Sunday, 18 February 2018


By Desmond O. Agwunobi

One of the hallmarks of developed economies of the world is an efficient and effective public service. It is no rocket science to observe that the extent to which a nation is developed is a function of the magnitude of the effectiveness and efficiency of its public service. This accounts for the corelation that exists between under-developed countries and dysfunctional public service. Of course, Nigeria, with its vast potential as one of the top developing nations, is not an exception. The quality of her public servant and the services they provide for the nation leaves much to be desired. When a country sacrifices meritocracy at the altar of mediocrity, it is only going to be natural for her to manifest perpetual under-development.

It is quite obvious that virtually all public service in Nigeria is in need of a redesign but that of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is something else. Falling victim of a police case in Nigeria is an encounter better to be imagined than experienced. It is worthy of note that the level of dysfunctionality in the Nigeria Police Force is on a monumental proportion. A state of emergency should be declared on the NPF owing to the magnitude of its dysfunctional operations. Thus, it is desperately and drastically in need of a redesign.

By whatever standard, the Nigerian Police Force has failed in its assigned role of serving and protecting Nigerians. Recently, there was social media meltdown with respect to the activities of an aspect of NPF known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The trending hash tag on twitter was #EndSars. The level of horrendous cruelty, savagery and extra-judicial killings going on in SARS has long reached an alarming proportion. This is the natural product of a public service system that has long tolerated the culture of impunity and corruption. No wonder the score sheet of the World Internal Security and Police Index International rated the Nigeria Police Force as the worst police force in the world.

If a redesign of NPF is not carried out and the status quo continues, the hope of Nigeria becoming one of the great developed nations of the world will only remain at the realms of probabilistic conjecture. Hence, all the reports on police reform carried out by various organizations and civil society panel which have been left on the shelves should be dusted and judiciously implemented.