Quick one on policing

The Senate’s idea to decentralise the police is the right one, but the manner they are going about it is a step in the wrong direction.

Think of this move towards state policing as a corrolary to the privitisation of NEPA. In distribution we replaced a monopoly with 12 monopolies, so not much improvement has been seen. Let's not talk about the fact that transmission is still a monopoly.

We can use the same argument here. When you think about the dictatorial behaviour of some of the governors then you begin to wonder what even more power concentrated in their hands would be like. No, state policing in Nigeria is a bad idea.

Having said that, the rising insecurity, and the reactions with things such as Amotekun is indicative of the reality - Nigeria's FG is not capable of handling internal security, so this function has to move to sub-national units. The question then becomes, which sub-national units? Regions? States? LGAs?

I would prefer community policing. But policing is costly, and like the FG, many of our states, LGAs and communities are broke. I forsee a situation where vigilante groups will be in charge of security in Nigeria for a while to come. Our big challenge will be how to train them properly, ensure that they are accountable, and maybe their reporting lone should be through the judiciary, not the executive...

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Cheta Nwanze

Using big data to understand West Africa one country (or is it region?) at a time.