I have done several threads on the dysfunctional state of our security architecture in Nigeria. 21 Agencies & Ministries managing security matters is too many chefs in d kitchen. They compete rather than cooperate. It is Silo entrenched.
Due to the greater insecurity; many VIPs now employ Soldiers and SSS officers as personal guards bcos many no longer trust the competence of the police. Hence clashes between soldiers guarding these VIPs and other security agencies is now common.
Sources in the security services are saying it seems d kidnap Kingpin arrested by the police had been paying soldiers for protection. That means their commanding officer as they will not act on their own. So he was on speed dial to the barrack. This speaks of INTER-AGENCY Rivalry.
Local police sources also complained that it’s common for units to be deployed from Abuja to operate in states without coordination or notification of local commands. The IGP now has so many units doing all manner of tasks that overlap d work of state commands; many CPs complain.
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This massive expansion of these IGP units became worse under IGP Idris, who ran the force like a personal army, taking over investigations from state commands at will. So there is also an INTRA-AGENCY Rivalry within d Police itself. This killing was an incident waiting to happen.
The use of the army by the Presidency to perform policing duties has further blurred the line of responsibility & accountability. With Army deployed in over 30 states to do civil police tasks; it’s a matter of time before confusion of roles lead to disaster.
If d Army were indeed called to say there was a kidnap, why did they not just call the Police as the civil enforcement agency to act? Why did the army see it as its duty to do policing duties without informing the Police itself? The law only allows the army deployed in support of the police as and when needed. This is legally supposed to be on an ad-hoc basis; rather than a permanent deployment of the army to perform police functions at will in a democracy. This killing is therefore evidence of both Inter-agency & Intra-agency cooperation breakdown.
So what can we do to fix this mess? There are many recommendations I have proposed in my books on Policing in Nigeria; but as a summary capture, the following will be necessary quick steps in the right direction:
1. Other than fighting Boko Haram; the Army must only be deployed on our streets under the command of the Police and in support of the police and at the request of the police. Solo Army civil operations must be banned in a democracy.#2. The IGP should curl the number of specialist units he controls in Abuja and trust the state commands more. These duplication of efforts are unnecessary and dissipates resources. IGP should be instructing state commands instead of sending officers from Abuja to states.
3. For the IGP units that will remain; they must inform local commands of their presence as a matter of courtesy and operational protocol. Secret operation in states must end. If the IGP cannot trust a CP; then remove him. But CPs must be empowered to perform their duties.
4. The Army must ban its officers from performing personal security duties to civilians VIPs. That must never be allowed to continue.
5. The Presidential Investigation panel into this sad incident must be headed by someone from a different agency from both the Army and Police. And its findings must be made public & appropriate sanction given to officers who acted unlawfully.
6. The President should encourage & fund better training for police officers & empower them to lead on civil security activities in Nigeria as constitutionally mandated. PMB should stop the nationwide deployment of the military to do civil security duties. We need better police.
7. The current CoAS must be sent on his overdue retirement immediately. He is at least three set removed from the nearest general as all his contemporaries have retired. So folks in Army leadership can no longer speak truth to power as he is too senior to them.
Some will say all the security chiefs need to be changed. I will agree with that. But in the end, it is rationalisation of the many silo security agencies into a few effective ones that will begin to help solve our security mess as a country. These things are not rocket science.