Nigeria’s Security Problem: Creating An Effective Nation Wide Security, Using Local Police

NV News

By UcheChukwu Uchenna Onyenakie

Nigeria’s current security problem has caused many other problems. These include hunger, hardship, and severe poverty. It has reached a disturbing and threatening dimension. The situation may continue to degenerate unless an immediate solution is put in place. It is a fact that people who are from any particular area know the area more than people who are not from that area. People who were borne and raised in every community or local government area know all the nooks and crannies of the area.

Going by the current security situation in the country, employing people from every community to help secure their communities has become inevitable. In many countries of the world, it has been proven that local police have been used to eradicate various security challenges.

In New York State, USA, the New York Police Department works round the clock to contain criminals. The New York Police Department is a local police; it is not the state trooper, which is the New York State Police, neither is it a unit of FBI, which serves as Federal Police in USA.

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The Nigeria National Assembly should amend the constitution and create State Police and Local Government Police immediately. Some people have, understandably, argued against the establishment of these security organizations at the state and local levels. They are of the views that states will not be able to fund the organizations and that governors will use them to persecute real and perceived enemies. These may by true and a disadvantage of creating a state and local government police, however, the advantages of creating State Police and Local Government Police are much better than the disadvantages .

The National Assembly is made up of great thinkers who can package some legislation that will make it impossible for governors to misuse state and local police.

There are also many other great Nigerians who can also suggest ways to prevent governors from abusing state and local police.
These suggestions will be put together as pieces of legislation to achieve the desired result .

Security of lives and properties are a serious national concern. Nigeria should run FEDERAL-FUNDED, state-controlled, State, and Local Government Police. The National Assembly should devise a means of funding State and Local Government Police from the Federation Account. If what it will cost Nigeria is ‘HUGE FUNDING’ to create State and Local Government Police in order to solve the current security problem in the country then such FUNDING is not a waste, it is useful.

Further more, what is today known as ‘Security Votes’ should be converted to funding State Police and Local Government Police. Over the years, these huge amounts of money known as ‘Security Votes’ have not served the purposes they are meant to serve. It is time to channel the money to a valuable expenditure .

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Laws should be put in place that the monthly allocation to the State Police and Local Government Police from the monthly federation account should go straight to State Police Account. Governors and other state officials should not have access to the State Police Account. The State Police Commissioner of Police and the Police Management Body should manage the fund to serve the purposes they are meant for, like payment of salaries and allowances. The funds should go to the State Police Account directly from the federation account. Any other possible means through which the State Police can be funded from the Federation Account should be devised by the National Assembly.

If all and what it will take Nigeria is to fund local security from the Federation Account in order to solve our protracted security problem, then such an expenditure is worth doing ; it is not a waste.

The State and Local Government Police may be joined; that is two-in-one police arrangement. It may be organized in such a way that in posting personnel of State Police to every local government area, sixty percent of them will be natives of the same local government area while the other fourty percent of the personnel will be natives of other parts of the same state.

In Imo State, for example, 60% of personnel of Imo State Police serving in Oguta Local Government Area will be natives of Oguta Local Government Area, while the remaining 40% will be natives of other parts of Imo State.

This should be the posting arrangement nation wide, that natives of every local government area have majority of the officers and men of the State Police serving in every local government area .

Further more, State Police (Local Government Police) should be structured like the current Federal Mobile Police Unit. Their trainings should be like the current mobile police. Their operations should be the same. They will patrol all the nooks and crannies of the communities that make up their local government areas in order to ensure that violent criminals such as armed robbers , armed kidnappers and other violent criminals do not operate within their areas. Patrol vehicles, communication devices and other moderns tools they need to work with should be provided to them by the federal and state governments. State governments should also boost the moral of their police in anyway they can like buying more patrol vehicles, assisting them financially, etc.

Three, four or five modern police barrack should be built in every local government area for officers and men of State Police, depending on the size of the local government area. The officials of State Police should have three shifts arrangements; every shift should be eight hours. They should work with the locals to prevent crimes. Using their patrol vehicles to patrol the local government should be their primary assignment. People living in their area of responsibility should be encouraged to call them whenever they suspect any security threat .

People who will be hired to work for the State Police should be people who are educated up to OND, NCE and First Degree level. They will be trained at the State Mobile Police College that will be built in three or four different parts of the state. The Commissioner of Police of State Police will be the highest ranking officer of the State Police.

The State Police should be equipped with the legal power to arrest, investigate and prosecute criminals. This legal power will make it possible for them to work effectively .

The organization should also bear arms. This will make the personnel of the local police to effectively contain violent criminals.

UcheChukwu Uchenna Onyenakie is a Public Affairs Analyst

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