and property of the citizens. Nigeria is losing its finest citizens to the needless breakdown of law and order in the country. The Nigeria Police Force must be funded, re-organized, or totally overhauled to engender security, sustainable policing, and professionalism in the Nigerian system.

The potential of Nigeria must be explored and revived for the benefit of Nigerians. Nigeria will then, be a great country again!

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