From far away London, where he is undergoing medical checks, and in a move that surprised many people, if not all Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari, this week, abruptly ended the tenure extension for the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu.
That action taken by the president surprised most Nigerians because Adamu, who attained his mandatory retirement ages of birth and service, got his tenure extended by three months in February. Other than that, signs, at least until now, were that Adamu was enjoying the friendship and support of the president and those that matter within and outside of the Presidential Villa.
In the end, however, signs remain what they are – they could, sometimes, be deceptive. And, in place of Adamu, came in Usman Alkali Baba, who has since been decorated with his new rank by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.Baba was appointed to serve as the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) with immediate effect, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mr Maigari Dingyadi, said at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
He said Baba’s appointment was in line with the president’s determination to rejig the country’s security architecture and ensure that the current security challenges are ended.
As expected, the minister said the president has charged the acting IGP to rise to the security challenges facing the country, ensure policing reform policies of the present administration are implemented and make the police perform effectively for the peace and security of lives and property of all Nigerians.
Thus, the issue now is, how can the Nigerian police force become more effective and accountable? There is no doubt that ensuring police effectiveness is needed because the levels of violent crimes in Nigeria have increased. The levels of particularly armed robbery, banditry and kidnapping have increased many folds.
The integrity of the Nigeria police has been eroded by the ineffectiveness and inefficiency in their constitutional responsibilities to the society. As a nation, the security report has now been worse. Terrorists visit their targets at will, armed robbers hold up towns to ransom for hours as if in stubborn defiance while reports of killings are on the increase, and kidnappings continue unabated.
Standing between the wave of crime and the people is the police force that seems to have been caught unprepared, a force that is poorly trained, poorly equipped, poorly paid and deeply corrupt.
The Nigeria police suffer deficit of public legitimation and support, the public does not trust and support the police because their performance is poor. Also, the public regards the character and level of accountability of the police as grossly unsatisfactory. The police are generally feared but not respected, distracted and despised by the Nigeria public.
Until the coming of the present government, the police personnel were regarded as tools for the perpetration of electoral malpractice and an instrument in the hand of the ruling government to frustrate popular democracy.
On the other hand, the police are perceived as inefficient and corrupt while the use of private security firms and armed vigilante groups is increasing.Regrettably, until the coming of the Buhari-led administration, previous police reform efforts of the government and the police force itself seem to have been motivated by the need for personal gains and survival, rather than an attempt to make policing more effective.
Agreed, political and social factors such as unemployment within Nigerian society threaten police reform and the country’s emerging democracy.In order for police and security reforms in Nigeria to be effective, therefore, certain structural changes are necessary. Key police reforms must be implemented for policing to be effective. After all, the standard of policing available to nation determines the level of development of that country.
Considering the factors that hinder the efficiency and effectiveness of the police, expecting miracle in their performance amount to unrealistic imagination.
Still, security cannot be compromised because it is the life-wire of any nation and it is ranked the highest amongst the basic needs of human beings.Effective policing gives the people the confidence and vigour to pursue their legitimate activities. It is the greatest legacy any government, especially the Buhari’s, can leave for the people. The Nigeria police, therefore, must be repositioned to measure up with the modern day policing practices.
There is a great need for cordial relationship between the police and the public, particularly among young people. Unemployment must be addressed through investment in social and economic initiatives with a view to preventing crime.
The significance of Easter
Once again, it is the period of Easter! Already, President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians to show love and appreciation to one another and not to despair, no matter the challenges of the period.
In a felicitation message on the occasion of Easter celebration, the president said government would continue to ensure that the weak, the poor and the underprivileged in the country are not abandoned.
The president said the Easter season is an opportunity to renew hope and faith, show love and appreciation to one another and not to despair.
It is necessary to understand the significant of the occasion, our expectation and then what our attitude should be.
Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the tomb on the third day after his crucifixion.Essentially, remembering the resurrection of Jesus is a way to renew daily hope that we have victory over sin.
However, Nigerians should reflect on the challenges facing their nation and renew their hope in the country’s manifestly great destiny. Indeed, this year’s celebration offers Christians in Nigeria yet another occasion to reflect on the import of the outstanding events upon which the Christian religion and practice are anchored and how those events should rekindle their faith in the redemptive powers of love.
Amidst a season of stress and distress, of widespread degradation of social morality, and the worsening economic fortunes of the overwhelming majority of the people, as Nigerians, we still have reasons to smile, believing that God is with us.
In the midst of this period, there is invariably the tendency to lose the import of the Easter, which highlights the triumph of truth, justice and sacrificial love, and the promise of the ultimate victory of good over evil.
Nigerians must keep these key elements of Easter in mind as they continue celebrate today.
Agreed, Nigerians celebrate this Easter under a cloud of uncertainty on the social and economic fronts. The war against insecurity is not yet won, the war against corruption is not faring as we expected and the economic indices remain troubling.
In spite of all, Christians and, indeed, all Nigerians, who are sustained in hope should rekindle that confidence in the possibility of a new country of committed leaders and trusting followers to lead Nigeria out of the woods.In fact, if we believe in the first lesson of Easter, which is love, we will understand everything is capable of happening in the country. The human spirit and person can rise to lofty heights, if propelled by the power of love.Muslims and Christians are called to love their neigbbours as much as they love themselves. If adherents of all religions in the country imbibe the message of Jesus, most of the problems plaguing our personal and national lives would be solved.
This lesson of sacrificial love and giving is particularly relevant at a time like this in our country, when the economic downturn is biting harder on the majority of the citizenry. We should, therefore, learn the lessons of self-sacrifice, selfless service and patriotic leadership from Easter.
Our leaders, in particular, should see their high offices as an opportunity to serve God and humanity and resolve to make Nigeria a country where we all can realise their individual and collective ambitions.