The role of CID of the NPF in addressing the challenges of insecurity in Nigeria

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ABSTRACT

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

In recent times, Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedentedplaque of crisis and insecurity, each leading to loss of lives anddestruction of properties. According to Ezeoha (2011:38) in Causesand effects of insecurity in Nigeria, “Security means stability andcontinually of livelihood, predictability of relationships, feeling safeand belonging to a social group._ Internal security, or IS, which isrelated to security can be seen as the act of keeping peace withinthe borders of a sovereign state or other self-governing territories.

This is done generally by upholding the national law and defendingagainst internal security threats. Those responsible for internalsecurity may range from police to paramilitary forces, and inexceptional circumstances, the military itself.

Insecurity on the other hand, is the antithesis of security whichis the concept of insecurity. It has been ascribed differentinterpretations in association with the various ways which it affectsindividuals. Some of the common descriptors of insecurity include:want of safety; danger; hazard; uncertainty; want of confidence;doubtful; inadequately guarded or protected; lacking stability;troubled; lack of protection; and unsafe, to mention a few. All ofthese have been used by different people to define the concept ofinsecurity. These different descriptors, however, run into a commonreference to a state of vulnerability to harm and loss of life, propertyor livelihood. Beland (2005) defined insecurity as “the state of fearor anxiety stemming from a concrete or alleged lack of protection.”

It refers to lack or inadequate freedom from danger. In the same token, Oshodi (2011) argues that one sure way oftackling the insecurity situation in Nigeria is to accord the field ofpsychology a pride of place in policy formulation andimplementation to promote national cohesion and integration.

However it can be clearly stated that Nigeria has remainedmore insecure especially during and after the April 2011presidential elections and has suffered more than ever in history, abattery of ethno-religious-political crises, taking the shape of bombblasts sponsored by the Boko Haram religious sect.The unparalleled spate of terrorism, kidnappings and other violentcrimes is to say the least, alarming. Religious leaders, churches,mosques etc are not spared in this onslaught. There is nogainsaying the fact that Nigeria is at a cross-road and graduallydrifting towards a failed state if this insecurity trend continues.

According to Bavier, a writer who is a frequent visitor to thenorthern region, told CNN that theFederal government has completely lostcontrol of the north-east, despite deployingthousands of troops and establishing aJoint Task Force. Now, he says, it looks likethis insurgency has broken out of thenorth-east”. And what’s worrying, he says,is that there’s “not a whole lot of visibleeffort from the federal government to calm things down (Lister, 2012:14).

From the aforementioned one can posit that Nigeria haswitnessed an unprecedented level of insecurity. Inter and intracommunaland ethnic clashes, ethno religious violence, armedrobbery, assassination, murder, gender-based violence, and bombexplosion have been on the increase leading to enormous loss of lifeand property and a general atmosphere of siege and social tensionfor the populace (Ibrahim and Igbuzor, 2002:2). Furthermorebetween 2009 to date over 3,000 souls both military and civilianshave been lost in the purported “holy” crusade; this have furtherparalyzed government plans in mapping out an efficient strategy incombating insecurity. Despite soaring security budget, insecuritystill pervades the country.

Consequently, Insecurity has taken various forms in differentparts of the country. In the South-West, armed robbers have takenover, while in the North, cross-border bandits operate with the ease.

However in the South-South there are rampant cases ofkidnapping. Also the incessant wave of crime and armed robberyattacks, all point to the fact that insecurity is fast becoming a normin Nigeria and have somewhat suddenly become attractive to certainindividuals in seeking to resolve issues that could have ordinarilybeen settled through due process. The end-products lead to thedecimation of innocent lives, disruption of economic activities, anddestruction of properties among others.

Just last year and early this year, the Emir of Kano-Alhaji AdoBayero narrowly escaped death by the whiskers. His driver and twoothers were not lucky as they were hacked to death by theassailants. Somewhere in Okene, Kogi State, gunmen said to besympathetic to the Cause of Islamic rebels in Mali were said to haveambushed and opened fire and killed two soldiers on their way tobeen deployed to Mali. A faceless new group known as ‘’Vanguardfor the Protection of Moslems in Black Africa’’ has claimedresponsibility for this attack. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela’s mother-Prof.Mrs. Kaneme Okonjo was also kidnapped a while ago. It took ademonstration of federal might-deployment of troops for herabductors to free her. Also of recent the mother of Bayelsa StateHouse of Assembly was also kidnapped. These are prominent cases;so many other incidents go unreported probably because thevictims lack a voice.

In an interview with Guardian Newspaper in united kingdom,marking late Prof. Chinua Achebe’s 80th Birthday, he was quotedas saying, “Nigeria is on the brink  a precipice” and that “weurgently have to face up to our responsibilities before it is too late”.

Accordingly, Ogebe (1991) observed that the currentproblems facing Nigeria is not the only rising incidence in crimes,but also the gradual shift in the categories of crimes committedfrom less serious to a more serious and heinous crimes of violence.

This poses a great challenge to the police as well as raises questionsof the police accountability and effectiveness.The Nigerian police have been highly criticized for its inabilityto stem the rising tide of crimes in Nigeria because of series ofendemic problems in recruitment, training and discipline and lackexpertise in specialized fields. Corruption and dishonesty is alsowidespread in the police force thereby engendering a low level ofpublic confidence by the public, leading to failure to report crimes,and tendencies to resort to self-help by the public. Ash (1971)observed that perhaps the police performance has been entirelydissatisfactory because there is confusion concerning what policemen actually do on the job and what they reasonably can beexpected to do to achieve a more effective police force. The range ofservices that police provide are vast and crime prevention accountfor only 20 to 30 percent of police work. In many cities today policework often seem to consist mainly of reaction to emergencies. Itsometimes appears that the original emphasis on crime preventionhas been lost (Awake, 2000). This has greatly accounted for thealarming rate of crimes in the country.

Corroborating the aforementioned, a total of sixteen (16)policemen were arrested of recent in Gusau, the Zamfara Statecapital by the Inspector General of Police Anti-robbery Squad forallegedly releasing Police weapons and ammunition to armedrobbers terrorising people of the state. The affected police officersare from various ranks, especially Inspectors and Sergeantsattached to Zamfara State Police Command. In the same vein, thesquad arrested a retired military officer based in Gusau whospecialized in selling ammunition and other sophisticated weaponsmeant for the security personnel in the state to armed robbers andpeople of Plateau and Kaduna States.

Subsequently, Aside from the bad eggs in the Nigerian policeforce, the poorwelfare of the police, military and paramilitarypersonnel, with lack of adequate working tools, inadequatepersonnel is another factor that promotes insecurity in Nigeria.

Olonisakin (2008:20) captures this when he posited that the police’ population ratio in Nigeria is 1:450. At a minimum, citizens oughtto have easy access to the police and feel safer as a result of theprotection they offer. Yet Nigeria has failed to meet the standard setby the United Nations for effective policing.

Today the incidence of police brutality, corruption, violencemurder and abuse of power has punctuated almost every aspect ofthe society. Armed robbery in Nigeria operate almost freely in thesociety, using deadly weapons without being challenged anddetected by the police and where the police are fully informed, theygive flimsy excuse that they do not have weapons to fight armedrobbers.Even the ordinary man on the street that is expected to besupportive of the police often have serious misgiving whenconfronted with the massive mutual aids granted to the criminalsby the police force. Apart from the aforementioned, Incidence ofshooting of innocent people in retaliation to policing policies hasalso constituted a serious problem that has impeded police effortsin crime prevention in Nigeria.

Research have shown that most of police work is taken up inresponding to crime after it has taken place and the police force donot have the resources to intervene in the circumstances which leadto crimes being committed. The traditional approaches to crimeprevention also do little to address the causes of crime. Theyassume that the high rate of crime is inevitable and that the publicmust endeavor to defend itself against it.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Insecurity which is a feature of the Hobbesian state ofnature, when life was said to be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish andshort, and the weak and common man lived at the mercy of thestrong. This trend is exactly the case in the country today, if notclose. According to Thomas Hobbes(1588–1679)In his book entitledLeviathan and published in 1651, heexplicitly stated that in thestate of nature nothing can be considered just or unjust, and everyman must be considered to have a right to all things, even the rightto take other people’s lives. Hobbes says that the State of Nature isa hypothetical state of affairs existing prior to the formulation of’society’ (which arises with the signing of the hypothetical ‘SocialContract’).In the State of Nature, Hobbes thinks everyone actsselfishly. He calls it a war of all against all.

The book looks at the structure of the society and legitimategovernment, and is regarded as one of the earliest and mostinfluential examples of social contract theory. Leviathan ranks as aclassic western work on statecraft comparable to Machiavelli’s ThePrince. Written during the English Civil War (1642–1651), Leviathanargues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign.

Hobbes wrote that civil war and situations identified with a state ofnature and the famous motto Bellum omnium contra omnes (“thewar of all against all”) could only be averted by strong centralgovernment. Having rightly observed Thomas Hobbes writings, itcan be said then that Nigeria’s central government is porous andweak to tackle her insecurity challenges which have been endemicand endless, that is why there have been a lot of clamor for statepolice in other to spread the security base of the Nation.

Furthermore Thomas Hobbes work, explains why the policeand Successive Nigerian Government see Insecurity as a bane tothe Nation’s economic and political development and have atdifferent times devised various means to curb its menace.

Consequently, these various means have not yielded satisfactoryresult. The newest security challenge is the boko haram militantIslamist organization, which have taken numerous lives andproperties. The battle between the federal government and thisgroup began on 26 July when Boko Haram attacked a police stationin retaliation for the arrest of its leaders. Police responded withtheir own retaliation and a curfew fell on the area. The attacksspread and by the next day corpses were located around the policestations. Nigerian troops then surrounded the home of the leader ofthe sect, Mohammed Yusuf in Maiduguri on 28 July after hisfollowers barricaded themselves inside. However the worsthappened when Mohammed Yusuf was later extra judiciously killedby the Nigerian police and ever since then Nigerians have notknown peace.

The socio-political implication of this development can only beimagined, given the risks and agonies survivors are currently goingthrough.

According to Egburonu (2012:20)We are afraid of Boko Haram. Daddy and Mummykeep awake all night in case the attackers decide toinvade our home. They would lock all the doorstightly, pray all Night and ask us to sleep. But wenever can, for we don’t know what will happennext. They said we would soon go home, so we arewaitingThat was how Miss Agnes Agwuocha, a 17-Year old student inKano, described the terror she and the members of her family havebeen passing through since the terrorist group had given theaffected non indigenes a mere three-day ultimatum, and since afterthe expiration, had followed it up with pockets of attacks andkillings in Yobe, Niger, and Borno states. But though these previousBoko Haram attacks in several cities across the north have affectedmainly Igbos and other Christians and southerners.

1.3 Research Questions

To this end, the research work therefore intends to find outanswers to the following problems identified as follows:

i. What are the causes and effects of insecurity in Nigeria?

ii. Is the CID of the Nigerian police force equipped and properly empoweredto provide security to Nigerians?

iii. What are the factors that have inhibited the Nigerian policeforce in performing its statutory functions?

iv. Is the CID of the Nigerian police force relevant in combating insecurity inNigeria?

v. What are the steps to be made to enhance greater security inNigeria and to make the Nigeria police force moreresponsive to her duties?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study are:

i. To find out the specific causes and fundamental effects ofInsecurity in Nigeria.

ii. To ascertain the extent to which CID of the Nigerian Police force isequipped and empowered to provide security to Nigerians.

iii. To identify the challenges that has inhibited the Nigerianpolice in performing its statutory functions.

iv. To explore the relevance of the CID of the Nigerian police force incombating insecurity in Nigeria.

v. To seek out solutions to insecurity in Nigeria and correctionsthat can be made to better the Nigerian police force.

1.5 Significance ofthe Study

Considering the crucial role of security in any government,especially a democratically elected government, a study like thishas become necessary. The task of eradicating insecurity inNigeria is never a rosy affair but a Herculean task.

Insecurity in Nigeria has become so widespread and hastaken so many lives on the daily basis. It then follows thatsomething is wrong with our security affairs and also with thestate called Nigeria.

Practically, this work will help in re-emphasizing andfostering ways by which the problem of insecurity can beaddressed. Even with the regrettably number of lives that havebeen lost.

Academically, the work will be useful to the academicenvironment. Post graduates and other researchers carrying outresearch in related area will find the work very useful.Theoretically, the weakness and other lapses that will beidentified in this research work will help the politicians andpolicy makers in the country to restructure our security bodies.

1.6 Hypotheses

Based on the pervasiveness of insecurity in Nigeria and its attendant consequences which as militated and dwarfed thecountry’s march towards socio-economic cum political developmentand the challenges the Nigerian police have to grapple with infighting the escalating insecurity situation which has generated both positive and negative comments from the citizenry, theresearcher therefore formulated the following hypothesis:

1, There is a significant relationship between the ineffectiveness in the Nigerian police and the insecurity situation in the country.

2, Shortage of crime fighting facilities by the Nigerian police hasdirect link with the insecurity situation in the country.

3, Insecurity in the Nigerian society is aggravated by lack of socialprotection programme for the poor and unemployed.

4, There is a significant relationship between Nigeria’s insecurityand her slow socio-economic growth.

1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study

Every research endeavor has its scope and limitations; ourscope of study is the causes and effects of insecurity in Nigeria,the challenges and the relevance of the CID of the Nigerian police force as apanacea.

Since it is impossible for a research endeavor to cover theentire research population, the target population now becomesEnugu and Anambra state because of the proximity of thesestates. These two states was chosen because we believe that wecan get those who really know much about the Insecuritychallenges in the country and how the Nigeria police force havebeen able to combat it so far. In this vein, the researcher will beable to gather enough data that will definitely aid the study.

Apart from the inability of the researcher to cover allmembers of the envisaged sample, the researcher faced somelimitations in retrieving some of the research instrumentsadministered to respondents especially police respondentsbecause of the nature of their job and their general lack ofappreciation of the value of social research. Also the policestations visited were hesitant in giving out some sensitivestatistical details and information to back up the researchproject. All these constituted a constraint to the researchendeavor.

Notwithstanding the above noted Constraints, there searcher made tremendous effort to make the study a Success.

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