Internal Security Dynamics and the Imperative of a New Policing Thought in Nigeria

By Dr. S.E. Arase

Text of a Paper presented at the University of Benin’s Founder’s Day, on November 25, 2017

Introduction:

Internal security has been widely defined within the context of the protection of the values (as enshrined in varied national laws), critical human and infrastructural assets, territorial integrity, and lives and property of citizens from threats. The principle underlying internal security is governed by Thomas Hobbes’ Social Contract Theory while the process is driven by the citizens and state’s law enforcement agencies with the Police holding the primacy. In the face of current internal security challenges and the resonating national discourse on police efficiency, this presentation explores the internal security question, evaluates existing strategies and proposes options towards strengthening the capacity of the State to meet its statutory obligation as enshrined in Sec.14(b) of the 1999 Constitution which provides that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’.

It argues that modern policing is driven by three strategic elements – people, technology, and systems; and submits, essentially, that any internal security architecture that is not driven by the concept of citizens’ consent and partnership is a negation of the Thomas Hobbes Social Contract Model and hence, destined to fail and that the current policing and seemingly intractable internal security challenges in the country are direct consequences of the alienation of the policed populace, failure to appreciate the dynamics of technology in crime and policing, and inability to evolve new policing strategies and systems towards security governance in the country. Consequently, a new policing architecture that is citizens-based, technology-driven, and systems-governed is proposed.

 

Understanding Internal Security: Theoretical Expositions

Scholars have propounded several theories to appraise factors that explain human conducts which instigate actions that threaten internal security. Prominent amongst these theories are the Functionalism Theory; Social Conflict Theory, the Asset to Liability Shift Theory, and the Relative Deprivation theory.

The functionalism theoretical approach to the understanding of  internal security threat has its origins in the works of Emile Durkheim, who was especially interested in the functions of human behavior within a conflict situation and how social order is possible or how society remains relatively stable and secure. It assumes that society is more than the sum of its parts.  Rather, each part of society is functional for the stability of the whole.  It assumes that under an ideal situation, the parts of society produce order, stability, and productivity. If all does not go well, the parts of society then must adapt to produce new forms of order, stability, and productivity. Functionalism emphasizes the consensus and order that exist in society, focusing on social stability and shared public values. From this perspective, disorganization in the system, such as deviant behavior, leads to change because societal components must adjust to achieve stability. When one part of the system is not working or is dysfunctional, it affects all other parts and creates social problems, which leads to social change[1].

Other scholars like Herbert Spencer, Talcott Parsons, and Robert K. Merton have attempted to widen the scope of this approach by dividing human functions within social order into two types – manifest functions which are intentional and obvious, and latent functions, which are unintentional and not obvious. With common sense, manifest functions become easily apparent. Yet this is not necessarily the case for latent functions, which often demand a sociological approach to be revealed.

The Social Conflict theory evolved from the works of  Karl Marx who focused on the ideological approach in explaining social disorder and internal security threat.  Focusing on the economic, social, and political implications of the rise of capitalism Marx theorized that this system, premised on the existence of a powerful minority class (the bourgeoisie) and an oppressed majority class (the proletariat), created class conflict because the interests of the two were at odds, and resources were unjustly distributed among them.

Within this system an unequal social order was maintained through ideological coercion which created consensus–and acceptance of the values, expectations, and conditions as determined by the bourgeoisie. Marx theorized that the work of producing consensus was done in the “superstructure” of society, which is composed of social institutions, political structures, and culture, and what it produced consensus for was the “base,” the economic relations of production[2].

Marx reasoned that as the socio-economic conditions worsened for the proletariat, they would develop a class consciousness that revealed their exploitation at the hands of the wealthy capitalist class of bourgeoisie, and then they would revolt, demanding changes to smooth the conflict. He also assumes that if the changes made to appease conflict maintained a capitalist system, then the cycle of conflict would repeat. However, if the changes made created a new system, like socialism, then peace and stability would be achieved.

The symbolic interactionism theory has its origin in Max Weber’s postulation that individuals act according to their interpretation of the meaning of their world. The approach analyzes society by addressing the subjective meanings that people impose on objects, events, and behaviors. Subjective meanings are given primacy because it is believed that people behave based on what they believe and not just on what is objectively true. Thus, society is thought to be socially constructed through human interpretation. People interpret one another’s behavior and it is these interpretations that form the social bond. These interpretations are called the definition of the situation’[3].

Some fundamental aspects of our social experience and identities, like race and gender, can be understood through the symbolic interactionist lens. Having no biological bases at all, both race and gender are social constructs that function based on what we believe to be true about people, given what they look like. In this instance, socially constructed meanings of race and gender are formed to help decide who to interact with and how to do so, a process that may occasion social disorder.

Cunningham (2003) discussed the Asset to Liability Shift Theory which serves as a root of insurgency strategy. The theory assumes that governments view states and local government areas within its jurisdiction as assets that must be defended against internal or external aggression[4].  It further emphasised that acts of insurgency will cost the government valuable lives and money in defending these assets against a sustained insurgent campaign as being experienced with the Boko Haram threat in the North East. The theory assumes that after the government suffers significant losses, the asset will become instead, a liability and the government will decide to forfeit the asset and cut their losses.  Hence, the goal of the insurgents in this instance is to destabilise the country and make it ‘ungovernable’ as this could lead to a situation of break-up of the country or imposition of an alternative ways of life.

This theory is anchored on the assumption that during counter-insurgency campaigns, government will overreact and become oppressive in order to combat the terrorists as this will expose the weakness of the government to the populace and this could lead to loss of state’s legitimacy, and increased sympathy for the insurgents. The theory reflects significantly the philosophy behind insurgency and to some extent why the governments have been unable to overcome the challenges posed by the sect.

The relative deprivation theory assumes that all types of warfare including counter-insurgency are fought simultaneously at all levels. They are political-strategic levels, the military-strategy level, operational level and tactical level.  The political-strategic level of warfare employs all aspects of the state power and uses the military as only one of the means of attaining its strategic end state; such military channels include the Military Joint Task Force deployed in North-East Nigeria[5]. Though the concept will be useful in situations of general warfare and in higher defence management in Nigeria, its analysis is not suitable for the purpose of this study.

The relative deprivation theory gives an understanding of complex issues of human behaviour and attitudes, including feelings of stress, political attitudes, and participation in collective action.  According to Gurr, violent conflict like the activities of herdsmen is as a result of collective discontent caused by a sense of relative deprivation by the citizenry who contrary to their expectation that democracy will improve their living conditions, believe that it has rather worsened it[6]. According to the relative deprivation theorists, the primary source of the human capacity for violence appears to be the frustration-aggression mechanism; the anger induced by frustration is a motivating force that disposes men to aggression, irrespective of its instrumentalities[7]. The relevance of this theory to the understanding of internal security is apt considering the fact that majority of those who engage in the violent conflicts are mostly youths who have no jobs and decent means of livelihood[8].

 

Social Contract Theory and Internal Security:

Thomas Hobbes Social Contract Theory could be engaged to dissect the essence of policing and law enforcement functions as an internal security management approach in any society. Hobbes devised the Social Contract theory in the 17th Century to explain the dynamics of security and governance. After Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are the best-known proponents of this enormously influential theory, which has been one of the most dominant theories within moral and political theory in history. The theory states that common security should be favored and that a bit of individual liberty should be sacrificed by each person to achieve it.

According to Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), before the social contract era, man lived in a state of nature in which there was “a war of every man against every man”.[9] It was a period of internecine strife in which the life of man was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”.[10] Self-preservation was the order of the day. It was necessary to have law and government so as to promote order and personal security.

Hobbes argues that the main purpose of government is to protect the natural rights of individuals and that people agree to give up absolute rights to a government to gain protection and maintain order. Hobbes also argues that morality consists of the sets of rules governing behavior and that rational people would accept, on the condition that others accept them as well. In a “state of nature”, there are no social goods because the social cooperation needed to produce them does not exist. Consequently, there must be guarantees that people will not harm one another, and people must be able to rely on one another to keep their agreements. Only a government can provide for these conditions and in establishing a government, people give up some of their personal freedoms (the freedom of anarchy, such as it is) and give the government the authority to enforce laws and agreements. By implication, people living under a government are parties to a social contract.  Each person agrees to follow the laws of the state on the condition that everyone else does the same.  That way, people are all relatively safe from each other and all will benefit from the other social goods that will result therefrom.

The Social Contract postulation assumes that the state exists to enforce the rules necessary for social living, while morality consists in the whole set of rules that facilitate social living. Thus, government is needed to enforce the basic rules of social living (e.g. don’t rob people, don’t break agreements), while morality may encompass some rules that are important for social living but are outside the scope of the state.

According to Hobbes, morality is just such a contract. The aim of the contract is to create social order, ending the state of nature and making it possible for people to cooperate and produce social goods.  In order for the contract to best achieve its aims, it is important that everyone, or nearly everyone, to be party to the contract (otherwise there is a state of anomie).  It is against this background that Hobbes argues that in order to guarantee the survival of any society, the contractual relationship between government and citizen must be aimed at the protection of life and property, establishment of a police force to enforce the contract, and establishment other rules to secure the benefits of social living. Other essentials include framework for the protection of the society against outside threats which will necessitate the establishment of an Army; as well as the emplacement of civil rights standards as safeguards against abuse of state powers. Thus, the social contract is used by Hobbes to justify authoritarian government, avoid rebellion and possibility of civil war.

Underlying John Locke’s political theory is that “no man can be subjected to the political power of another without his own consent”.[11] The state of nature before the social contract, to him, was not one of brutal view. He posited that property was nevertheless insecure. To Locke, it was in a bid to overcome this natural condition that by contract, the purpose of government was recognized as the protection of human entitlements.[12]

Rousseau’s idea of a state of nature though close to Locke’s does not place emphasis on the sanctity of property. According to Rousseau, the social contract is a mystical construct by which the individual merges into the community and becomes part of the “general will”…whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body.[13] The Constitution of a nation embodies this social contract with the Police being the primary institution around which the aggregation of this social contract is woven.

The Internal Security Question

The major threats to Nigeria’s internal security over the years could be identified as:

  1. Violent crimes such as armed robbery and kidnapping,
  2. Sabotage, disruption and vandalism of critical infrastructure;
  3. Widespread incidence of violent religious and ethnic conflicts
  4. Widespread cases of political violence and intra-communal violence over land, ponds and chieftaincy titles
  5. Insurgency, terrorism, proliferation of ethnic militias and separatist agitation
  6. Oil theft and piracy
  7. Cybercrime
  8. Cattle rustling and banditry,
  9. Violent conflicts between farmers and herders which is a particularly potent threat to national security because they can trigger ethnic and religious interpretation
  10. Political violence, especially election-related violence,
  11. Financial and economic crimes such as corruption; money laundering, electoral fraud, trafficking in persons, drugs and arms, and fraud, which trigger or aggravate poverty, inequality, interpersonal and collective violence and accentuate violent extremism.

Some of these problems derived from or are aggravated by economic and social conditions such as erosion of ethical and moral conduct in private and public life, corruption, ethnic and religious intolerance, deterioration of infrastructure and service delivery, steady rise in unemployment and mass poverty, widening social and economic inequality, proliferation or arms and drug abuse.

 

Evaluation of Nigeria’s Internal Security Framework

 

In recent time, there have been enormous threats to security in Nigeria. There is rising crime rate. New crimes and new crime waves have emerged with alarming sophistication. Their unabated trend sometimes calls to issue state responsibilities of crime prevention and detection. In a bid to discharge its responsibilities, the State created the Police, among other security agencies. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended provides for the constitutional role of the Nigeria Police Force. By the tenor of section 215(3) and (4) of the Constitution the Nigeria Police Force shall maintain and secure public safety and public order, ensure internal stability and prevent threats to national security. In consequence, the Police in any nation represents the foundation upon which internal security management is built. Hence, the extent of internal security is predicated on the extent of the operational efficiency of the Police in any country. This, in turn, is predicated fundamentally on the strength of the social contract between the Police and the citizens on the one hand, and between the government and the Police on the other hand.

Within the Nigerian policing space, these variables appear weak so much that the policing actors within the internal security system (inclusive of the extended policing family) have been ineffectual in their individual and collective capacity to manage internal security challenges. Beyond this, the absence of a National Internal Security Policy against which the performance of the Nigeria Police and other strategic state actors could be measured and the roles of the citizens and other strategic non-state actors defined also remains a major gap within the national security management framework of the country.

Against this unwieldy architecture, it is not surprising that the internal security management approach of the country is largely reactive and less proactive. This should be expected of an internal security management system that is lacking citizens consent and support in relation to willingness to provide vital criminal information, experiences huge funding deficit, driven by competitive rather than collaborative orientation, lacks a Policy Framework to guide its operation, and yet, confronted with high public expectation and huge internal security challenges that constantly overstretch its human and institutional capacity.

 

Internal Security and the Police

Police organizations and officials in a democratic society are charged with the responsibilities of promoting human rights, rule of law, security and development through law enforcement and order maintenance. The contexts in which police operate determine the extent to which they are able to discharge these responsibilities.

The contexts, which we refer to here, include key political, economic, social and organizational factors which encompass the nature of the political and economic system; dominant values that are promoted and transmitted by the family, cultural and religious institutions; relationship between the leaders in the various sectors of society and citizens; conditions and standard of living of citizens, quality of infrastructure for producing goods, delivering services and guaranteeing human security and welfare; organizational capacity and resources; and nature and extent of partnership between the police and citizens in preventing and controlling threats to the security and development of their country and constituent communities.

Although we shall be making references to some of these factors, our key concern in this lecture is to stimulate debate, awareness and response that will strengthen partnership between the police and the community towards the prevention and control of violent crimes and conflict that threaten and undermine security and development of the country as well as the wellbeing of citizens. This is in recognition of the reality that lack of effective partnership between the police and the public can only sustain ineffective police and insecurity among citizens.

It is also in cognizance of the fact that historically, policing, which is the activities involved in ensuring peace and security in society, was the responsibility of all citizens. It was in the course of the development of society as complex entities that division of labour emerged, including the creation of professional police as distinct from diffuse mechanism of social control within society. In spite of this development, it has been recognized throughout history that partnership between the police and the public is critical to effective prevention and control of threats to national security and development.

 

Establishment, duties and powers of the Nigeria Police Force

 

The role of the Nigeria Police Force, defined in terms of functions and powers, are contained in the Constitution, Police Act and Regulations and other statutes of the country. Section 214 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, provides that:

There shall be a Police Force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provisions of this section, no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof.

There are several policing agencies in the country established by federal, state and local governments for the regulation of specific activities or enforcement of specific laws. However, only the Nigeria Police Force has been vested with the powers of exercising the full range of police powers – surveillance, intelligence, apprehension, detention, bail and prosecution. The Nigeria Police also constitutes the primary agency responsible for internal security in the country. This is an enormous and daunting task, which in most jurisdiction across the world, require inter-agency collaboration as well as partnership with the citizens as individuals and in groups.

The Police Act and Regulations provides for the command, control, operation and administration of the Force. As regards, the duties of the Nigeria Police Force, the law (Police Act and Regulations) provides in Section 4 that:

The police shall be employed for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property and the due enforcement of all laws and regulations with which they are charged, and shall perform such military duties within or outside Nigeria as may be required.

At the statutory level, the Force is accountable to four key government agencies. These are:

  1. Nigeria Police Council chaired by the President, with all state governors, Chairman of the Police Service Commission the Inspector-General of Police as members;
  2. Police Service Commission established by the Constitution;
  3. Committees on Police Affairs in the Senate and House of Representatives, and
  4. Ministry of Interior (until late last year 2015, there was a Ministry of Police Affairs)

This accountability framework positions the Nigeria Police Force as probably the most policed government agency in the country.

 

Challenges of Policing by the Nigeria Police Force

 

Policing in any society is a very difficult, complex and dangerous vocation. The expectations of members of the public in Nigeria are many and varied and exceed the resources and support given to the police[14]. Failures on the part of the police are easily observed and widely reported and condemned while achievements of the police are rarely recognized, applauded and rewarded. Police are in constant contact with dangerous persons and in dangerous situations.

In spite of the inherent hostile policing environment and sundry challenges, the Nigeria Police has remained steadfast to its responsibility of guaranteeing the safety of the lives and property of the citizens even at the risk of their own lives.

Between January 2014 – December, 2016 a total of 278 police officers paid the supreme sacrifice in the discharge of their statutory Mandate in relation to enhancement of community peace and security, while 194 others sustained varying degree of injuries. Similarly, between January – April 2016, we have lost a total of 72 Police personnel with 78 others injured in the line of internal security duties. Cases of killing of police personnel have increased since 2009 due to terrorist attacks by Boko Haram.

In order to perform its function of effectively preventing and controlling crimes, the police require diverse skills. As an American police chief wrote in 1947:

Policemen are challenged at every turn to render skilled services to the public. In a routine day a policeman may have to render first aid to an injured motorist, deliver a safety address, trail and apprehend a dangerous criminal, convince a runaway boy of the error of his ways, assist in the prosecution of a criminal case. These and many more are the abilities that the public confidently expects of policemen. Ideally, policemen must have some of the knowledges and skills of the lawyer, doctor, and the engineer; they must possess the endurance of an athlete; have the insight of the sociologist and psychologist and the compassion of a minister. They must present resolute, dynamic personalities particularly characterized by magnanimity (p. 177)[15].

The work of the police is even made more difficult in societies like Nigeria where there is mutual distrust between the police and the public, and assistance to the police is often withheld by citizens[16].

Several factors inhibited strong partnership between the citizens and the police in Nigeria. We shall briefly highlight some of the factors that undermined effective partnership between the citizens and the police. The first factor is the circumstance in which the police emerged in the country. Some Nigeria Police historians believe that Police forces were introduced to the territories that were occupied by the colonial ruler to promote their interests of exploiting and oppressing the indigenous peoples, and hence, by origin Police forces were established as instrument of colonization[17]. This presents a wrong perception of the Police by the citizens. Unfortunately, this mentality was carried over to the post-colonial policing era in Nigeria.

The second factor that affects relationship between the police and the public is the inability of the country to introduce required reforms for the reorientation of the inherited police forces in a manner that will integrate both the Police and the community. In this regard, it is recognised, though that successive national administrations have attempted to introduce varied reforms which were outcomes of several Committees on Nigeria Police Reform. While these reform initiatives have led to organisational changes in the Force, the impact on cementing police –public partnership in crime prevention has remained limited.

Third factor is the lack of required resources and skills to ensure the efficiency of the police. Efficiency is a critical factor in developing and sustaining confidence in the police.  Sources of inefficiency by the Nigeria Police Force include huge gap between required and provided human and non-human resources made available to the police[18]; deficit in operational competencies; poor remuneration and conditions of service; misconduct by some officers, and unrelenting criticisms of the police by the public which demoralises the police.

The fourth factor is widespread disrespect for law by citizens across all the sectors and strata of society. Attempt to enforce the law is often resisted by significant proportion of the population who resent support for law, authority and police in Nigeria. Many citizens also do not understand the law and the functions and powers of the police. Therefore, enforcement of certain laws is considered an unacceptable action on the part of the police.

Further, many citizens expect the police to act on any complaints brought to the Force with dispatch, irrespective of the nature of the allegations, some of which do not constitute breach of criminal law. When police decline, such persons accuse police of corruption or ineffectiveness. Several Nigerians act as if they are above the law and violate the law. When the law is enforced they use different media to discredit the police and other criminal justice agencies. These enumerated and other factors contribute to the generally poor relationships between the police and the public.

Policing in Nigeria is particularly difficult because of several inadequacies. Many scholars and government police reform committees in the country have identified several factors that inhibit police efficiency[19]. Some of the identified problems are:

  1. Inadequate logistic and resources (especially transportation, telecommunication, arms and ammunition, accommodation, etc.) for police services
  2. Inadequate personnel with training, skill and orientation required for policing a country with complex security challenges
  3. Inadequate resources for effective law enforcement, intelligence gathering, criminal investigation and prosecution
  4. Lack of appropriate police stations, offices, facilities and accommodation
  5. Lack of modern forensic laboratory and other technological aid to law enforcement
  6. Inappropriate use of arms and ammunitions
  7. Absence of reliable and comprehensive criminal database
  8. Poor conditions of service, including low remuneration and pension benefits[20]

There have been numerous suggestions by government committees on police reform as well as by scholars and citizens as to how these deficiencies can be addressed. Some of the recommendations are being considered for implementation by the government and the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force.

Critical requirements for effective implementation of the recommendation are funding, effective leadership of the Force and support by the government through the Nigeria Police Council, relevant committees at the National Assembly, Police Service Commission, and the Ministry of Interior. The most fundamental is the support of the citizens is also necessary for effective resolution of the challenges inhibiting optimal efficiency of the Nigeria Police Force.

 

Imperative of Police-Citizens’ Partnership as an Internal Security Management Model

 

The imperative of partnership between the police and the public was underscored by the principle of law enforcement articulated by Robert Peel, pioneer chief of London Metropolitan Police in 1829. The principle comprises nine statements and the first two principles are relevant to our discussion and are briefly discussed below.

The first statement reads “The basic mission for which police exist is to prevent crime and disorder as an alternative to the repression of crime and disorder by military force and severity of legal punishment”. This statement emphasises the significance of prevention of crime and disorder instead of reaction to its occurrence. In order to do this in modern times, police require the citizens to supply them with information for the production of actionable and timely intelligence to guide operations aimed at preventing and disrupting occurrence of crime and disorder. The statement also highlights the primacy of police in internal security operations.

Nonetheless, in exceptional cases of severe disorder, section 217 (2) (c) of the Constitution provides that the military could be deployed to suppress insurrection and act in aid of civil authority. The President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, relying on this provision, has deployed the military to complement the Police in serious internal security challenges of magnitudes that have practically snowballed beyond the operational capacity of the Police including riot control, combating armed robbery, kidnapping, oil bunkering, militancy and insurgency.

According to Sanda (2013), the deployment of the military for Internal Security Operations (ISO) is often a subject of intense debate. While some view such deployment as a welcome idea since they often times save lives and mitigate the destructive consequences of violent conflict, others argue that their deployment often result in some unintended consequences[21]. What remains undebatable is that such deployments are constitutional and within the prerogative of the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation.

Indeed, as Sanda (2013) observes this process is what has been conceptualized as Military Aid to Civil Power (MACP) when it involves the use of firearms and Military Aid to Civil Authorities (MACA) which refers to the engagement of the military to support civil powers in the management of disasters or humanitarian situations not involving use of firearms.

The second statement of the Principle emphasised that “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behaviour and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect”. This statement speaks directly to the topic of our discussion today, simply stated, police efficiency is dependent on citizens’ approval of the existence, actions and behaviour of the police.

One of the problems encountered by the police forces in Nigeria since British colonial rulers established the first police force in 1861 in Lagos is the lack of approval of police existence, actions and behaviours by significant sectors of the society. Responsibility for the conferring and earning the approval rests on the citizens and the police respectively.

The relationship and partnership between the police and citizens in Nigeria are generally unsatisfactory because of several factors[22]. Some of the factors are lack of organizational resources and capability for effective service delivery; poor conditions of service that affect personnel performance and their relationship with suspects and complainants; inadequate social interaction between the police and citizens; indiscipline by some personnel and flagrant violation of law by significant proportion of Nigerians who resent police action to curtail criminality; and lack of appreciation of the nature of police work by citizens[23].

As earlier stated, police are employed by the society, through its government, to enforce the law and maintain order in order to guarantee security and development. The police will only be effective if the society provides the police with clear mandate, adequate resources, and support for its operation by providing information about factors and individuals responsible for violent conflicts and crime. Intelligence-led policing is the most efficient approach to prevention of crime and disorder.

However, this approach significantly depends on the willingness of members of the public to provide the police with information to produce and use intelligence[24]. If members of the public protect criminals in their midst, police work will be ineffective and society will be plagued by insecurity. The consequence is that society will be unsafe because of the presence of violent criminals in their midst. This is a problem that has persisted in the country. Distrust between the police and the public has been to the benefit of the criminals, as it inhibits police efficiency while citizens live at the mercy of criminals.

 

Responsibilities of the police in fostering partnership with the public

 

Effective police-public partnership requires the police to play certain roles, including the following:

  1. Pay attention to the concerns of citizens concerning personal safety, security of property, liberties and freedoms, and public order and respond promptly, responsibly and respectfully to demands for police services by citizens
  2. Demonstrate professionalism such knowledge, competence, integrity and impartiality in the discharge of their responsibility and create avenues for constant dialogue, consultation and sharing of knowledge and resources members of the public
  3. Understand the challenges, problems and opportunities that impact on security in the communities and working with the residents develop appropriate responses and create effective mechanism for receiving and resolving complaints by citizens
  4. Protect the identity of informants and ensure confidentiality of information provided by citizens
  5. Officers should demonstrate knowledge of rights of citizens, and promote, protect and respect them.
  6. Undertake public enlightenment on its functions, powers and activities to prevent and control crimes and relate with members of the public through sponsorship and participation in sports, youth clubs and civic education activities within communities.
  7. Identify and work with appropriate civil society organizations interested in partnership with it to develop and implement community-based security and safety programmes or police-public partnership;
  8. Emplace strategies that galvanise children and youths in primary and secondary schools to develop security consciousness.

These and other measures will promote mutual respect and trust which are important factors in fostering and sustaining partnership between the police and the citizens[25].  The Nigeria Police Force, with support from the government, is implementing some of these proposals. However, resources and capacity remain major challenges.

 

 

Roles of citizens in fostering partnership with the police

 

Citizens also have responsibility towards the police. The police will be ineffective if the citizens constantly disrespect, distrust, assault, insult and antagonize the police. The Constitution, in chapter 2 obliged citizens to assist law enforcement agencies as civic responsibility. Unfortunately, most citizens are either unaware of this obligation or chose to ignore it. In order to enhance police efficiency, develop and sustain effective police-public partnership, citizens and communities should:

  1. Appreciate the duties and powers of the police and avoid criticizing them just of inconvenience arising from law enforcement intended to guarantee public peace and safety and promote the rights and liberties of others.
  2. Demonstrate respect for legitimate authority and laws;
  3. Parents, religious, traditional and educational institutions should inculcate in children and youth respect for legitimate authorities and laws at all levels of society without shying away from holding those in authority accountable for their actions, decisions and conduct;
  4. Challenge and report anyone involved law-breaking behaviours that are responsible for insecurity and crime and report those who promote, plan, encourage or fund ethnic and religious intolerance, conflict and violence in the country
  5. Engage the police to build trust, share concerns about security and welfare, evolve and implement appropriate measures for crime prevention and control within the community and the country
  6. Assist the police with information on crimes and criminals within their community and should not assist suspects and criminals to evade arrest
  7. Respect police officers and comply with lawful instructions from them and avoid using police to settle personal or civil scores, which fall outside criminal law and process.

These actions are required from individuals, community based organisations and professional groups in society.

 

Internal Security Management: Alternative Strategy:

 

Internal security management in modern times is built around three critical factors which include People, Technology and Systems. The people in this instance refers to quality human resources which encompasses highly trained, motivated and equipped body of women and men recruited under the social contract theoretical framework and charged with the responsibility of coordinating communal safety and security. It also includes citizens who represent the most critical component of internal security management as they are the most vital information generation asset within the internal security architecture.

Beyond this, the people include the political leaders whose vision, will, depth of knowledge of the dynamics of internal security management and firm commitment oil the internal security drive. The import of the people in internal security management proposes that political actors (strategic policy makers), professional security bureaucrats (the Police and other law enforcement agencies) and the citizens must appreciate that an effective internal security framework requires that each of these human components must place national interest above other considerations and commit to collaborating to guarantee communal security.

Technology as a component of internal security management appreciates that we live in a globalized world where technology is both a challenge and a solution. As a challenge, virtually all crimes are conceptualized and manifested with the aid of technology. Cybercrime, kidnapping, insurgency, separatism, armed robbery, fraud and other transnational crimes are all aided by technology in one way or the other. It therefore goes to say that the advancement in technology is indeed a threat to internal security. Conversely, technology is also a solution to internal security threats as it provides solutions (hardware and software) that could be engaged and deployed to prevent, detect, and disrupt elements that constitute threats. Indeed, modern internal security activities are increasingly driven by technology rather than numbers of women and men employed on security functions.

In relation to systems, effective internal security management requires that there be national policies to define roles, set operational processes, values and principles, regulate interactions within and among strategic actors, and provide framework for performance evaluation and accountability. Such will be a subject of national consensus and should be subjected to periodic evaluation and re-evaluation in order to continually attune it to the wishes and consent of the citizens and the dynamics of crime and technology. The systems should be able to clearly highlight national policing strategies to include community partnership, intelligence-led policing principles, technology-driven police standards, perspective or predictive policing practices, socially-oriented police service delivery model, micro-policing framework, and rule of law-compliant policing orientation. In addition, the systems must emplace clear frameworks for performance evaluation, police accountability and inter-agency collaboration framework.

The argument being strongly made here, ladies and gentlemen, is that internal security is premised on quality of the human asset base of the country, cutting-edge technology advantage, and well-thought out policies and processes to drive the system. Against this background, drawing on my practical experience, a hybrid internal security management approach that is built on the concept of Citizens’ Consent and Community Policing Principles, Intelligence-Led Policing Practices, Technology-Driven Policing Orientation and above all, inter-agency Collaboration Framework are recommended for the country. This approach will guarantee citizens ownership, consent and support, ensure efficiency within the extended Nigerian Police Family, and guarantee the full deployment of technology to address internal security challenges in a most cost-effective and professional manner that will align our internal security management orientation to global best practices.

The proposed approach also recognizes the importance of the social component of internal security management which is coined as the ‘Hearts and Minds perspective. This assumes that threats to internal security are a consequence of social, economic or political deprivations; fundamentalist or ideological indoctrination; or outright misinformation and blackmail. Hence, addressing the root causes of these deprivations through developmental projects, integrative economic and political framework, and well-structured counter-propaganda and radicalization process will reduce the factors that induce internal security threats.

In order to give effect to this approach, two actions are vital. First, there is need to undertake a holistic reform of the Nigeria Police and the entire Nigerian Internal security system and institutions with view to addressing overlapping functions that engender budgetary wastages, inter-agency rivalry and uncoordinated approach to internal security management. Secondly, there is the need to evolve an Internal Security Policy that will adopt these approaches as Nigeria’s Internal Security Management Framework.

Conclusion:

Internal Security of a nation is a catalyst to national development and assurance of citizens’ confidence and strengthening of state’s legitimacy. It is however, a product of synergy between the citizens, the government and security agencies, just as it is driven in modern times, by the engagement of cutting edge technology and strategic thinking. Consequently, any nation desirous of internal security must of necessity develop a National Policy Framework that is designed to strengthen the capacity and relationships within and between strategic actors in the internal security of the State. In conclusion, therefore, it is my conviction that until Nigeria appreciates these essentials of internal security management, we, as a nation, may continue to engage reactive approaches and the debate on our internal security and policing question shall continue to resonate.

Thank you for your attention

 

Dr Solomon E. Arase is a former Inspector-General of Police of the Nigeria Police Force, a lawyer, Fellow of National Defense College, former National Legal Adviser of the National Defense College Alumni Association of Nigeria, Principal Partner of Solomon Arase & Associates and MD/CEO of Solar Security & Consult.

 

 

Bibliography

Alemika E. E. (1988) “Policing and Perceptions of Police in Nigeria” Police Studies 11(4): 161-176

Alemika, E.E.O and I. C. Chuckwuma (2000) Police-Community Violence in Nigeria (Centre for Law Enforcement Education, Lagos and the National Human Rights Commission, Abuja, Nigeria);

Alemika, EEO,  (2013) Intelligence-led policing and internal security: the imperative of community partnership, in S.E. Arase (ed.) National Security: Intelligence and community partnership approach. Abuja: Lawlords Publication; pp.29-43

Barry, R.P. (2001) “The Struggle Against Terrorism: Grand Strategy, Strategy and Tactics”, Journal of International Security, 26(3): 39-55.

Crossman, A (2017), ‘Understanding Conflict Theory’, https://www.thoughtco.com/conflict-theory-3026622, Retrieved 09/10/2017

Crossman, A (2017), ‘Understanding Functionalist https://www.thoughtco.com/functionalist-perspective-3026625,  Retrieved 10/11/2017

Crossman, A (2017), ‘Understanding Symbolic Interaction Theory’ https://www.thoughtco.com/symbolic-interaction-theory-3026633, Retrieved 09/11/2017

Cunningham, W.G. (2003) “Terrorism Definitions and Typologies in Terrorism: Concepts, Causes, and Conflict Resolution”

Don L. Kooken 1947 Ethics in Police Service, Don L. Kooken 1947 Ethics in Police Service, 38 in Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Vol. 38: 172 – 186. p.177

Federal Government of Nigeria (2006) Report of the Presidential Committee on Police Reform

Federal Government of Nigeria (2008) Report of the Presidential Committee on Police Reform; Federal Government of Nigeria

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Gurr, T. R. (1970) Why Men Rebel.  Princeton, NJ: Centre of International Studies, Princeton University Press.

Kayode, O. (1976) “Public Expectations and Police Role Concepts: Nigeria” Police Chief (May): 58-59

Locke, J. Two Treaties of Government, vol. 2, S. 95, cited in Freeman, M.D.A., Lloyd’s Introduction to Jurisprudence, 7th edition, Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2005. P. 111.

Report of the Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigeria Police Force; Federal Government of Nigeria (2012) Report of the Presidential Committee on the Re-Organization of the Nigeria Police Force – Main Report;

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[1] Crossman, A (2017), ‘Understanding Functionalist https://www.thoughtco.com/functionalist-perspective-3026625,  Retrieved 10/11/2017

[2] Crossman, A (2017), ‘Understanding Conflict Theory’, https://www.thoughtco.com/conflict-theory-3026622, Retrieved 09/10/2017

[3] Crossman, A (2017), ‘Understanding Symbolic Interaction Theory’ https://www.thoughtco.com/symbolic-interaction-theory-3026633, Retrieved 09/11/2017

[4]        Cunningham, W.G. (2003) “Terrorism Definitions and Typologies in Terrorism: Concepts, Causes, and Conflict Resolution”

[5] Barry, R.P. (2001) “The Struggle Against Terrorism: Grand Strategy, Strategy and Tactics”, Journal of International Security, 26(3): 39-55.

[6] Gurr, T. R. (1970) Why Men Rebel.  Princeton, NJ: Centre of International Studies, Princeton University Press.

[7]  Richardson, C. (2011) Relative Deprivation Theory in Terrorism: A Study of Higher Education and Unemployment as Predictors of Terrorism, In Senior Honours Thesis: New York University Press.

[8] Usman, S.A. (2015) “Unemployment and Poverty as Sources and Consequence of Insecurity in Nigeria: The Boko Haram Insurgency Revisited”, African Journal of Political Science and International Relations, 9(3): 90-99

[9] See Leviathan, Pt. 1. Chap. 13 cited in Freeman, M.D.A; Lloyd’s Introduction to Jurisprudence, 7th edition, Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2005, p. 111.

[10] Freeman, M.D.A., op. cit., p. 112.

[11] Locke, J. Two Treaties of Government, vol. 2, S. 95, cited in Freeman, M.D.A., Lloyd’s Introduction to Jurisprudence, 7th edition, Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2005. P. 111.

[12] See Freeman, M.D.A., op. cit, p. 112.

[13] Op. cit., p. 117.

[14] Kayode, O. (1976) “Public Expectations and Police Role Concepts: Nigeria” Police Chief (May): 58-59

[15] Don L. Kooken 1947 Ethics in Police Service, Don L. Kooken 1947 Ethics in Police Service, 38 in Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Vol. 38: 172 – 186.

p.177

[16] Alemika E. E. (1988) “Policing and Perceptions of Police in Nigeria” Police Studies 11(4): 161-176

[17] Tamuno, T. N.  (1970) The Police in Modern Nigeria:  1861-1965.  Ibadan:  Ibadan University Press and Alemika, E. E. O. (1993) “Colonialism, State and Policing in Nigeria” Crime, Law and Social Change 20: 189-219

[18] Federal Government of Nigeria (2006) Report of the Presidential Committee on Police Reform; Federal Government of Nigeria (2008) Report of the Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigeria Police Force; Federal Government of Nigeria (2012) Report of the Presidential Committee on the Re-Organization of the Nigeria Police Force – Main Report;

[19] Tamuno, T. N.  (1970) The Police in Modern Nigeria:  1861-1965.  Ibadan:  Ibadan University Press; Kayode, O. (1976) “Public Expectations and Police Role Concepts: Nigeria” Police Chief (May): 58-59; Alemika, E.E.O and I. C. Chuckwuma (2000) Police-Community Violence in Nigeria (Centre for Law Enforcement Education, Lagos and the National Human Rights Commission, Abuja, Nigeria); Federal Government of Nigeria (2006) Report of the Presidential Committee on Police Reform; Federal Government of Nigeria (2008) Report of the Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigeria Police Force; Federal Government of Nigeria (2012); Alemika E. E. (1988) “Policing and Perceptions of Police in Nigeria” Police Studies 11(4): 161-176; Alemika, E. E. O. (1993) “Colonialism, State and Policing in Nigeria” Crime, Law and Social Change 20: 189-219; Kayode, O. (1976) “Public Expectations and Police Role Concepts: Nigeria” Police Chief (May): 58-59.

[20] Federal Government of Nigeria (2006) Report of the Presidential Committee on Police Reform; Federal Government of Nigeria (2008) Report of the Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigeria Police Force; Federal Government of Nigeria (2012)

[21] Sanda, J., 2013, ‘Deployment of Security Agencies in Nigeria’, NSRP, Abuja.

[22]See contributions in S.E. Arase (ed.) 2013 National Security: Intelligence and community partnership approach. Abuja: Lawlords Publication; pp.29-43

[23] Alemika, E.E.O and I. C. Chuckwuma (2000) Police-Community Violence in Nigeria (Centre for Law Enforcement Education, Lagos and the National Human Rights Commission, Abuja, Nigeria); Kayode, O. (1976); “Public Expectations and Police Role Concepts: Nigeria” Police Chief (May): 58-59; Federal Government of Nigeria (2006) Report of the Presidential Committee on Police Reform

[24] S.E. Arase (ed.) 2013. National Security: Intelligence and community partnership approach. Abuja: Lawlords Publication; pp.29-43

[25] Alemika, EEO. 2013. Intelligence-led policing and internal security: the imperative of community partnership, in S.E. Arase (ed.) National Security: Intelligence and community partnership approach. Abuja: Lawlords Publication; pp.29-43