Reflections on Africa’s Security Situation: An Examination of Nigeria Police Force, 1999-2011
One of the greatest challenges that twenty-first century African states face is that of security. Of the four arms of the state security system, namely, the Army, Air Force, Navy and Police, the latter has been the most taunted. Ordinarily, the Police Force, being the closest of all the forces to civilians, is expected to be the protector of the citizenry and the defender of the Status quo, as it is the case in any genuine democratic Nation. This, unfortunately, appears not to be the case in Nigeria. The Police Force seems to have represented itself as an instrument of repression and as the product of colonialism and imperialism. In fact, the attitude of the Police Force in Nigeria largely remains military-oriented and this contradicts the basic tenets of democracy. From a historical perspective, this paper attempts to analyse the attitude and role of the Nigeria Police Force from 1999 to 2011. It is the opinion of the author of this paper that there is an
urgent need for decolonization and re-orientation in the Police Force of Nigeria to have an African-oriented Police Force if the country is serious about genuine democracy. History has shown that it is the only way out for Nigeria if she really wants to be recognized as a democratic country. Nigeria needs a Police Force that can face Nigerian realities and thereby promote peaceful co-existence particularly in Nigeria and Africa in general.
Key words: Africa, Police Force, Reflections and Security.