The Nigeria Police Force at the moment is not fulfilling its mandate of protecting the citizens. They have become a cesspool of corruption and impunity within the country and beyond.
An example of this was the withdrawal of 120 police officers serving in the UN Congo Mission in September 2015 because of accusations that they had engaged in sexual abuses including the recent report of the National Bureau of Statistics and the escape of an alleged killer from their detention in Rivers state.
As distraught as these events are, there is still a better future ahead of the Force if the necessary precautions are taken to reform our defective policing system. It’s a known fact that structural decay in a system doesn’t start in a day but it’s an accumulation of several inadequacies.
The first reform to be embarked on begins with its recruitment process. The recruitment of officers into the Force has been more of employment racketeering and politicisation than merit. The Police must make its recruitment process transparent and devoid of political interference so that the best “interested” hands can be recruited into the force. The practice where people are recruited into the police for the sake of being unemployed should be discouraged as working in the force should be for those who have a strong passion and desire, which will be reflected in their actions.
Also, the welfare of police officers must be catered for. This includes improved remuneration which relates to their salaries, allowances, pension among others which will serve as a motivation and will in turn help to discourage them from taking bribe. The dilapidated living condition of the officers must be improved as the current state of affairs is not fit for human habitation. A similar should be extended to Police stations across the country.
Lastly, officers of the Force must be adequately equipped to confront the security challenges in the country. At the moment the force is ill-equipped and this affects their performance. Equipping the force will go a long way in restoring its lost glory.