Nigeria needs community-driven police and not state police – Former Kano Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau says

Former Governor of Kano state Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, has kicked against the establishment of state police in the country. 

Speaking in Akure at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) during a book launch, Shekarau stated that the country needs to adopt community-driven police rather than establish state police.

The former minister of education also said community police would be better controlled than state police as well as devoid of political and religious leaders’ influence. He added that it would enhance trust, cooperation, and collaboration between the police and the citizens.

Shekarau said;

“The primary focus of effective and efficient security should be on intelligence gathering rather than relying solely on sophisticated weapons, maintaining that the Hisbah model in Kano State and other community vigilante groups should be looked into.

“I’ve been an advocate of community policing. It is different from what is being paraded as state police. Community policing means community watch.

“There is hardly any community in Nigeria that does not have what we call the vigilante group. All we need to do is the government should organise them, the government should own is up, and the government should promulgate a law.

“If I may give you an example of Kano, I’m sure you must have had experience with the Hisbah Guards; that is community watch. We set up a committee of 12 elders in every ward to do the selection of 20 responsible and respected young men for the Hisbah Guards. And we recruited them and mandated that the local government take charge of them. We’re paying them allowances. And they know everybody in the community.

“Within one to two years in Kano State, ask anybody; we don’t have any vices, no drugs, nothing in all the communities because that is community watch.

“We have over 10,000 Hisbah Guards in Kano; I did not nominate a single one; not a single party leader nominated one. It was all the elders in the community. The government created a law; we didn’t leave it in a vacuum. The number one assignment of the Hisbah Guards was to support and complement the work of all the Nigerian armed forces and the police. And they were working with them peacefully.

“Ask anybody in Kano today, and they will tell you that people prefer to report their cases to the Hisbah Guards office rather than even the police stations or even going to court. What we need in Nigeria is community watch, not just when you ask a state to create 2000 to 3000 state police bombarded by party thugs, and you will find out that you are going back to the same intimidation. There will be abuses by political leaders.

“But if you allow the communities to select with the backing of the government, the government will pay them all their allowances, provide vehicles for them, and support them, and there is a chain of command from the state to the local governments, to the wards, and even to the villages.

“Nigerian police and the military cannot monitor Nigeria. All in all, we don’t have up to 400,000 policemen in Nigeria to monitor 220 million people. Egypt has 80 million people and four million policemen. How do you expect the Nigerian police to monitor everybody? They can’t be everywhere.

“So, we hope to see the future of Nigeria in terms of security if we monitor well. 80 to 90 percent of security matters involve intelligence gathering, not weapons and equipment. These people who are kidnapped and involved in the insurgency are not coming from the moon; they live in the communities, and it is the villagers who know them.

“If they bring a policeman from Ondo State to Kano State to work as a DPO, how will he know the community? No matter how intelligent his equipment and weapons are, there is no way he can move into the bush. That is why they are ambushed because they don’t know the terrain. But if the communities are involved, they know every nook and cranny, and they provide the intelligence.”

Leave a Reply