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What awaits new IGP

The Nigerian Police Force is plagued by many challenges including staffing issues, training, endemic corruption

The Nigerian Police Force is plagued by many challenges including staffing issues, training, endemic corruption and welfare issues.

Whoever is the IGP after February 1 will find a lot waiting on his table.

It is not entirely clear how many men and women serve in the Nigerian Police Force with different figures being mentioned by the police and the Police Service Commission but generous estimates put the figure at about 400, 000 officers.

Many of these are poorly trained, a situation that has resulted in the extra-judicial killings of many Nigerians by the police and very unprofessional conduct by the officers.

This contributed in no small measure to the recent #EndSARS protest that has left the force reeling from the anger against them from Nigerians.

The protests also left several police officers dead and further bruised already damaged morale in the force.

While outgoing IGP Adamu has been touring police formations across the country to lift up the spirits of the men and women of the force, addressing their fears and implementing the much-needed reforms of the force will rest majorly on the shoulders of the in-coming IGP.

This goes without saying in regards to mending the barely-existent police-civil relations.

The police are in desperate need of training and the entrenchment of global best practices in the force.

This is not something that can be achieved overnight and will take years of planning and decisive execution to achieve.

Corruption has already eaten deep into the force and sadly, the police have developed a reputation for not only exploiting Nigerians going about their lawful business but exploiting its officers as well.

Salaries and allowances must be improved for police officers and the sorry states of police barracks must be changed to become habitable spaces befitting men and women who put their lives on the line for the security of other Nigerians.

All these issues and many more have demoralized the force and made the officers easy to be overrun by the insecurity sweeping across the country—a situation that has seen even security operatives targeted by criminals, hoodlums and now, angry Nigerians on the streets.

The new IGP should have ideas about fixing these challenges and must have the willpower to see these ideas through.

In a couple of years, the 2023 elections will be upon us and the new IGP must position the force to help deliver peaceful, free and fair elections that Nigerians can be proud of.

The failings of the police under successive IGPs have seen the military, and now paramilitary, self-help groups and vigilantes step in to help tackle rampant insecurity.

This has left the military overstretched and it now seems no one is in control.

The new top cop must position the police to step up and step in and take full control of the security situation in the country.

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