Policing Post Conflict Northern Nigeria: A Gargantuan Task Before IGP Ibrahim

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It is no longer news that the establishment of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) has been approved by the Senate. With this in place, it is obvious that all machinery of government has been set up to reposition Northeast Nigeria which was ruined by the Boko Haram insurgents. It is therefore expected of IGP Ibrahim Idris Kpotun to play a key role in the restoration of law and order in the flashpoint area.

Security is arguably the most critical factor in the modern society. That is why many individuals and government agencies are investing massively to boost this aspect of their lives. A huge chunk of the budget is usually set aside to cater to police reinforcements in terms of recruiting and equipment acquisition. For instance, the United States government spends a lot of funds in containing radicalism and terrorism within its borders. In the present and the past administrations, trillions of funds have been spent to bolster internal and external security.

However, despite the huge investments, the crime rate in various countries around the globe has been on the rise for several years now. It is more worrisome and alarming in states like Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba with unending issues of conflict and post conflict effects.

The revival efforts must be given a comprehensive approach. There is no better time than now for the IGP to present his approach and policies for the aftermath of the conflicts that urgently needs rapid development for the states, welfare of its citizens and the economic performance after the fight.

If government is continuum, I think Mr.Ibrahim should build on the initiatives and some of the good policies of the past IGP Solomon Arase. He should beware of those trying to sow the seed of discord between them; they are doing so for the enthronement of mediocrity.

The Nigerian Police has many qualified officers but they are rendered idle because of nepotism. If the IGP wants to succeed he should have started consultation with his predecessors to have a background knowledge which will help him in constituting a team in a hierarchical pyramid structure to carry out the task ahead.

Modern policing strategy focuses on changing the function of law enforcement from static, incident-driven bureaucracy, and reactive method to a more vibrant, open, and quality-driven cooperation with the community.

For the IGP to achieve this, he must put his house in order to avoid sabotage. Anything short of this will take us back to the era of colonial policing that were aggressive, brutal, and non-considerate. The methods used for crime response were static, reactive and lacked problem-solving capabilities. No doubt the task to effectively Police the Nigerian State, especially the Northeast of Nigeria, which needs urgent attention, is an enormous and gargantuan task that require the collective effort of all, irrespective of colour, sex, religion and creed.

I wish the IGP and his men the very best of luck.

Oluwaloseyi Babaeko is a Social Commentator and Counter–Terrorist Strategist with MA in Conflict,Development and Security from the School of Politics and International Studies, University Of Leeds,U.K. He Writes in From Leeds, U.K.

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