Nigerian Security Agencies Must Work Together – Rotimi

Security Analyst, Kemi Rotimi has shed light on the on-going development of a National Policy on Public Safety and Security with optimism that it will improve the effectiveness of security agencies in Nigeria.

During an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr. Rotimi revealed that Nigeria has been without a policy regulating the activities of safety and security agencies and this has contributed to the lapses in the system.

The situation informed the need to develop a policy document that will restructure the system, hence the inauguration of his committee in June 2013 by the Ministry of Police Affairs, and the committee commenced work by consulting the heads of security agencies at the Federal Capital Territory in order to get their recommendations.

He said that the policy document being worked on will put together what every security agency is doing, where they are interconnected and how to ensure effective and efficient resource mobilization and utilization.

“This is a policy that will show how agencies connected with safety and security should synergize and harmonize their mandate because every organisation has its remit.”

Mr Rotimi who is also a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) called on Nigerians to “focus on the message rather than the messenger”, explaining that though the mission is being executed under the auspices of the Ministry of Police Affairs; it requires the cooperation of all security agencies and stakeholders.

He cited the usual reluctance from the people on affairs concerning the Police, but stressed that “the committee has no apology about the fact that in a democracy, the Police represents the first line of internal security.” He added that most of the other agencies like NSCDC and the Customs started from the Police and that should also justify it being at the apex of the arrangement.

Using the Nigerian Customs Service as a case study, Mr. Rotimi further emphasized the need for all security and safety agencies in the country to do their jobs well for them to deliver safety and security as their activities affect one another.

He said beyond revenue generation “through all the borders, all manner of things get in…by their (The Customs) activities, they can apprehend those who are bringing in fake goods, fake drugs, and you go on to the next stage, NAFDAC. So it’s a chain of everybody working together”. Therefore a major focus of the policy is to spell out cooperation among the several safety and security agencies.

He stated that there should have been no reasons for the Police and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to clash if there had been a clear understanding of roles and boundaries in the system, stressing that they can actually interconnect instead of the rivalries witnessed on many occasions.

The committee is embarking on zonal interaction forums with several stakeholders and organizations invited to present briefs and suggestions to the committee. It is mainly to create the opportunity for operatives beyond the headquarters to come out and share the peculiarities of safety and security issues in their regions.

Information sharing, effective resource utilization, training, are among other issues that the national safety and security policy document will be focusing on.

Channels Forum: Channels TV Focuses On The Police College

As Nigeria’s number one television station; Channels Television takes up the foundation of police training college, the Nigeria Police College as its corporate social responsibility for the year 2013, Sunrise decided to throw more light into the endeavour of the darling station.

Anchors Kayode Akintemi and Alero Edun had with them in the studio to discuss this salient issue Senator Paulinus Nwagwu, the Chairman Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Adetokunbo Longe; Executive Director Contemporary Group and Kester Ifeadi; MD/CEO Contemporary Group.

Watch videos for more details.

Nigeria Police College: On The Brink Of Collapse

The capacity of the Nigerian Police Force is currently being overstretched by the insurgency in the North, abuses against ordinary citizens and undermines of the rule of law. According to a report of the Human Rights Watch, Nigerians don’t trust the police; citizens generally have a bad impression of police officers because of their perceived brutality and corruption.

Despite the huge budgetary allocation to the force – N311 billion ($1.99 billion) in 2013 – the Nigerian police are haplessly often overpowered by criminals whose activity affects those in high and low places.

At the heart of the problem of the police force is training, there are seven police colleges in Nigeria and new recruits are expected to undergo about 13 months training in these institutes.

However, this video report focuses on the deplorable state of the police college in Ikeja, Lagos.

Professor Calls Nigeria A Racket

A Professor of criminology and social sciences at the University of Abuja, Femi Odekunle has described Nigeria as a place where politicians engage in political and economic racketeering for their selfish purposes.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Odekunle said Nigerians should disregard the comments of ministers and other government, officials, who often say that Nigeria’s macroeconomic indices are growing.

“Of course, nobody would deny that we are growing but the growth is not translating to development. Development has to do with impacting on the socioeconomic and political lives of the average citizen. It has to do with distribution of the dividend of development,” he said.

The professor said the reason why the dividend of development is not getting to the ordinary Nigerian was because of corruption.

“The consequences of the resulting underdevelopment cannot be divorced from our level of insecurity which has been worsening, if you allow me to say, from the 60s to today,” Mr Odekunle said.

Expert Advocates Withdrawal of Power To Appoint IGP From President

A security expert and National Coordinator of the Network on Police Reform, Emeka Nwanevu has said that the opaque processes by which Inspectors-General of Police are appointed, the absence of secured tenure for those that occupy that office and high turnover in the leadership of the police make planning for improvements in the performance of the force rather difficult in Nigeria.

President Goodluck Jonathan and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar

Mr Nwanevu, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the lack of security of tenure for the Police Inspector General as well as interference of politicians into the operations of the police make the position of IGP one of the most unstable leadership positions in the country.

He said since the President was the one who can hire and fire the IGP; he has enormous power to control the activities of the police boss.
“An Inspector General cannot flaunt the orders of the person who appoints him,” Mr Nwanevu said.

The security expert is calling for the amendment of Section 215(1) of the Nigerian Constitution which provides that the IGP “shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Police Council from amongst serving members of the Nigeria Police Force.”

Lawyer Describes Fight Against Corruption As Cosmetic

A lawyer and member of the Crusade for Justice, Richard Nwankwo has described the efforts by the leadership of Nigeria in fighting corruption as superficial and designed to achieve nothing.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Nwankwo said the present leaders in the country lack the political will and determination to conduct a genuine crusade against corruption in Nigeria.

“When you are fighting corruption from the general point of view, the leadership must show some measure of political will and determination and some measure of drive to demonstrate to everybody that actually there is a massive campaign against corruption and that is clearly not been done here,” he said.