Combatting Nigeria’s Contemporary Internal Security Quagmire and The Advocacy for State Police
The internal security in Nigeria is undoubtedly in an appalling state. There exists a myriad of challenges that have made the process of truly securing Nigerians a daunting task, particularly in most recent times. Hence, it is against this backdrop that some concerned patriots, analysts, security stakeholders, experts have recently reawakened the long time debate on embracing state police as a measure for further wrestling the nation’s security quagmire. Hence, the essential foci of this study is the analysis of the numerous contemporary bedeviling security challenges in Nigeria and appraising the debate regarding the call for State Police in Nigeria, a measure believed and advocated by some as the most appropriate at this point. With the aid of secondary data diligently gotten from credible sources, such as journals, archives, books, publications, peer reviewed articles and so on, this study established the different salient viewpoints of the advocators and critics of the state police measure. This research, among other things recommends the constitutional review of the present 1999 constitution which will provide the legal framework for states to fully be in charge of their security architecture. Thus, giving room for interested states to effectively adopt the state police option as a panacea to Nigeria’s internal security predicaments. It is also recommended that state police co-exists and works in synergy with the extant internal security agencies. In the same vein, this study recommends that state governments take cues from the administrative challenges undermining the Nigeria Police Force and ensure the adequate provision of all vital facilities, including in depth orientation is done. This will go a long way in protecting the State police structure against degenerating into another counter-productive security strategy.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Clarification of Concepts
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Research Objectives
1.6 Significance of the Study
1.9 Chapter Outline
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.2 Contemporary Internal Security Quagmire in Nigeria
2.3 Institution of the State Police: A Brief Comparative Study
2.4 The Growing Advocacy For State Police: Arguments for and Against
2.4.1 Arguments in Favour
2.4.2 Arguments Against
2.5 Theoretical Framework
2.5.1 The Relative Deprivation Theory
2.5.2 The Social Conflict Perspective
2.5.3 The Social Contract Theory
CHAPTER THREE: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE ADVOCACY
3.2 History, Development and Inadequacies of the Centralized Police Force
3.2.1 The Nigeria Police Force: Present Shortcomings
3.3 Structure of the Nigeria Police Force
3.4 Overview of Some Selected Contemporary Internal Security Crises
3.4.1 The Niger Delta Crises
3.4.2 Kidnapping in the South East Zone of Nigeria
3.4.3 Jos Crises
3.4.4 Boko Haram Crises
3.4.5 Farmers and Fulani Herdsmen Clashes
3.5 The Basis of the Clamour for State Police in Nigeria
CHAPTER FOUR: THE ASSESSMENT OF THE WORKABILITY OF STATE POLICE OPTION IN NIGERIA
4.2 State Police Structure in Nigeria: An analysis of the Country’s Readiness
4.3 State Police in Nigeria: A workable Measure?
4.4 Adopting State Policing in Nigeria: Attendant Challenges and Limitations
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATIONS
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
It is generally an unassailable fact that the paramount responsibility of the government of any state is to ensure the provision and maintenance of its citizens’ safety cum security. No doubt, security is the ultimate for all times, climes, peoples and nations and except one’s security within a particular atmosphere is ascertained, everything other thing might be meaningless ( Al Mashat, 1985). More so, without security, the state is bound to experience great difficulty in harnessing its human and material resources towards meaningful development and the promotion of the general well-being of the people. Internal or domestic security is very crucial for the attraction of foreign investments, nation-building and national development ( Nwogwugwu and Kupoluyi, 2015). This sufficiently provides the rationale behind a fundamental provision of the present 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which explicitly states that “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”.
It is however highly unfortunate that the Nigerian state over the recent years has been perpetually bedeviled by the endemic surge and scourge of insecurity challenges leading to hundreds of deaths of innocent civilians, foreigners, elected officials and many government workers, even some members of the nation’s security personnel aren’t spared. These insecurity challenges continually assume seemingly insurmountable dimensions on a daily basis. The number of violent crimes such as kidnappings, ritual killings, carjackings, suicide bombings, religious killings, politically-motivated killing and violence, ethnic clashes, armed banditry and others has increasingly become the regular signature that characterises life in Nigeria since 2009 (Imhonopi & Urim, 2012). Similarly, the security situation between 2007 and 2011 in Nigeria obviously took different dimensions. This period, however, witnessed a consistent pressure on the government by Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), increasing spate of kidnapping in the South – East geo – political zone, incessant bombings in the northern parts of Nigeria by Boko Haram group, Mehem by the Islamic assailants in Jos crisis, politically motivated killings by unscrupulous groups, among others (Ameh, 2008:9). In more recent times, the country keeps going through this quagmire in a plethora number of ways ; ranging from the Herdsmen disturbances in the North and Central, Ritual killings, to kidnapping which continuously thrives in the South West and East coupled with other political and economic disturbances.
Not only has the continued state of insecurity threatened the very fabric of national integration in the country and created the ecology of fear, disquiet and anxiety, it has also meted a deadly blow or what Imhonopi & Urim (2012) call “spectral bite” to industrial development. The destruction of the badly needed infrastructure has taken the country many years backwards.
Though, the Nigerian government seemingly tries to trudge on in the face of this daring challenge and adopt some strategies to contain or douse this conflagration. These range from the “force-for-force” to carrot-and-stick approach to diplomacy but the problem keeps surging with greater monstrosity like the proverbial phoenix. Worse still, the extant Nigeria Police Force and other internal Security Agencies have not been impressively forthcoming in combatting this very issue. Going by the studies and peruse of the Police Force in particular , it has always been adjuged to be largely fraught with lots of ills that inhibit it from substantially winning the war against Insecurity in the country. According to Tunde-Awe (2005), the Nigeria Police Force which is centrally controlled, has over the years metamorphosed to a state where it is allegedly characterized by various social vices such as graft, corruption, robbery and indiscipline.
Scholars, security experts and consultants have also not rested in making diverse recommendations and probable solutions to address this national blight. Hence, this has led quite a number of these entities from various quarters into the advocacy for the embrace of State Police structure in containing the insecurity menace that continually militate against the internal peace of the Nigerian state and the welfare of its citizenry as a whole.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This largely stems from what has been briefly discussed in the above background of this study. Just as earlier mentioned, the Nigerian state keeps wallowing and going through the unending surge of insecurity challenges. The security conundrum in the nation has attained a very critical point. This is despite the extant security measures put in place particularly in form of the federal police system and the numerous reforms that has been churned out by even previous governments. They have apparently contributed just little in actually surmounting this disheartening quagmire.
Thus, the advocacy or re-awakened need for the State police structure has been birthed by many. However, this advocacy has not been without the confrontations and differing opinions of critics. Certain germane and highly fundamental questions have been and are being raised in the course of this advocacy which has as well elicited a topical debate among researchers, security experts, public analysts to mention just a few. Prominent among such raised questions and concerns are;
To what extent can the adoption of State Police in Nigeria truly be an antidote to the myriad security challenges, what attendant challenges is its adoption going to encounter, How can it be really ascertained that the State Police structure will not be plagued with the very same problems that hinder the present Federal Police Force from performing up to expectations. Also, another vital concern that comes to mind is how feasible is the actual adoption of State Policing in the present day Nigeria.
Hence, although the advocates have tried to illuminate the prospects of State Police, such advocacy isn’t without its fair share of criticisms from lots of critics and skeptics.
Thus this research will be saddled with the objective analysis of the divergent views and schools of thoughts on how the Nigeria’s internal security problems can be better dealt with particularly with regards to the creation of State Police, is it to be or not to be? .
1.3 CLARIFICATION OF CONCEPTS
For the sole purpose of clarification, it is quite needful to define the main terms in the stated research topic. These terms are mainly contemporary, internal security, Quagmire and state policing.
Thus, the Cambridge Dictionary offers a very terse definition of the word ‘contemporary’, this simply connotes a phenomenon that is ‘existing or happening now’. Llikewise, the term is simply defined by the Merriam Webster’s dictionary as something that is ‘relatively recent’. Hence, for the primary purpose of this research study, the scope of the contemporary internal security problems to be well examined are those endemic in the country from the year 2011 till date.
The concept of internal security particularly for the purpose of this research has been defined as the act of keeping peace within the borders of a sovereign state or other self-governing territories generally by upholding the national law and defending against internal security threats. Also, according to McGrew (1988), the security of a nation is predicated on two central pillars viz; the maintenance and protection of the socio-economic order in the face of internal and external threat on one hand and the promotion of a preferred international order, which minimises the threat to core values and interests, as well as to the domestic order on the other hand. The main responsibility for internal security may range from police to paramilitary forces, and in exceptional circumstances, the military itself. Quagmire, as another pertinent concept of interest is simply defined by the Collins Dictionary is a difficult, complicated, or unpleasant situation which is not easy to or escape from.
The concept, “State Police” is another germane one to be conceptually clarified. However, before this is done, it is quite imperative to firstly briefly clarify what the term ‘Police’ means. Hence, The word “police” is related to the Greek word, “politeuein”, which means to be a citizen or engage in political activity, and polis, which means a city or state (Roberg, Crank and Kuykendall, 2000). Police in this sense carry out the functions of law enforcement, maintenance of order and gathering of information. Thus, the police are the major representatives of the legal system in their transactions with citizens. They are also the major emergency arm of the community in times of personal and public crisis. In carrying out their mandate, the police possess a vital monopoly on the legitimate use of force. It is imperative to as well tersely explicate the term ‘Policing’ which according to Alemika (1995), involves coercive and/or ideological regimentation of social life through the activities of police and sundry state intelligence and security forces, and through other measures aimed at deducting and suppressing behaviours, actions, and orientations that threatens the prevailing social order.
Having stated the above, according to the Committee of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, State Police is regarded as a “specially organized and highly trained body, acting under state rather than local or federal authority, and constantly employed in the prevention of crime, the apprehension of criminals, and the protection of life and property generally throughout the state and especially in the rural and sparsely settled districts” (Corcoran, 1924:544). In addition, this concept is as well aptly defined as a type of sub-national territorial police force found in nations organized as federating. These forces typically have jurisdiciton over the relevant sub-national jurisdiction and may cooperate in law enforcement activities with municipal or national police where either exist. Aremu (2014:33) further describes state policing as “territorial policing”. It is a subnational form of policing in which there is devolution of security operations in the hands of the federating states of regions. State policing operationally is when policing and all its operations and logistics are controlled by other governments other than the national or federal government”.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In the bid to adequately address and analyze the stated research topic, the following questions have been designed:
- What factors have necessitated the recent debates and advocacy for state policing in Nigeria?
- Is Nigeria as a country truly ready for the effective implementation of State Police?
iii. To what extent can State Police curtail the ever increasing rate of security problems in the country?
- What will be possible challenges of state police starting from the legislative process of its enactment and when eventually implemented.
1.5 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The following aims and objectives of this research is to sufficiently address and answer the aforementioned research questions:
- To bring to fore the detailed factors that have necessitated
the recent debates and advocacy for state police in Nigeria.
- To interrogate the actual readiness of the country to
effectively put state police system in place.
iii. To evaluate the efficacy of state police as the concrete
solution to the nation’s host of security challenges.
- To predict attendant challenges and flaws of the system
should it gets implemented.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This particular research topic does not address outrightly new issues. However, while lots of studies have mainly been conducted on the examination of the numerous aspects of Nigeria’s insecurity problems as well recommending new reforms to strengthen the present Federal Police System. Some other similar studies have been based on the introduction of state policing as a means to bolster the Nigerian federalism.
This particular research is utilizing a rather quite new perspective such that, the advocacy for state policing is to be analysed. Also, to deeply critique facts and data in order to substantially ascertain whether State Police truly has the capacity of being the so much needed solution to our internal security problems. More importantly, to find out if Nigeria as a country is truly ready to effectively implement the State Police measure particularly in the face of present state of things and realities in the nation.
In order to substantially meet the research objectives as well as provide valid and reliable answers to the selected research questions, a qualitative research method has been deemed suitable. However, due to availability of limited resources and time, relevant data and information needed for this study will be derived from secondary data sources. This will essentially involve the use of germane information, educated opinions of stakeholders, concerned individuals and entities expressed via credible journals, archives, books, publications, peer reviewed articles, seminar papers, conferences and so on. The study also relies on document and content analysis as the method of data analysis.
1.8 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Just as the concept of ‘contemporary’ connotes, something that is relatively recent, the basic periodic scope of the insecurity quagmire in the country as stated in this research spans from year 2014 to the present year. This period have been chosen for the purpose specificity and relevance as the country has experienced two different led administrations. More so, the call for State Police in Nigeria was best brought to the fore at the 2014 National Conference organized by the Jonathan led administration. Since then, there has been an increasing rate in which this measure been advocated for by those who believe in its efficacy as internal security problems keep being on the increase on daily basis. Also, the topic is rightly focusing on these problems on a national scale. Hence, various security challenges to be appraised in this research work is that which affect several parts of the country. Mores so, the advocacy to enforce state policing in all states of the federation is regarded as the panacea to these problems in some quarters in the country.
1.9 CHAPTER BREAKDOWN
Chapter one essentially focuses on the introduction of the study, statement of the problem, clarification of concepts, research questions, objectives, significance, methodology, scope of the study and summary on the outline chapters.
Chapter two entails the review of related literatures available on various aspects of the study as well theoretical framework which makes the study more scientific and further substantiates the topic. Relevant theories analysed were the Relative Deprivation Theory, Social Conflict and Social Contract Theory.
Chapter three presents the historical basis of the advocacy of state policing. It also covers the history, development, structure and inadequacies of the centralized Nigeria Police Force.
Chapter four centres on the content analysis of secondary data gathered. Essentially, it encapsulates the assessment of the workability of state police in Nigeria and the country’s readiness to adopt it, particularly at this point.
Chapter five wraps up the study by providing the brief summary of the entire research, conclusions made and recommendations given to all stakeholders.