“A new police is emerging; Force Public Relations Officer, Chief Superintendent of Police, Frank Mba, has said. He said in a Radio Nigeria network audience participation program, August 4 that a new police is emerging following what the Police IG, M. D. Abubakar, calls a reformation in the Nigerian Police.
The Nigerian Police have a lot to tackle compared with their counterpart in developed countries like the US and UK. Apart from grappling with the insurgence of the dreaded Boko Haram, political and regional dichotomy(Nigerian has over 350 tribes and ethnic groups), economic and cultural imperialism, social mal-relation, religious bigotry, nepotism and many more. With these problems in existence over a long period of time, an almost indelible tainted mark had been made on the character and image of the police force.
The new Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar has owned up to the fact that there is more internal rot in the force than external trouble.
Though, agitation for state police by state governors and some opinion leaders is one of the ethnic-regional-political problems facing the country, the Inspector General, when he came was named the new police boss in acting capacity, first of all, slammed the force with a shake-off in a drastic deployment and re-deployment of existing and newly promoted senior officers to police inter-ethnic-cultural and inter-lingual communities. Some opinion leaders and society watchers did not see that as a good development hence, it was greeted with much criticism.
Proved by his dismissal of corrupt officers and members of the Police Force, followed by his issuance of a new police uniform and establishment of new departments in which he includes a Community Police Department to augment for the most agitated State Police.
Barely three months after the shake-up, follows a first-of-its-kind mass transfer of all cadres of officers in the force. More Nigerians continue to frown at the newly confirmed IG’s system of reformation, especially as many believe that a policeman who does not understand people’s language and cultural practices may find it difficult to police such society.
But why does the IG do this?; you may ask, the new IG’s commitment to evolve a new police out of what he met on ground leaves him with no option, it seems, than to leave no stone unturned in giving Nigerians and Nigeria a police without dented image.
An average Nigerian is a critic- public or private, sponsored and non- sponsored critic will continue to criticize people’s policies and initiatives. Do they forget that for Nigeria to continue to be a one-united entity the Nigerian Police must be sustained; and to sustain the Nigerian police, every single policeman or woman should be capable of serving any Nigerian community irrespective of language, religion and cultural practices of the people?
Because the reformation started with removing all police-road-blocks, people thought, initially, that this would open the road for armed robbers and gun-men to people’s homes and offices but it was not so. Nigerians are now reaping the dividends of roads-without-police road-blocks which was formerly christened stop-and-search.
Before now, the most corrupt attitude of the Nigerian Police was extortion at police check-points followed by intimidation but now these have been reduced to about 20% since police contact with the masses whom they extort and intimidate have, by the new IG’s directive, reduced by the same 20%.
Police patrol-van now patrol major roads searching for offenders without disturbing the masses. This is a welcome development and should be viewed as a plus to the force by those who rather prefer the stop-and-search method of combating crime in the force. Added to this is the new police uniform, the new community policing concept and other internal reforms in the force. Let us then hope that removing corrupt practices on the highway will create a link to removing corruption from the entire police force. This is our hope, this is our desire, this is our prayer while believing with Mr. Frank Mba that a new police force is emerging.