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Policing In Nigeria Should Be By Consent, Not By Force —Security Expert

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A Preventive Terrorism Consultant, Temitope Olodo has said that policing in Nigeria should be by consent and not by force.

According to him, community policing was the easiest way of policing but expressed regrets that corruption has become so endemic in the security institution.

Olodo, who is the President , African Security Forum and a retired Metropolitan police officer in the United Kingdom said this during a virtual meeting organised by the Nigeria Diaspora Network (NDN), UK chapter,

While speaking at the meeting which focused on Security Challenges and Community Policing, Olodo maintained that community policing was all about people telling the authorities what the security needs are and channelling the effort and resources to those areas to tackle them,”

“Nigeria got to where it is because the foundation has been weakened. Over a number of years, we have allowed decay in our institutions, especially security institutions.

“And as a result of those weak institutions and our lack of speaking up to the power that be, we have found ourselves in a situation that the decay is endemic, the situation now is beyond just taking those institutions to the intensive care unit.

“When a patient is taken to intensive care unit, you have to upload a lot of interventions. But this may not work at this point because a lot of spare parts need to be changed in that system.

“We need practical changes that we can turn around and say, this is the change that we want,” he said. 

The Security expert also urged the Federal Government to introduce Key Performance Indicators (KPI) mechanism into the security system  to measure the performance of all security officers in the country from the lowest to the highest rank.

He said, “I was a former civil servant. If you ask me today, I have never seen the job description of IGP (inspector-general of police) and I am not making it personal. 

“I don’t know what kind of KPI he is being measured against but I can tell you that we know the KPI of Commissioner of Police for the Metropolitan Police, we know the one for New York and Australia 

“We know how police are being measured, I was once a constable and I have KPI. 

“When I was leaving the Metropolitan Police on secondment, I was measured on KPI.

“They brought out my KPI and that was the basis upon which if I am entitled to other benefits, in terms of my salary going up.

“But I don’t know what KPIs are for the Nigerian police. If there is no KPI, what do you measure them against?” he asked. 

Olodo explained that if there is no KPI, security officers’ performance indicators would not be proportionate to their work done.

“Let me give a good example, the new IGP has come out to say that they have been doing a lot that they have recently recovered 231 assorted weapons and he was congratulating himself.

“In a country where the former head of state said there are about 2 million light weapons in circulation and where we are aware that there are about 60, 000 AK-47 riffles in the hands of about 120 bandits, what is 231 weapons?

“On a daily basis if the IGP is serious, If the IGP locks down my little village in Osun State, I am telling you he will get more than 1000 weapons in a day when a stop and search and thorough checking are conducted.

“So when we talk about key performance indicator, people will measure themselves against the lowest kind of performance if you do not give them the proper performance indicator,” he said. 

Also speaking on the occasion, a security expert in Global Community Policing, Dr Aminu Audu, was optimistic that if adopted in line with international best practice, community policing would work in the country. 

Audu also explained that the issue of insecurity was not a new thing in the country,saying,  “what we are seeing today is a product of series of activities that have transpired in the past. So it is a build up,”

He noted that though there was insecurity in Nigeria, the way forward was to embrace community policing, stressing that this would ensure the need for greater accountability of police, greater public share in decision making and greater concern for civil rights and liberty.

Audu said people have wrong impression about community policing, saying that “what comes to our minds is about forming vigilante group and arming them with weapons for them to begin to delve into prejudicial killings and manhandling of crime suspects.

He explained that community policing was about the police, the community coming together to address issues, most especially crime causing conditions.

The expert, who acknowledged the influence of foreign factor in the security challenge noted that community policing would not be a success if the problem of poverty and other factors were not addressed.

He also said over the years, community policing had not worked effectively in the country because there has been a wide communication gap between the community and the security providers.

A Cyber Security Professional, Mr Deji Adebayo, who is one of the NDN coordinators in the UK, said the meeting was organised as part of the effort by Nigerians living abroad to see how the security challenge could be solved in order to create better and secured society for the country.

Other members of the NDN at the meeting include Dr Aminu Ahmadu, a lecturer and academic consultant within the UK universities and Mr Offor Okpanachi, an AML professional.


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