EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF POLICE FORMATIONS ATTACK ON THE SECURITY OF NIGERIANS (A CASE STUDY OF SOUTH EASTERN NIGERIA)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It is an unavoidable fact that Nigeria’s recent unprecedented surge of political assassinations, murders, armed banditry, kidnapping, and general outbreak of insecurity has put both the government and the populace on edge. There are several security threats that cut across the country’s nooks and crannies. According to Achumba, Ighomereho, and Akpor-Robaro (2013), this has made national security a major issue for the government, prompting large budgetary allocations for security. Terrorism, abduction, armed robbery and banditry, suicide bombings, religious killings, ethnic clashes, politically motivated killings, and other types of criminal activity are becoming more common in the region. Nigeria has consistently ranked low in the Global Peace Index (GPI, 2012), indicating that the country’s security situation has deteriorated (Achumba, Ighomereho & Akpor-Robaro, 2013). According to Onifade, Imhonopi, and Urim (2013), the challenges of insecurity have grown to enormous proportions, forcing the country’s political and economic leaders, as well as the entire nation, to lament the loss of loved ones, investment, and lack of safety in most parts of the country. The rate, at which innocent blood is wasted on a daily basis, as well as the citizens’ outbursts of bottled-up rage, remains a source of concern. According to Nwaze (2011), the rate of bloodshed during the Nigerian civil war is “child’s play” in comparison to the terrorist attacks that occur every few months. The country’s insecurity problem appears to have outgrown government capacity. According to Uhunmwuangho & Aluforo (2011) in Achumba, Ighomereho & Akpor-Robaro (2013), the government’s efforts have not yielded enough positive results. Onifade, Imhonopi, and Urim(2013) proposed that there is a link between rising ethnic hatred, religious bigotry, political rivalry, and a growing population of disgruntled citizens in the country who have been short-changed and have limited or no access to the common inheritance. According to Egwu (2011) in Onifade, Imhonopi, and Urim (2013), the primordial tendencies of various ethnic militias erupting and the preponderant religious fundamentalism in places, as expressed by some sections of the dominant religious establishments in Nigeria, have inevitably aggravated the scale and propensity of insecurity and widened its scope in Nigeria. In addition to the foregoing revelations, various scholars such as Egwu (2011) and Odekunle (2015) have identified the same factors that are to blame for Nigeria’s current state of insecurity. They claimed that the Nigerian government’s response to the crises of mass unemployment and fuel scarcity has exacerbated the country’s crime problem. Poverty, unemployment, declining income, and low savings, which has pushed many retrenched people into a struggle for survival, high inflation, and political intolerance on the part of the ruling party, as previously mentioned, have all contributed to the country’s high rate of insecurity. The provision of security is one of the primary goals of any nation’s government. The role is highlighted in the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution, which states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of the government” (Section 14(2)). (b). The government delegated the responsibility for maintaining internal security to the Nigeria police in order to fulfill this role. By law, the Nigerian police are tasked with preventing and detecting crime, maintaining peace and order, and enforcing all laws and regulations. They are expected to carry out these responsibilities with efficiency and effectiveness. With the country’s high level of insecurity, the question on everyone’s mind is whether the police performed their duties as expected. The vast majority of people believe that the Nigerian police fall short of their expectations. They see themselves as a toothless dog who can only bark, not bite. Odekunle (2014) argued that in the current situation, there is no need to prove the Nigerian police’s non-performance. Rather, it is necessary to identify the major flaws, problems, and roadblocks that have contributed to the current state of affairs. The Nigerian police force is an integral part of the country’s civil society. As a result, in addition to the many issues that have hampered their performance over the years, they have human issues that not only exacerbate their material deficiencies, but also have a significant negative impact on their overall performance from one day to the next (Odekunle,2014). Inadequate funding for major aspects of the force’s growth, such as training, logistics, weapons and ammunition, and under-utilization of funds are cogs in the wheel of adequate police performance. Morality among the police is not a virtue. According to Alemika (2019), police corruption and bribery is a serious problem because they are supposed to be honorable as law enforcement officers. Officers slaughtered efficient and successful performance of duty on the slab of corruptions and extortions in their attempt to catch up with mates in society. As a result, the research aims to assess the effect of police formation attacks on Nigerians’ welfare.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The country’s ongoing security issues, as well as the Nigeria Police Force’s (NPF) inability to ensure security and safety of life and property, are concerning. The country’s security issues originate from a variety of sources that cannot be attributed to a single component of the system. They range from the government to the police to the general public. There are many inadequacies and issues on the part of the police, which act as roadblocks to its poor results. Most Nigerians see police as a motley crew of lazy, inefficient, and corrupt uniformed men and women who contribute to crimes like mass murder, intimidation, rape, extrajudicial killings/summary executions, and other heinous crimes against the citizens they are paid to protect (Uhunmwuangho and Aluforo, 2011). According to Ikeji (2013), Boko Haram’s current escalation of violence in Nigeria’s north is linked to the police extrajudicial killing of the group’s leader, “Mohammed Yusuf,” in Borno State in July 2009. It is also normal for police to unfairly mark innocent people as armed robbers, while the true criminals operate openly in society and do what they know best. They fudged post-mortem results, and to make matters worse, individuals, both criminals and non-criminals, mysteriously vanish from custody with no warning, leaving innocent victims’ families vulnerable to extortion. In their annual report, the Nigerian Police Force (2018) stated that the police force is handicapped due to a number of issues, including a shortage of funding, poor government patronage, poor service conditions, a lack of sufficient and proper training, and an ill-equipped workforce. The problem of police extortion and corruption, as well as other vices prevalent in the police system, are dealt with, contributing to their inefficiency. According to Alemika (2019), police brutality is a major problem because they are supposed to be honorable as law enforcement officers. If the police, who were hired and paid with taxpayer money to protect and detect crimes, are themselves dishonest and involved in illegal activity, society is at the mercy of the criminal. The above, among many other factors, contribute to the Police and the country’s insecurity problems.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to evaluate the impact of Police formation attack on the Security of Nigerians and the specific objectives are to;
- To examine connection(s) between police inefficiency and insecurity in Nigeria.
To analyse the factors that contribute to insecurity in Nigeria
To examine the causes/challenges facing the police force in enhancing national security in recent times
To examine the imperative of police as a solution to security challenges in Nigeria
To proffer some workable solutions to the current security challenges in the country
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the connection(s) between police inefficiency and insecurity in Nigeria?
What are the factors that contribute to insecurity in Nigeria?
What are the causes/challenges facing the police force in enhancing national security in recent times?
What are the imperative of police as a solution to security challenges in Nigeria?
What are the workable solutions to the current security challenges in the country?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no impact of police formation attack on the security of Nigerians.
H1: There is a significant impact of police formation attack on the security of Nigerians
H0: There is no significant relationship between police formation attack and security of Nigerians.
H1: There is a significant relationship between police formation attack and security of Nigerians
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, this study provides updated information to scholastic works. This study focuses on international response to security challenges in Nigeria. It contributes to the understanding of the impact of police formation attack on the security of Nigerians. The practical significance on the other hand is to bring to the fore the impact of police formation attack on the security of Nigerians. This research is relevant as the topic under study is a current phenomenon; it is one of the issues that tops national priority and attracts world attention.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on evaluating the impact of police formation attack on the security of Nigerians.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Nigerian Police Force: The Nigeria Police is the principal law enforcement and the lead security agency in Nigeria with staff strength of about 371,800. There are currently plans to increase the force to 650,000, adding 280,000 new recruits to the existing 370,000.
Security: The state of being free from danger, threat or a state of being safe, as well as the measures taken to be safe or protected.
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Alemika, E. (2019). Police Community relation in Nigeria; What went Wrong? Paper Presented at the Seminar on Role and Function of the Police in a Post-Military Era. Organized by CLEEN Foundation and National Human Right Commission (NHRC), Abuja.
Egwu, S. G. (2011). Ethnic and Religious Violence in Nigeria .St. Stephen Book House ,Jos
Global Peace Index (GPI, 2012). Global Peace Ranking, Institute for Economics and Peace, Retreived from: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Ikeji (2013). Extrajudicial Killing and Police Brutality, The Way out. The Nations Newspaper, August, 27, 2013. Retrieved from http://www.thenationonlineng.net
Nigeria Police Force (2018). Annual Report of the Nigeria Police Force, @008. Ikeja ‘F’ Department of the Nigeria Police.
Nwaze,C. (2011). Corruption in Nigeria; Terrorism in Nigeria. University of Ibadan Press, Ibadan
Odekunle,F (2015). Overview of Policing in Nigeria; Problems and Suggestions in Crime and Policing in Nigeria; Challenges and Options. CLEEN foundation, Lagos
Onifade, C., Imhonopi D. and Urim, U. M. (2013), Addressing the Insecurity Challenges in Nigeria; the Imperative of Moral Values and Virtue Ethics. Global journal of Human Science and Political Science. Vol 13, Issue 2,
Uhunmwuangho, S.O. and Aluforo, E. (2011) Challenges and Solutions to Ethno-Religious Conflicts in Nigeria: Case Study of the Jos Crises, Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, Volume 13, No.5, 109-124.