For a country to arrive and become a noble member of the modern global community, it must foundationally be rested upon three pillars of: democracy & good governance, civil liberties & rule of law and security & safety. Each of these three pillars cannot stand without the other: where there is no democracy, there is no good governance; where there is no rule of law, there are no civil liberties; and where there is no security, safety becomes a scarcest commodity. Such is the situation upon which a country called “Nigeria” finds itself, especially now –Emeka Umeagbalasi-Criminologist & Security Expert: May 2014
It is no longer news that Nigeria operates a woefully failed security system. But what saddens seminal minds in criminological securitization and rest of the world is that the country’s political and security managers have grown and entrenched a culture of immunity from change and advice heeding. The country’s political and security managers have continued to apply security and public governance methods used in the days of the Yore in this day of “man-machine-environment”. Strictly speaking, Nigeria’s security challenges and other unsafe conditions are one of the easiest to manage in the world in that they are human generated and maximally soluble. Nigeria remains one of the luckiest countries in the world that have not been afflicted with catastrophic natural disasters and other natural unsafe conditions. From the look of things, the country may not survive any major earthquake or ocean overflows. If the country cannot contain a mere onslaught from a group of IEDs detonators, it simply means that if Nigeria were to be the State of Israel, it would have long been wiped out of the world map and forgotten.
By any world security nomenclature, Nigeria has it in name. The Nigeria Police Force remains the largest and most populated security organization not only in Nigeria but also on African Continent. Its officers and personnel are presently in the neighborhood of 400,000 with current police-citizen ratio of 1/450 (one police officer for 450 citizens using estimated population of 170 million). This is not too far from the UN basic recommendation of one police officer for every 400 citizens issued in the year 2000. Yet the NPF is one of the most failed police forces in the world and one of the most incompetent police services in Africa. It may most likely be correct to say that three out of every four of its senior commanding officers including those in the ranks of CSP, ACP, DCP, CP, AIG, DIG and IGP are computer illiterates.
Statutorily, the NPF takes charge of internal security of Nigeria; the army for external; the air force for air; the navy for Nigerian waters; the DSS for counter intelligence; and the NIA for national intelligence. These primary functions are clearly spelt out in Sections 214-216 of the Constitution (for NPF); and 217 of the Constitution and 18(3) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20 Laws of the Federation (for Armed Forces). There are others like Custom, Immigration, NSCDC and tens of thousands of armed vigilantes and licensed and unlicensed private militias claiming to be providing security for Nigerian populace. All the armed bodies publicly recognized in the country are called “Nigerian Security Forces”. Nigeria is also one of the countries in the world with highest number of small arms in circulation. Those in wrong hands are in millions and they continue to surge.
In the context of global territorial securitization and terrain securitization midwifery, Nigeria remains one of the easiest countries for territorial policing. This is because 95% of its border and non-border territories are very easy to be policed. Nigerian territories are also measured and known to local and international data banks. For instance, there are a total of 198,328 kilometers of road network in the country as at 2012. They include: 34,448 kilometers of federal roads (4,150 for South-south, 4,161 for Southwest, 3,231 Southeast, 6,363 for Northwest, 6,787 for Northeast and 9,756 for North-central including the FCT), 34,300 kilometers of roads for 36 States of the Federation and 129, 580 kilometers for 774 Local Government Areas( Research Department Occasion Paper of the CBN 2011).
There are also 22 local and international airports in Nigeria. The country’s existing railways have a total of 3, 500 kilometers. There are 8,600 kilometers of inland water ways in the country and four transnational highways. The transnational highways are: Trans Saharan or Lagos-Algiers Highway, Trans Saherian Highway in Kano, Trans Western African Coastal Highway in Lagos and Lagos-Mombasa Transnational Highway. The country has a total of 4,047 kilometers of land boundaries and they are: Nigerian-Benin Border-773 kilometers, Nigerian-Cameroun Border-1,690 kilometers, Nigerian-Chad Border-87 kilometers and Nigerian-Niger Border-1, 497 kilometers (CIA World Fact Book, December 2013).
Various special security squads of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the NPF are created to police all these exits and entrances. In the NPF, there are police border patrol, airport police, marine or port authority police, police railway or railway police and police highway patrol. Nigeria Police Mobile Force, General Duties Police and Special Anti Robbery and Anti Terrorism Police Squads also police Nigerian roads. The Nigeria’s exits and entrances under references are also policed by other members of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Spending For Mass Murder:
Our recent investigation shockingly revealed that out of $120 Billion or N19. 525 Trillion Federal budgets of 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, a whopping sum of $23 Billion or N3.632 Trillion was spent on woefully failed security in Nigeria. The shocking sums covered block budget allocations (recurrent, overheads and capital) to all security agencies, their training institutes and oversight bodies. In the 2011 spent budget of N4.971 Trillion, N764.7 Billion was spent on security, out of which the NPF got N296 Billion, the Ministry of Defense (Army, Navy, Air Force, DSS, NIA, NSCDC, etc) got N380.4 Billion and the Office of the National Security Adviser received N87.8 Billion.
In the 2012 spent budget of N4.877 Trillion, N921 Billion was spent on security, out of which, the NPF got N307.5 Billion. In the 2013 spent budget of N4.987 Trillion, N953 Billion was spent on security, out of which, the NPF got N320 Billion, and in the 2014 passed budget of N4.695 Trillion, N993 Billion is being spent on security, out of which, the NPF is allocated with N292 Billion. In the four federal budget seasons under reference, the NPF had received a total of N1.215 Trillion or $7.5 Billion. In spite of the colossal sum spent on the NPF in the four federal budget regimes, the Force has nothing to show for it. It has become one of Nigeria’s public drain pipes.
It is totally correct to say that the more money is allocated and spent on security, the more Nigeria becomes insecure and the more Nigerians feel unsafe in their fatherland and the more citizens get killed like fowls on daily basis. The country’s insecurity is deliberately being sustained by relevant public security managers, who have become “merchants of death” by living far above their statutory incomes or earnings. It is a very difficult task to identify or find a senior public security manager drawn from the armed forces and police living within his or her statutory earnings in Nigeria.
Average serving or past Inspector General of Police in Nigeria since 1999 is so crookedly rich to the point of surpassing the annual budget size of a State in Nigeria. This is why we held that Nigerian government spends for mass murder instead of spending for citizens’ security. The Government appears to be a corporate serial killer and an undertaker merchant by getting happier when more citizens are killed and making more illicit and blood proceeds when more insecurity is created. Of all the birds in Nigeria, the Nigerian Government has improved the living conditions of vultures more than other birds by ensuring that they never lack human corpses to feed on.
The blatant refusal of relevant public security managers in Nigeria to demystify and access modern security system has continued to cost many lives in the country on daily basis. The three pillars of modern security have long been centered on “preventive policing”, “security intelligence” and “electronic security technology”. None of these three has found its way into Nigeria’s public security industry till date. In Syria, the UN has estimated that over 100,000 people have been killed since the eruption of civil war in the country about four years ago. In Nigeria, between 64,000 and 65,000 citizens have been murdered outside the law since 1999, out of which, between 6,000 and 8,000 have been killed by Boko Haram insurgent group since 2009. In the four years budget regimes under reference (2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014), up to 10,000 citizens or more have been killed, mostly in the hands of Boko Haram barbarous group. In the first five months of this year (2014), over 2,000 citizens have been murdered by the violent armed group. Hundreds of innocent citizens have also died in the hands of Nigerian security forces in the course of the so-called war on Boko Haram terror.
We have severally advised the Nigerian Government to demystify and access the three pillars of modern security stated above. The country’s current security system and policy are nothing to write home about. A country that still retains a national policy on security it adopted 35 years ago (1979) is not a serious participant in modern securitization. A country that retains a police force that still uses a police Act enacted in 1930 without major changes in its body and contents operates a policing organization of the Yore. A country that has a police force of approximately 400,000 officers dominated to the point of 95% by typewriter police officers or computer illiterates is a sworn enemy of electronic, intelligence and preventive policing. A police force with 6,651 field formations that runs its administrative operations on pen and papers in place of digital hardware and software is a disguised community vigilante group and not a police force of a computer age. A police force that sends its typewriter driven officers after computer literate improvised explosive devices detonators is playing at the center of an expressway.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Comrade Jusus Uche Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk