Azu’s piece in LEADERSHIP Friday 14th of March, 2014 (Conversation with Azu) on the Inspector General of Police reminds me of one of my published online articles as soon as Mr M. D. Abubakar was appointed as the nation IGP. It goes with the title: “If I were to be the new Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force”. My article listed six new interventions to be done in order to improve police integrity and responsibility as important framework for effectiveness of the public service delivery. Surprisingly, I got a letter from a Police chief of one of the Nigeria neighboring countries. He shared his experiences and acknowledged the success that follows one of the ideas of erecting Police Force Watch Boxes in all the government post offices throughout the country as whistleblower for apprehending hoodlums through impartial investigation of Police Complaint Commission that have access to all keys for these Boxes as it was stated in the article.
Policing in Nigeria involves a great responsibility to achieve their Vision of “making the country safer and secure for attainment of national aspirations” and the Mission “to deliver qualitative and efficient security and law enforcement services to the citizens of Nigeria” and to be in line with the country’s Police Act. CAP 359 of the law of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and the 1999 constitution, section 4 of this Police Act which provides that “The Police shall be employed for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of live and property and the due enforcement of all laws and regulations with which they are charged and shall perform such military duties within and without Nigeria as may be required…”.
Meanwhile, how on earth can the above responsibilities be fulfilled when policemen are unrecognized, underpaid, underequipped and robbed of their social security allowances and pensions. The consequences of this deprivation aggravates to widespread kidnapping, barbaric terrorism, frequent armed robbery and recurrent waves of brutalities in our environment. These are the results of dodging our responsibilities as leaders and citizens in this country. It is an established fact that man or a leader may temporarily dodge his responsibilities to his family or his fellowmen, but this same man or leader cannot permanently dodge the consequences of dodging his responsibilities.
Azu puts it rightly when he writes that “Until the rank and file understands that there is a relationship between the kind of government that gets into power and the wellbeing of the police, their misery can only get worse … when the police refuse to be used to rig crooks into power”. This message is not only meant for the Police institution alone, but for all Nigerian adults as next general election is approaching and every efforts should be made to support and vote for patriotic professional politicians (PPP) that will put their heart, soul and all their ability into their jobs, so as to make Nigeria a united, secured and progressive nation.
Moreover, it is our collective responsibility to solve Nigerian problems with the secret of ballot boxes and the secret power of our positive thoughts-the man greatest asset in which we have complete control toward the attainment of any desire. An all-wise Creator has provided us with everything to be the Best developed nation in the world but we are all failing to recognize and organize our positive thoughts. It is time for a peaceful revolution of our minds and say no more blood-shedding of innocent citizens. The present Nigeria Police boss should effect a change for Police institution that must places its highest value on the preservation of human life, prevention of crime, accountable to the citizen its serves and preserve and advance the principles of democracy at this critical time of our country’s democratic development.
Adewale T Akande, a Nigerian-Spanish based road traffic safety consultant currently on a World Bank Governance Accountability Action Plan (GAAP) project in Abuja, Nigeria. Tel: 08125896631 (Nigeria) +34600877296 (Spain).