The Nigeria Police is making efforts at rebranding and here’s our advice

IGP Adamu

We can say for sure that something did happen with the #EndSARS Protest that rocked Nigeria in October. While Nigerians demanded reform in the police and an end to bad governance, certain events are now playing out to show that to some point, the voices of protesters were heard by concerned parties.

At the graduation of the pioneer course participants at the National Institute of Police Studies (NIPS) in Abuja, Police Inspector-General, Mohammed Adamu, stated that modern policing is knowledge-driven. IGP Adamu also acknowledged that policing is a profession of risk and broad challenges. He spoke largely on what police officers need to do to be better but failed to address what needs to be done to aid police officers to be better and carry out their profession smoothly.

From the #EndSARS protest which informed this position by the police (as outrageous as it may sound), Nigerians didn’t only ask that the police extra-judicial killings and extortion, the #5for5 demand, spoke to reforms that should benefit the police too.

On Wednesday, 11 November, the Lagos Police Command announced that it had dismissed 10 police officers in a bid to promote discipline and core values of policing in the state; for misconducts ranging from murder, negligence, excessive use of power, discreditable conduct, and corrupt practices.

In the words of the Lagos Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, the dismissal forms part of steps by the command to sanitise its workforce in order to change the general perception that the entire police force, condone indiscipline and crimes. Added to IGP Adamu’s acknowledgement that modern policing is knowledge-driven, it is not difficult to see that rebranding efforts are on course. This is commendable, but the fact that it takes more than that winning back the trust of the people mustn’t be thrown away.

CP Odumosu in the statement, “charged officers and men of the command to be thorough and professional in their day-to-day activities, assuring them of reform and better standards in the police, as being championed by the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu,”

For many, the argument remains that police officers are not properly cared for. Better welfare for police officers is something that many Nigerians believe will change a lot in the system and running a system with full knowledge of what exists is fine.

What IGP Adamu and the Police leadership mustn’t forget however, is should that system not be properly cared for, it will crumble. The rebranding efforts of the police is highly welcome but “better standards” in form of robust welfare for its personnel has to be put side-by-side with rebranding and discipline.

A ‘people-centered’ Police is the barest minimum in this time and age.

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