EFFECTS OF INSECURITY IN NIGERIA: THE CHALLENGES AND RELEVANCE OF THE NIGERIAN POLICE

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this research is to uncover the causes and effects of insecurity in Nigeria, as well as the challenges and relevance of the Nigerian police force as a panacea. On this premise, the study focuses on the Nigerian police force to assess and identify efforts and limitations in providing adequate security to Nigerians. The topic is both timely and pivotal at a time when Nigeria’s image and freedom are deteriorating both internationally and locally as a result of the widespread insecurity that exists today. This has hampered the nation’s progress toward socioeconomic growth and development. The study, on the other hand, focuses on the causes and effects of insecurity in Nigeria, factors that have hampered the Nigerian police force from performing its statutory functions, and steps that can be taken. to be made to enhance greater security in Nigeria and to make the Nigeria police force more responsive to her duties. This work also provided a historical timeline of insecurity in Nigeria. It also examines the history, structure, mission, and vision of the Nigerian police force. Furthermore, the study revealed that the Nigerian police force’s relevance to the country’s security is hampered by the government’s inability to address root causes of insecurity and propose solutions to these root causes. This is reflected in the country’s current inequality and high rate of poverty, even in the midst of plenty. The study’s chapters address various aspects of the problem.  The revelations and recommendations made in this work will be invaluable and important to the Nigerian police, government, private and corporate organizations, as well as researchers in proposing solutions that will improve Nigeria’s security.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Nigeria has recently witnessed an unprecedented wave of crisis and insecurity, each of which has resulted in the loss of life and destruction of property. “Security means stability and consistency of livelihood, predictability of relationships, feeling safe and belonging to a social group,” writes Ezeoha (2011:38) in Causes and Effects of Insecurity in Nigeria. Internal security, or IS, can be defined as the act of maintaining peace within the borders of a sovereign state or other self-governing territories. This is generally accomplished by upholding national law and defending against internal security threats. Internal security forces can range from police to paramilitary forces, and in extreme cases, the military itself.

Insecurity, on the other hand, is the polar opposite of

Insecurity is the concept of security. It has been assigned various interpretations in relation to the various ways in which it affects individuals. To name a few, insecurity is defined by the following words: lack of safety; danger; hazard; uncertainty; lack of confidence; doubtful; inadequately guarded or protected; lacking stability; troubled; lack of protection; and unsafe. Different people have used each of these to define the concept of insecurity. These various descriptors, however, all refer to a state of vulnerability to harm and loss of life, property, or livelihood. Beland (2005) defined insecurity as “a state of fear or anxiety caused by a real or perceived lack of protection.” It refers to a lack of or insufficient freedom from danger.

In

Similarly, Oshodi (2011) contends that one sure way to address Nigeria’s insecurity situation is to give psychology a prominent place in policy formulation and implementation in order to promote national cohesion and integration.

However, it can be clearly stated that Nigeria has remained more insecure, particularly during and after the April 2011 presidential elections, and has suffered a battery of ethno-religious-political crises, taking the form of bomb blasts sponsored by the Boko Haram religious sect, more than ever before in history.

To say the least, the unprecedented wave of terrorism, kidnappings, and other violent crimes is concerning. Religious leaders, churches, mosques, and other places of worship are not immune to this onslaught. There is no denying that Nigeria is at a crossroads.

If this insecurity trend continues, the country will be on the verge of collapse.

According to Bavier, a writer who frequently visits the northern region, CNN reported that the

Despite the deployment of thousands of troops and the formation of a Joint Task Force, the federal government has completely lost control of the north-east. “It appears that this insurgency has broken out of the north-east,” he says. Worryingly, he claims, there is “not a whole lot of visible effort from the federal government to calm things down” (Lister, 2012:14).

Based on the foregoing, Nigeria has experienced unprecedented levels of insecurity. There have been inter- and intra-communal and ethnic clashes, ethno-religious violence, armed robbery, assassination, murder, gender-based violence, and bomb explosions.

on the rise, resulting in massive loss of life and property as well as a general sense of siege and social tension among the populace (Ibrahim and Igbuzor, 2002:2). Furthermore, over 3,000 souls, both military and civilian, have been lost in the purported “holy” crusade since 2009, paralyzing government plans to devise an effective strategy to combat insecurity. Despite a soaring security budget, insecurity still pervades the country.

As a result, insecurity has taken various forms in various parts of the country. Armed robbers have taken over in the south-west, while cross-border bandits operate freely in the north. However, kidnapping is common in the South-South. The constant wave of crime and armed robbery attacks all point to the

Insecurity is quickly becoming the norm in Nigeria, and it has become increasingly appealing to certain individuals seeking to resolve issues that could otherwise be resolved through due process. The end results include the annihilation of innocent lives, the disruption of economic activities, and the destruction of property, among other things.

Last year and early this year, Kano’s Emir, Alhaji Ado Bayero, narrowly escaped death by whiskers. His driver and two other people were hacked to death by the assailants. Gunmen said to be sympathetic to the cause of Islamic rebels in Mali ambushed and killed two soldiers on their way to be deployed somewhere in Okene, Kogi State.

Mali. A new faceless group calling itself the “Vanguard for the Protection of Moslems in Black Africa” has claimed responsibility for the attack. Prof. Mrs. Kaneme Okonjo, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-mother, Iwela’s was also kidnapped a while ago. It took a show of federal might—the deployment of troops—for her kidnappers to release her. Recently, the mother of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly was kidnapped. These are prominent cases; many other incidents go unreported, most likely due to victims’ lack of a voice.

On the occasion of late Prof. Chinua Achebe’s 80th birthday, he was quoted as saying, “Nigeria is on the verge of a precipice,” and that “we urgently need to face up to our responsibilities before it is too late.”

As a result, according to Ogebe (1991), the current problems confronting Nigeria are not only rising crime rates, but also a gradual shift in the categories of crimes committed from less serious to more serious and heinous crimes of violence. This presents a significant challenge to the police, as well as questions about their accountability and effectiveness.

Because of endemic problems in recruitment, training, and discipline, as well as a lack of expertise in specialized fields, the Nigerian police have been heavily criticized for their inability to stem the rising tide of crime in Nigeria. Corruption and dishonesty are also prevalent in the police force, resulting in a low level of public trust, which leads to failure to report crimes and tendencies to commit crimes.

to rely on public assistance. According to Ash (1971), police performance may be entirely dissatisfactory because there is confusion about what police officers actually do on the job and what they can reasonably be expected to do to achieve a more effective police force. Police provide a wide range of services, with crime prevention accounting for only 20 to 30 percent of police work. In many cities today, police work appears to be primarily concerned with responding to emergencies. It appears that the original emphasis on crime prevention has been lost at times (Awake, 2000). This has contributed significantly to the country’s alarming crime rate.

In support of the foregoing, sixteen (16) police officers were arrested.

The Inspector General of Police Anti-robbery Squad was recently arrested in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital, for allegedly releasing Police weapons and ammunition to armed robbers terrorizing the people of the state. The officers affected are of various ranks, primarily Inspectors and Sergeants assigned to the Zamfara State Police Command. Similarly, the squad apprehended a retired military officer based in Gusau who specialized in selling ammunition and other sophisticated weapons intended for the state’s security personnel to armed robbers and residents of Plateau and Kaduna states.

Subsequently, Aside from bad apples in the Nigerian police force, the poor welfare of police, military, and paramilitary personnel, as well as a lack of adequate working tools and personnel, is another factor that promotes insecurity in the country.

Nigeria. According to Olonisakin (2008:20), the police-to-population ratio in Nigeria is 1:450. Citizens should, at the very least, have easy access to the police and feel safer as a result of the protection they provide. Nonetheless, Nigeria has fallen short of the United Nations’ standard for effective policing.

Today, police brutality, corruption, violence, murder, and abuse of power pervade almost every aspect of society. Armed robbery operates almost freely in Nigerian society, using lethal weapons without being challenged or detected by the police, and where the police are duly informed, they make the flimsy excuse that they lack weapons to combat armed robbers. Even the average person on the street

When confronted with the massive mutual aids granted to criminals by the police force, the street who is expected to be supportive of the police often has serious reservations. Aside from the aforementioned, the shooting of innocent people in retaliation for policing policies has also been a serious issue in Nigeria, impeding police efforts in crime prevention.

According to research, the majority of police work is spent responding to crime after it has occurred, and the police force lacks the resources to intervene in the circumstances that lead to crime. Traditional approaches to crime prevention also fail to address the underlying causes of crime. They believe that high crime rates are unavoidable. and that the general public must make an effort to defend itself against it.

1.2  STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Insecurity was a feature of Hobbesian nature, when life was said to be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short, and the weak and common man were at the mercy of the strong. This is, if not exactly, the case in the country today. According to Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) in his book Leviathan, published in 1651, nothing in nature can be considered just or unjust, and every man must be considered to have a right to everything, including the right to take other people’s lives. According to Hobbes, the State of Nature is a hypothetical state of affairs that existed prior to the formation of’society’ (which occurs with the signing of the Treaty of Paris).

of the fictitious ‘Social Contract’). Hobbes believes that everyone acts selfishly in the State of Nature. He refers to it as an all-out war.

The book examines society’s structure and legitimate government and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory. Leviathan is a classic work on statecraft in the Western tradition, comparable to Machiavelli’s The Prince. Leviathan, written during the English Civil War (1642-1651), argues for a social contract and absolute monarchy. Hobbes wrote that only strong central government could prevent civil war and situations associated with a state of nature, as well as the famous motto Bellum omnium contra omnes (“the war of all against all”). Having read Thomas Hobbes’ writings correctly,

It can thus be stated that Nigeria’s central government is porous and weak in addressing her endemic and never-ending security challenges, which is why there has been a lot of clamor for state police in order to spread the nation’s security base.

Furthermore, Thomas Hobbes’ work explains why the police and successive Nigerian governments see insecurity as a hindrance to the nation’s economic and political development and have devised various means to combat it at various times. As a result, these various methods have not produced satisfactory results. The boko haram militant Islamist organization, which has taken many lives and properties, is the most recent security threat. The fight between the federal government and this group began on July 26th, when Boko Haram launched an attack.

In retaliation for the arrest of its leaders, Boko Haram attacked a police station. The police retaliated, and the area was placed under curfew. The attacks spread, and corpses were discovered around police stations the next day. On July 28, Nigerian troops surrounded the home of the sect’s leader, Mohammed Yusuf, in Maiduguri after his followers barricaded themselves inside. However, the worst happened when Mohammed Yusuf was later extrajudiciously killed by Nigerian police, and Nigerians have not known peace since then.

Given the dangers and anguish that survivors are currently experiencing, the sociopolitical implications of this development can only be imagined.

Egburonu believes (2012:20)

We are concerned about Boko Haram. Daddy and Mummy continue to

I stayed awake all night in case the attackers decided to break into our home. They would close all the doors, pray all night, and then ask us to sleep. But we never can because we never know what will happen next… They said we’d be home soon, so we’re waiting.

Miss Agnes Agwuocha, a 17-year-old Kano student, described the terror she and her family have been experiencing since the terrorist group gave the affected non-indigenes a three-day ultimatum, and then followed it up with pockets of attacks and killings in Yobe, Niger, and Borno states. Despite the fact that previous Boko Haram attacks in several cities across the north have been successful,

Igbos, as well as other Christians and southerners, were disproportionately affected.

To that end, the research work aims to find solutions to the following problems, which have been identified:

i. What are the causes and consequences of Nigerian insecurity?

ii. Is the Nigerian police force properly equipped and empowered?

to ensure Nigerians’ safety?

iii. What are the factors impeding the Nigerian police force from carrying out its statutory duties?

Is the Nigerian police force useful in combating insecurity in Nigeria?

v. What steps should be taken to improve security in the workplace?

Nigeria, as well as to make the Nigerian police force more responsive to her responsibilities?

1.3     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The following are the study’s objectives:

i. To determine the specific causes and fundamental effects of

Nigeria is insecure.

ii. Determine the extent to which the Nigerian Police Force is corrupt.

Nigerians will be better equipped and empowered to protect themselves.

iii. To identify the obstacles that have hampered Nigerian development.

in carrying out its statutory duties.

iv. To investigate the role of the Nigerian police force in

In Nigeria, we are fighting insecurity.

v. To seek out solutions to insecurity in Nigeria and corrections

that can be made to better the Nigerian police force.

1.4   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Given the critical role of security in any government, particularly a democratically elected government, a study like this is required. The task of eradicating insecurity in Nigeria is never easy, but rather Herculean.

Insecurity has become so widespread in Nigeria, taking so many lives on a daily basis. It follows that something is wrong with our security affairs, as well as the state of Nigeria.

In practice, this work will aid in re-emphasizing and fostering solutions to the problem of insecurity. Even with the tragically high number of lives lost.

Academically, the work will be beneficial to the academic community. Postgraduates and other researchers conducting related research will benefit from this resource.

The work is extremely beneficial.

In theory, the weaknesses and other flaws identified in this research will assist politicians and policymakers in the country in restructuring our security forces.

1.5   SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Every research project has its own scope and limitations; ours is to investigate the causes and effects of insecurity in Nigeria, as well as the challenges and relevance of the Nigerian police force as a panacea.

Because it is impossible for a research project to cover the entire research population, the target population has shifted to Enugu and Anambra states due to their proximity. These two states were chosen because we believe we can find people who are well-versed in the country’s security challenges and how the Nigerian police force has dealt with them thus far. In this manner, the researcher will be able to collect sufficient data to aid the study.

Aside from the inability to

The researcher faced some limitations in retrieving some of the research instruments administered to respondents, particularly police respondents, due to the nature of their job and their general lack of appreciation for the value of social research. The police are also involved.

The stations visited were hesitant to provide sensitive statistical details and information to support the research project. All of these things hampered the research effort.

Despite the above-mentioned constraints, the researcher worked tirelessly to ensure the study’s success.

The researcher faced some limitations in retrieving some of the research instruments administered to respondents, particularly police respondents, due to the nature of their job and their general lack of appreciation for the value of social research. The police are also involved.

The stations visited were hesitant to provide sensitive statistical details and information to support the research project. All of these things hampered the research effort.

Despite the above-mentioned constraints, the researcher worked tirelessly to ensure the study’s success.

 

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