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As New Korofos Are Engaged – By Arnold A. Alalibo

By Arnold A. Alalibo | NNP | July 25, 2016 – At last, the federal government’s promise it made in August, 2015, to recruit 10,000 Nigerians into the Nigeria Police Force to boost its workforce and reposition it for greater effectiveness, is being realized. This move is commendable and will address the dearth of personnel in the force. It will also boost youth employment and security in the country.

The recruitment exercise wouldn’t have come at a better time as the country still lags behind the United Nations recommendation of 220 policemen to 10,000 citizens. It is trite knowledge that with a population of over 150 million and police strength of about 350,000 officers and men, Nigeria is grossly under-policed.

Since advertisement of the various positions began, applications have been pouring in like raging torrents. It was reported that more than 500,000 applications were received three days into the advertisement. The number of applicants therefore confirms the very high rate of unemployment which the nation is confronted with daily.

In the days gone by, recruitment into the police force was unattractive. But such days might have gone forever because the high unemployment rate has certainly denied many Nigerians the option of choosing jobs of their choices. Today, the average Nigerian can settle for any job provided it can put food on his table.

As the recruitment exercise commences, the federal government can use the occasion to rebrand the Police force and return it to its heydays of honor and dignity. It is unarguable that the police have lost their respect a long time ago. This development is attributed to the culture of corruption which has characterized both its recruitment and training processes.

Hitherto, criteria for employment into the force have been compromised with the usual background checks not always done because of the “Nigerian factor.” This has made it possible for all manner of persons to be engaged by the force. The situation is not helped by the poor state of the nation’s police training schools which can at least be described as a place for the rearing and training of animals.

How can anyone expect police personnel trained in such institutions to give out their best? Why will men and women who go through decrepit institutions like the police college not suffer from psychiatric ailments? Isn’t that the reason many of them smoke prohibited substances which often propel them to manhandle law-abiding citizens and forcefully obtain monies from them?

This is why the police authorities must get it right this time around. They have to recruit academically sound and morally upright persons into the force. I mean persons who are sound in mind and are passionate about the job of policing. We sincerely need them. We also need those who can key into the vision of a new police force for the country.

Nigeria is faced with grave security issues here and there. That is the reason we need a virile police force that can face security challenges and provide internal security. In other words, the problem of insecurity demands that the country enlists only credible Nigerians who will be part of a comprehensive plan to renew the image of our security agencies.

Given the shortfall in the policing level of the country, it will be expedient for this exercise to be a constant one till the deficit is bridged. It is clear that enrolment in the police force which holds far in between cannot meet our security needs. Also, to further enhance the image of the force, educated graduates and not illiterates who bandy degrees about have to be engaged.

The force as currently constituted is amazingly replete with persons of dubious character and criminal records which have always highlighted the dark side of the agency. Therefore, the federal government may begin to embark on a gradual process of weeding out unwanted persons from the force. The Inspector General of Police has to ensure that this practice is introduced and becomes a part of the force.

Henceforth, a new template for employment in our police force should be set. Background checks of intended employees have to be made mandatory. Also to be examined are their psychological and mental states to forestall the rising spate of police personnel running amok, using their rifles to maim or kill innocent Nigerians they are employed to protect.

The situation has degenerated so badly that some policemen and women have turned an obvious eyesore, dressing in poor outfits and displaying patterns that are inconsistent with the institution they represent. However, given all the obstacles, I am not in doubt that the task to get the police of our dream is a daunting one.

But the predicament requires all Nigerians to cooperate and be involved in the burden of attaining the police force we can be proud of. Not only a force that will inspire confidence in Nigerians, but one that adheres to all United Nations and African Union charters and other regional global instruments on Human Rights.


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Posted by on Jul 25 2016. Filed under Arnold Alalibo, Articles, Columnists, Nigerian Police, NNP Columnists. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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