I’m going to mention 2 things about the Nigeria Police Force that I guarantee most people here don’t know, which will provide context for why these things keep happening and why no single police officer including the IG himself has the power to change anything.
- A police recruit (the hungry-looking guy who barks “PARK THERE!” at you on the road) and a police officer are 2 completely different things in the NPF. The recruitment process for a police recruit has nothing to do with that of a police officer.
Police recruits come from literally the worst parts of society such as prison cells, criminal gangs and university confraternities. They pass through a short program at a Police College where they learn to march under the hot sun for hours as well as basic firearms handling.
Students recruited as police OFFICERS on the other hand, go to a place called Nigeria Police Academy (NPA) in Wudil, Kano State. It is a 5-year university course that awards a Bachelors degree upon completion, after which graduates are commissioned as ASPs.
- It is easier to travel from Lagos to Senegal on foot than to get an admission slot into the NPA. To get onto “the list” which comes out once a year, you MUST have a godfather or a friend in high places (senator, HoR member, traditional ruler, high ranking police officer etc)
Getting into the NPA is just as difficult as getting into the NDA – if you do not have the right connections, you will categorically NOT be admitted even if you are Albert Einstein.
Here’s why these 2 points are important:
- Police recruits are responsible for the vast majority of police criminality, rascality and brutality that take place in Nigeria. The recruitment and training process for recruits quite literally makes it impossible for well behaved and mentally-balanced people to scale through.
Which means that the vast majority of police recruits are actual real-life criminals who have been given a uniform, a military-grade rifle and power. The only way to fix this is to increase the annual NPF budget by a factor of 15 or 20 – which is fiscally impossible as it stands.
- The government/political system selects who gets to be an officer. Don’t be surprised to find out that the ASP who killed that lawyer yesterday may have had his name inserted onto “the list” at the expense of a more qualified candidate because of a traditional ruler.
So the sum total of all this is that the dysfunction of the NPF isn’t a problem that can be fixed by the NPF itself. Even the IGP has no power to change anything because he also has people that he answers to.
The governing structure of Nigeria LIKES the NPF the way it is.
I’m bringing this up so that you understand that this problem is a POLITICAL one that can only be solved by disrupting the political status quo.
It’s not by cursing Benjamin Hundeyin and Prince Monye (who are little more than scapegoats for a problem MUCH bigger than them).
TLDR: The Federal Executive, the National Assembly, Traditional Rulers, powerful business interests and the Nigerian elite as a whole have DELIBERATELY conspired to make the NPF the dysfunctional institution it is.
The solution lies in the voting booth in about 60 days time.