From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Security experts have urged the Federal Government to introduce a Key Performance Indicator(KPI) mechanism into the nation’s security system as measures to tackle insecurity in the country.
The experts offered the solution during a brainstorming virtual meeting under the platform of Nigeria Diasporal Network(NDN), United Kingdom chapter, monitored in Abuja.
A Preventive Terrorism Consultant, Mr Temitope Olodo specifically noted the application of KPI mechanism will help measure the performance of all security officers in the country from the lowest to the highest rank.
Speaking on the agenda of the meeting “Security Challenges and Community Policing” Olodo, who is the president, African Security Forum and a retired Metropolitan police officer in the UK, added that the way forward for tackling insecurity in the country is through community policing.
“I was a formal civil servant. If you ask me today, I have never seen the job description of IGP (inspector-general of police) and I am not making it personal.
“I don’t know what kind of KPI he is being measured against but I can tell you that we know the KPI of commissioner of police for the Metropolitan Police, we know the one for New York, Australia, etc.
“We know how police are being measured. I was once a constable and I have KPI.
“When I was leaving the Metropolitan Police on secondment, I was measured on KPI.
“They brought out my KPI and that was the basis upon which if I am entitled to other benefits, in terms of my salary going up.
“But I don’t know what KPIs are for the Nigerian police. If there is no KPI, what do you measure them against?” he asked.
Olodo explained that if there is no KPI, security officers’ performance indicators would not be proportionate to their work done.
“Let me give a good example, the new IGP has come out to say that they have been doing a lot that they have recently recovered 231 assorted weapons and he was congratulating himself.
“In a country where the former head of state said there are about 2 million light weapons in circulation and where we are aware that there are about 60, 000 AK-47 riffles in the hands of about 120 bandits, what is 231 weapons?
“On a daily basis if the IGP is serious, If the IGP locks down my little village in Osun State, I am telling you he will get more than 1000 weapons in a day when a stop and search and thorough checking are conducted.
“So when we talk about key performance indicator, people will measure themselves against the lowest kind of performance if you do not give them the proper performance indicator,” he said.
Olodo said all the stakeholders should be ready to take community policing seriously if the system would work.
He said community policing was the easiest way of policing but corruption had been the bane. He said people had to own community policing to work.
“Community policing is all about people telling the authority what the security needs are and channelling the effort and resources to those areas to tackle them,” he added.
He also said to solve the problem, the country needed to look at the past and how it got to the present position.
“Nigeria got to where it is because the foundation has been weakened, and the good book says when the foundation is weak, what can the righteous do.
“Over a number of years, we have allowed decay in our institutions, especially security institutions.
“And as a result of those weak institutions and our lack of speaking up to the power that be, we have found ourselves in a situation that the decay is endemic, the situation now is beyond just taking those institutions to the intensive care unit.
“When a patient is taken to intensive care unit, you have to upload a lot of interventions. But this may not work at this point because a lot of spare parts need to be changed in that system.
“We need practical changes that we can turn around and say, this is the change that we want,” he said.
According to Olodo, in Nigeria, we are not policing by consent, we are policing by force.
“If we police by consent, a lot of things that are happening in Nigeria will not be happening. I think that is where we have got it wrong,” he said.
A security expert in Global Community Policing, Dr Aminu Audu, was optimistic that if adopted in line with international best practice, community policing would work in the country.
Audu also said the issue of insecurity was not a new thing in the country.
“What we are seeing today is a product of series of activities that have transpired in the past. So it is a build up,” he said.
He said though there is insecurity in Nigeria, the way forward is community policing.
“According to Freeman in 1992, community policing is about policy and strategy to achieve more effective crime control, reduce fear of crime, improve quality of life, improve police services and police legitimacy through proactive reliance on community resources that seeks to change crime causing conditions,” he said.
He stated further that community policing would ensure the need for greater accountability of police, greater public share in decision making and greater concern for civil rights and liberty.
Audu said it was disheartening that when talking about community policing, “what comes to our minds is about forming vigilante group and arming them with weapons for them to begin to delve into prejudicial killings and manhandling of crime suspects.
“No, that is not the way. Community policing is about the police, the community coming together to address issues, most especially crime causing conditions.
“Now we are talking about insecurity, what happens to poverty? How has poverty being addressed?
“Who are the people sponsoring those who carry guns?
“For example, I read sometimes ago that about 400 people have been arrested on allegation that they are sponsoring Boko Haram, I don’t know what has happened to them?”
The expert, who acknowledged the influence of foreign factor in the security challenge, said community policing would not be a success if the problem of poverty and other factors were not addressed.
He also said over the years, community policing had not worked effectively in the country because there has been a wide communication gap between the community and the security providers.
He urged people to desist from politicising the initiative.
“Do we really practice community policing accurately? So the problem is that it has been a guess work affairs,” he said.
Audu, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his support for community policing.
“I really commend President Buhari for taking the step to implement community policing with a funding investment to the tune of about 26 million pounce.
“But how many governors or local government chairmen have taken it upon themselves to implement these policies according to specification?
“I am happy that the Federal Government is implementing based on empirical research. Now at the moment, they are undergoing process,” Audu said.
A Cyber Security Professional, Mr Deji Adebayo, who is one of the NDN coordinators in the UK, said the meeting was organise as part of the effort by Nigerians living abroad to see how the security challenge could be solved towards creating a better and secured society for the country.
Other members of the NDN at the meeting include Dr Aminu Ahmadu, a lecturer and academic consultant within the UK universities; Mr Offor Okpanachi, an AML professional, among others.
NDN is an association of Nigerian professionals, who have come together to see how Nigeria can be moved forward.