What The New IGP Is Bringing On Board – Osaro Jeremiah
You can’t lead a people legitimately without legitimacy _ Anonymous
The sad story of the Nigerian police force is not something that came out of the blues, it has always had a genesis, even though we all choose to ignore it for some selfish reasons or for the benefits some of us derive from the system that is so poorly managed, from the crimes that are being covered up by those who should be the defenders of the innocent and the up rooters of the criminal.
We became complacence even with our own security, protection of our lives and properties and even at some point jeopardizing and even compromising it by our own selves, until the worse case of insecurity since the civil war reared its head into our dear country but it didn’t just happen it took, plans and plans, it took time and time and it consumed resources upon resources but we all sat pretty till the first suicide bomber stroke.
That singular strike was what the harbingers of war, merchants of death, suckers of blood wanted and it opened the floodgate of heinous and very dangerous crimes across Nigeria.
From the nooks and crannies of Nigeria and especially in the former “Home of peace” Borno state, blood flooded with reckless abandon till it contaminated the clean water of third mainland and even Abonema jetty in Lagos and port harcourt, it didn’t stop there it also went further down east into the Orji river and we all drank the waters of violence and then braced up for war.
Unfortunately when there is war in any place the people suffer, law and order is broken down, hunger, starvation and deprivation and then heinous crimes against people, it’s is a vicious cycle, the police is overwhelmed and armies are brought in. This was exactly what happened in Nigeria.
I will not attempt to score the efforts of the past police Inspectors General (IGPs), from Sir. Luis Edet to Solomon Arase, all of them did what they did considering the prevailing situation of the country at each person’s time.
But one of the most outstanding innovations the IGP wants to stand himself clearly out with is zeal and the plan to make the police more accountable, and community based.
Truth be told, if the police were so much in touch with the community where they are based Boko Haram would have been nipped in the bud, herdsmen with guns will have no hiding place, armed robbers would have been noticed before they strike, militancy wouldn’t have occurred and the bloodletting in our country would have been averted.
I listened carefully to the interview with IGP Ibrahim K. Idris on AIT yesterday and I was marveled at the point where he talked about the “Eminent persons’ council” from his explanation I got the takeaway that the police force in a very time short time shall get its esteem back both in the eyes of the society and the government, he said the council is a body of experienced hands in various fields of endeavor, ranging from retired civil servants to business men and even opinion leaders in the society added to retired police men and women from that state.
This certainly is a welcome development for the people to be able to participate in the discussion of how best to secure their environment.
These are the new approach to security in countries like China and USA, and Nigeria should not be an exception.
Imaging if this kind of interaction had been in place before 2009 how would an obscure preacher be able to mobilize young men, funds and even weapons without being noticed until he declared war against the country claiming several lives?
Would all the so called militants have any place to hide or would an armed robber sneak into a community without being noticed if the police had hitherto opened its doors to the public like it is planning to do now?
The IGP should go beyond the “eminent persons council” at the CP’s levels but also extend it to all wards and areas where there are police stations, especially the DPOs, they should include the Night club and hotel owners, Meshayi (tea and indomie joint owners) and may be too shoe shiners who move around in the areas.
Also I was glad on the comment the IGP made about shelving the police men of the mentality of a brutal force that is only out to shoot people, by adding humanitarian and compassionate angle to communal policing, like giving aids to the IDPs in the northeast, and assisting the general public on humanitarian grounds, this is akin to what the U.S army does wherever it goes to war and by so doing confidence is built, trust is engendered, information(s) are volunteered and crime is abetted which is the soul aim of any police organization in the world.
Writes from Sapele, Delta state.