Don Awunah, Force Public Relations Officer, representative of Ibrahim Idris, inspector general of Police, Nigeria Police Force, who was a discussant at the Realnews Fourth Anniversary Lecture on “Security and National Development in a Plural Democratic Society”, posits that there is now a new dawn in policing in Nigeria in accordance with international best practices
DISTINGUISHED ladies and gentlemen my name is Don Awunah, Police Public Relations Officer, FPRO. I’m representing the Inspector General of Police. Maureen is so determined, yesterday I got a text and this morning I got another text. I like her passion. For you to do, Security and National Development, let us try to explain further the concept of security and national development. Security, is it physical security, police officers wearing uniform and uniform officers everywhere – military, air force, road safety, is that security?
When you talk of national development, is it growth, is structures, and is it personal development, community or national? What do you understand by national security and development? There might not be distinction between development and growth. Is Nigeria growing, have we developed from 1960 to date? Of course, Nigeria is a plural country speaking diverse languages but we have three major languages which people called tripod of Nigeria’s problem.
Sometime they call it the tripod of evil because when an Igbo man speaks, an Hausa man speaks and Yoruba man speaks Nigeria is complete. Are we complete? So how do we secure these tribes, how do we police our democracy? Security is an issue and lets look at crime which is my area. If you look at how crime evolved in this country from the time of civil war, then you talk of the 1970s and 1980s during the oil boom, the 419ers and today, Nigeria has kidnapping everywhere. Are we secured?
Is democracy all about organising elections; that is staggered ones, or having elections every four years, is that democracy? I don’t want to make it a classroom definition of democracy as government of the people by the people or whatever or is it democracy of popular votes versus electoral votes? So, as far as the police is concerned, we have issues of Boko Haram, if you come to the Middle Belt, we have issues of farmers versus herdsmen, as you move down south, over the ocean, people are afraid to go home because you will likely find yourself in the forest kidnapped by your own brother.
We need to take a general concept of what we mean by security. Do we use our diversity as strength? How do we make Nigeria great again, do we use the tribes, ethnicity to elect yourself to an office or do we use the diversity as a strength? Our democracy, they say, is evolving. How are we evolving it? Is it traditionally or nationally? We must make a distinction between security, national development and democracy.
For us, in the police, our stand is in the democracy where every other security agencies collaborate and complement one another. Is the police our own police or their police? For police to be effective there must be ownership. Do you see those in the police as they see you? The only way to move forward is when we own the police and our democracy. Then urban and rural development will follow.
The inspector general of police has brought a new dawn; a new dimension and a departure from the traditional or authoritarian policing and promoting community policing and people oriented policing. There are a lot of misconceptions about what is called community policing and state policing. Community policing is an ideology and is not all about people policing themselves. It is about partnership and accountability.
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has brought his experience to bear in policing in Nigeria and I think Nigerians, henceforth, will see a new policing that adheres with the international best practises. A new police of courage, compassion and dedicated to quality service delivering.
Being the text of the speech by Don Awunah, Force Public Relations Officer, representative of Ibrahim Idris, inspector general of Police, Nigeria Police Force at the Realnews Fourth Anniversary Lecture in Abuja on Thursday, November 17, 2019
— Nov 28, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT