Police: ONCE again, Nigeria is reminded that she is one of the most backward countries in the world.
Our rankings in such areas as education, healthcare, electricity, infrastructure, human development, food security, poverty/prosperity, human rights and what have you, show we are either at the bottom of the scale or very close, even in the world’s poorest zone: sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2017, the International Police Science Association, IPSA’s, World Internal Security and Police Index, WISPI, ranked the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, 127th out of 127 countries in the world. That was during the regime of Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
Then Police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, dismissed the ranking, saying that the IPSA survey did not take into account the “reforms” the NPF had been undergoing.
The 2019 WISPI ranking is out, and the situation has remained unchanged. As in 2016, Singapore came tops followed by Nordic countries – Finland and Denmark. Botswana, one of Africa’s best examples in good governance, came 47th in the world and tops in Africa followed by Rwanda, 50th; Algeria, 58th; Senegal, 68th; and Tunisia, 72.
The WISPI ranking examines the four domains of internal security, capacity, process, legitimacy and outcomes. No one in Nigeria will argue that Nigeria is heavily challenged by internal security as we are hostages to terrorists, armed robbers, bandits, herdsmen militias, militants, kidnappers, economic saboteurs (pipeline vandals), cultists, human traffickers, ritualists, election robbers and every kind of law-breaking.
Our Police are so backward that in recent years the Federal Government, rather than correct the ills of that noble institution, has compounded the situation by resorting to the deployment of the armed forces to do purely police duties.
Nigeria, with over 200 million population, is the most under-policed entity in the world (219 policemen for every 100,000 Nigerians, well below the Index Median of 300 and the 268 sub-Saharan average).
Virtually abandoned to its fate by a system still being governed with military mentality, the Nigeria Police personnel descended on the populace they are supposed to secure with vengeful brutality and extortion. About 81 per cent of Nigerians who responded to the Global Corruption Barometer admitted bribing the Police in 2017.
Due to loss of faith in the Police and the nation’s justice system, only 0.06 per cent of thefts were reported to the Police in 2017.
Against this background, it is obvious that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has not done enough to fulfill its pledge to restore the nation’s security. The neglect of the Police continues. This ugly situation must be arrested.
A nation that paints a picture of itself as lacking the ability to provide security, safety and justice to its citizens and visitors alike will never be taken seriously by international development partners, except those with rogue intentions.