• Creating effective local police force

    Creating effective local police force - nigeria newspapers online
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    Nigeria’s current security problem has caused many other problems. These include hunger, hardship, and severe poverty. It has reached a disturbing and threatening dimension. The situation may continue to degenerate unless an immediate solution is put in place.

    It is a fact that people who are from any particular area know the area more than people who are not from that area. People who were born and raised in every community or local government area know all the nooks and crannies of the area.

    Going by the current security situation in the country, employing people from every community to help secure their communities has become inevitable. In many countries, it has been proven that local police have been used to eradicate various security challenges.

    In New York, USA, the New York Police Department works round the clock to contain criminals. The New York Police Department is a local police; it is not the state trooper, which is the New York State Police, neither is it a unit of the FBI, which serves as federal police in USA.

    The Nigeria National Assembly should amend the constitution and create state police and local government police immediately. Some people have, understandably, argued against the establishment of these security organizations at the state and local levels. They are of the views that state governments will not be able to fund the organizations and that governors will use them to persecute real and perceived enemies. These may be true and a disadvantage of creating a state and local government police, however, the advantages of creating state police and local government police outweigh the disadvantages.

    The National Assembly is made up of great thinkers who can package legislation that will make it impossible for governors to misuse state and local police. There are also many other great Nigerians who can also suggest ways to prevent governors from abusing state and local police.

    The suggestions below were put together as pieces of legislation to prevent misuse of state and local government police.


    Security of lives and properties is a serious national concern. Nigeria should run ‘federal-funded, state-controlled state and local government police’. The National Assembly should devise a means by which the Federal Government will be funding state and local government police from the Federation Account. It may cost the government more money but it is not a waste. It is useful.

    The money being collected as security vote by some political office holders should be converted to funding the police in states and local governments. Over the years, the security vote has not served the purposes it is meant to serve. It is time to channel the money to a valuable enterprise.

    Laws should be enacted to state that monthly allocation to the state and local government police from the federation account should go straight to what should be known as State Police Account. Governors and other state officials should not have access to the account. The commissioner of police and the police management body should manage the fund to ensure that it serves the purposes for which it is meant, including payment of salaries and allowances. Any other means through which the funding of the state police by the government can be complemented should be adopted. If all and what it will take Nigeria is to fund local security from the Federation Account to solve our protracted security problem, it is not a waste.


    The state and local government police outfits may be joined; that is a two-in-one police arrangement. It may be organized in such a way that in posting personnel of state police, 60 percent of them should be posted to their native local government area while the remaining 40 percent should be natives of other parts of the same state.

    In Imo State, for example, 60 per cent of personnel of the Imo State Police serving in Oguta Local Government Area should be natives of Oguta Local Government Area, while the remaining 40 per cent should be natives of other parts of Imo State.

    This posting arrangement should be adopted nationwide to ensure that natives of each local government constitute majority of the officers and men of the state police serving in the local government.

    Furthermore, the state and local government police should have structure and training similar to that of the current Federal Mobile Police Unit. Their operations should be the same. They will patrol all the nooks and crannies of the communities that make up their local government areas to ensure that violent criminals such as armed robbers and armed kidnappers do not operate within their areas. Patrol vehicles, communication devices and other moderns tools they need to work with should be provided by the federal and state governments. The morale of the police personnel should be boosted in some ways, including assisting them financially.


    Barracks should be built in every local government to provide accommodation for officers and men of the state police. The personnel should operate a three- shift arrangement; every shift should last for eight hours. The security men should work with the locals to prevent crimes. Patrolling the local government should be their primary assignment. People living in their area of responsibility should be encouraged to call them whenever they suspect any security threat.

    Recruitment of personnel

    People who will be recruited to work for the state police should be people who are educated up to OND, NCE and a degree level. They should be trained at the State Mobile Police College that will be built in three or four different parts of the state. The commissioner of police can be the highest-ranking officer of the security organisation.

    Prosecutorial powers:

    The state police should be equipped with the legal power to arrest, investigate and prosecute criminals. This legal power will make it possible for them to work effectively.

    Bearing of arms

    Personnel of the organisation should also bear arms. This will help them to effectively contain violent criminals.

    Onyenakie is a Public Affairs Analyst.

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